Google Shopping No Longer Free – Wildcard Friday

TOPICSGoogle, Product Ads

Learn why Google Shopping is no longer free.

Major Announcement!

On May 31st, Google Announced ( that they will be rolling out a transition, starting in June, that will change Google Shopping as we know it. By Fall, Google Shopping will be a fully monetized product, requiring retailers to pay for listings.

Google shares that the purpose of this move is to improve the shopping experience for the user and to encourage the merchants to keep their product information fresh by means of product availability, pricing accuracy and offers in order to receive higher quality traffic.

From Free to Paid Listings

For retailers already taking advantage of Product Listing Ads within the Adwords interface, or thinking about investing in this feature (see video here for more info on PLAs:, there will be some incentives.

According to Google:

  1. All merchants who create Product Listing Ads by August 15, 2012 will automatically receive a monthly credit for 10% of their total Product Listing Ad spend through the end of 2012; and
  2. Existing Google Product Search merchants can receive $100 AdWords credit toward Product Listing Ads if they fill out a form before August 15, 2012.

There has been talk that sellers using Google Shopping without participating in PLAs will continue to receive free clicks for some percentage of the auctions as the transition slowly rolls into the Fall. By then, the free clicks will be obsolete and all listings will be paid within Google Products.

Ranking in Google Shopping

According to Google, ranking in Google Shopping will be based on a combination of relevance and bid price, similar to how Product Listing Ads are displayed today.

A few ways to stand out with your ads will be to market special offers or by participating in Google Trusted Stores. Merchants earn this badge for great ratings for on-time shipping and customer service.

Be sure to keep your feed optimized by updating your feeds for accuracy and freshness!


Finally, several questions remain, such as location of the PLA real estate that will occupy Google Search results, how will CPCs change, and if there will be a visibility bias toward larger retailers that may be considered more reliable?

Exclusive Concepts will be here to guide our clients through this transition. Though the traffic through Google Shopping will no longer be free of charge in the coming months, the quality of the traffic from this source should remain high, if not more qualified.