Google on Monday said it will bring free listings to the Google Search results page in the U.S., helping shoppers choose the products and sellers that will serve them best.
The move to switch the buying options in product Knowledge panels from paid to free listings extends the service Google announced in late April. Under the Shopping tab, Google soon began running primarily free listings for businesses, whether or not they advertise on Google. As companies tried to reconnect with consumers, many of them that had been closed for more than a month couldn’t afford to pay for search or display advertising.
“This change [announced in April] has already produced a significant increase in user engagement, with both clicks and impressions up substantially for merchants, meaning consumers are finding more of the products they’re looking for from a wider range of options,” Bill Ready president, Commerce, wrote in a post published today. “Sellers of all sizes are benefiting from this incremental traffic, particularly small and medium-sized businesses."
He believes these changes will help companies generate billions of dollars in sales for retailers and brands in the U.S annually.
Initially, the free listings in Google Search will appear in the product knowledge panel that shows buying options for a particular item -- for example, a tea kettle.
The buying options today in this panel are all sponsored links, but beginning this summer these listings will become free. Google plans to roll out this feature in the U.S., first on mobile, followed later by desktop.
The forthcoming results for searches on specific products may include a panel of product information containing product details, listings of retailers who sell that product, and product reviews. If your product data feed includes the product being searched, your listing will be eligible to appear in this experience.
Shopping ads will appear separately at the top of the page, marked similar to Google’s other ad units. Merchants can choose how to show up and shoppers can choose where to click.