After recently making product listings in its Shopping tab available for free for retailers, Google is now expanding the same to search listings for products, further expanding the eCommerce potential of the platform.
As explained by Google:
"Free listings in Google Search results make your offers more accessible to the hundreds of millions of people who shop on Google each day, connecting you to more customers in more places - whether they’re across the country or across the street. [...] Currently, the buying options in this panel are all sponsored links. Starting this summer, these listings will be free."
The change will provide more opportunity for more brands to get their products in front of searchers looking for specific items. As with its free listings in Google Shopping, Google has been working on the change for some time, but it's now accelerating its plans in order to assist merchants impacted by the COVID-19 shutdowns. That will eventually mean that its product listings will be displayed in order of relevance, as with regular search results, as opposed to paid ranking.
Though advertisers will still be able to pay to boost their product listings. As with normal search results, Google will still enable advertisers to generate more exposure through paid product listings, though the majority of results displayed will be free.
The change will further boost Google's eCommerce connection capacity. With other platforms, like Pinterest, looking to eat into this element, and provide direct buying options from product listings, Google has been looking to add more ways to improve its direct connection options, in order to fend off competition. And with the majority of searchers still starting with Google, the addition could be hugely valuable - and will be further assisted by the ongoing growth of eCommerce in light of the COVID-19 lockdowns.
Google is first launching the new initiative in the US (first on mobile, followed later by desktop). You can learn more about the new process, and how you can list your products, via Google's help center.