Earlier this year, Google announced that they were going to let businesses have free retail listings on the Google Shopping tab in the U.S. This was mainly to help those who were going online for the first time or who were shifting the bulk of their business to e-commerce because of the coronavirus. While it’s only available in the U.S. for now, they say they’ve seen a significant increase in user engagement. Now they’re bringing these free listings to the Google Search pages.
While it will help sellers of course get their products out there without having to pay for ads, this free listings is also good for consumers as they now have even more choices, both from those who paid and those who may be the sellers your looking for. The free listings will let Google bring you the best options that you can have for that product you’re looking for, which you’ll probably buy online rather than at the store.
Previously, you could only see sponsored links in the product knowledge panel on Google Search. Now you’ll see free listings in the panel on your Google Search results, if there are any retail listings that match what you’re looking for. The paid shopping ads are still there at the top of the page, where it will be marked as a paid ad together with the other usual Google ad units.
This means businesses can choose how to appear, either as a paid result in Search if you have the budget or as part of the free e-commerce listing panel. Google says that since they shifted to free listings in Google Shopping, there has been a 70% increase in clicks and 130% increase in impressions. They’re hoping this will be replicated or even improved in the main Google Search page.
Free listings is rolling out in the U.S. only for now. It will be available on mobile first and then later on for desktops. No news yet if they’ll eventually expand to other countries.