Google has announced that it is giving away free listings to sellers on its Shopping tab across the globe.
You heard that right. Merchants will actually be able to list products on Google for free — although that free space is only confined to the Google Shopping tab. This initiative was launched in the US in April, and from mid-October will be available across Europe, Asia and Latin America.
Google recently made the announcement in a blog post, stating that move will help retailers to connect with more customers, regardless of whether they advertise on Google, and also enable shoppers to find more products from more stores, just in time for peak shopping season across the region.
Google reported “We’re bringing free listings to the Shopping tab in countries across Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Just as we don’t charge sites to be part of the Google Search index, listings for participating retailers are eligible to appear in these results at no cost to them. Paid listings will continue to appear in ad slots and will operate in the same way as Shopping ads do today.”
Where are These Ads Located?
These organic listings show up on the Shopping tab within Google — both on desktop and mobile. In the example below, the paid listings are at the top in a typical carousel format followed by the organic listings. You can tell the difference between them by finding either the “Sponsored” callout (indicating paid listings) versus the “About” callout (indicating organic, free listings).
From looking at these early US examples, we saw that while some searches are showing results like the screenshot above — a mix of paid and organic listings — others result in all paid listings. And yet some other results are entirely organic listings. Additionally, some searches show organic listings at the top followed by a paid carousel at the bottom of the page. We would expect these formats to be fairly dynamic as search results are highly personalised to the user and the search query
For retailers who already use Google Ads to reach potential customers, free product listings in the Shopping tab are a boost to your paid campaigns. In the US, where this promotion launched six months ago, retailers running free listings and ads got an average of twice as many views and 50 percent more visits. Small and medium-sized businesses saw the biggest increases since the free listings launched there.
Brands and retailers should absolutely be participating here given there’s no cost. If you already use Google Merchant Centre and Shopping Ads, you’re already eligible for the free listings and don’t have to take any additional action.
So be sure your Google Shopping feed is of high quality, complete with all your products and accurately reflects things like stock status and price of each item and see how you rank.
If you have any questions about this announcement, please reach out to your Account Manager or visit ChannelAdvisor Community. If you’re not a ChannelAdvsisor customer but would like to talk to one of our e-commerce consultants about your advertising campaigns and whether you’re making the most of your digital marketing efforts on Google, Amazon or Facebook, request a Complimentary Advertising Analysis today.