Google Compared To Drug Dealer For Google Shopping Strategy

    July 14, 2012
    Chris Crum
    Comments are off for this post.

Google Shopping has been at the center of a lot of controversy since the company announced it in May. The paid inclusion approach has brought up Google’s old “do no evil” mantra, the FTC has been called upon to scrutinize the entire search industry on disclosure of paid results (which Google says it would support), and a lot of people are up in arms about Google removing listings for weapons.

Do you think Google Shopping is good or bad for e-commerce? Let us know in the comments.

The simple fact that Google has moved to a paid model (away from the free listing model of Google Product Search), however, is what really has a lot of merchants angry.

David Scarpitta, CEO of online retailer DasCheap, has gone so far as to issue a press reease comparing Google to a drug dealer, and indicating that he’s been forced to raise prices on his site.

“I hate to put it like this, but Google is acting kind of like a drug dealer,” Scarpitta said. “They let you try it free, then get people hooked and dependent upon it, and then you are forced to pay in order to survive as normal.”

“It’s a very sad thing,” he added. “Even here at DasCheap! we had to raise some prices in order to compensate for these costs. As so many web users use Google for accurate and instant shopping information, it has become a second nature to search there so we had no choice but to pay if we want to show our discounted items to the masses, otherwise we wouldn’t be able to show our discounted products to online users if we don’t pay. Essentially this forces us to raise prices across the board. So in essence, the finger points back to Google for the raise in retail prices. And even more unfortunate for other online retailers that can’t afford the extra expense will now lose an important revenue stream, that may put some companies in a bad state.”

While it’s certainly a good idea for a merchant to be easily found in Google, I’m not sure about the part about not having a choice. As sites who have relied on Google for the bulk of their traffic in the past have learned upon being hit by algorithm updates, it’s best not to put all of your eggs in one basket, and there are other ways to generate traffic to your site.

Apart from competing search engines, social media comes to mind, and can be effective with the right strategy. It’s also entirely possible to rank in the organic search results with the right strategy, without having to pay for a Shopping listing. People do shop from the regular results too.

One CEO told us that he sees Google Shopping as a very good thing for e-commerce. “We think this is the right direction for merchants and Google,” Amit Kumar, CEO Of marketing app provider Lexity, told WebProNews in a recent interview. “While the free Google Product Search program was great for some SMB retailers, in general the results were hit or miss – there was very little predictability on whether products would show up in search results, how often, and detailed statistics were not available.”

“On the other hand, our customers that participated in paid advertising through the Product Listing Ads program have much more visibility into how their products are faring, and have much more control (for instance, the ability to control which products get promoted more aggressively, which products should not be shown in Google’s search results, etc),” he added.

“In addition, having multiple potential display units showing essentially the same kind of products was very confusing to the users, and also to merchants who were trying to manage their presence on search results,” said Kumar. “Having all of these consolidated into one helps brands manage their presence better, and users get a better shopping experience.”

We’ve heard from plenty of frustrated merchants who express views more along the lines of Scarpitta’s. A WebProNews reader recently commented, “Many small companies have used Google ( Froogle, Base, Shopping ) as their resource for free advertising of their products. This is just an attack on those small companies and only allow companies who can afford to pay to do so.”

“I’ve always respected Google as a company for the great new technologies that they have implemented over the years, however I feel that there is a certain amount of greed here that will not only affect the grass roots retailer themselves but overall the consumer as well,” said Scarpitta. “Despite this grim scenario, we are going to do the best we can for our customers to continue to offer them the lowest prices and the best service in accordance with this new regulation in place. I hope others can do the same.”

Google says ranking in Google Shopping will be based on “a combination of relevance and bid price,” the same as Product Listing Ads today, and those who want to stand out can participate in Google’s Trusted Stores program and/or use special offers.

Google Shopping might be able to help out local businesses. Google certainly thinks it can. At its annual developer conference a couple weeks ago, the company hosted a session on empowering local shopping through Google shopping.

“More and more of consumers research online first before going to a local store to purchase a product and we can expect this trend to continue to rise,” the company said. “Local shopping enables merchants to declare product price and availability per local store.”

In the session, Google discusses how to set up and manage local shopping accounts in the Google Merchant Center, and how to ue the Content API to upload local products and do live inventory updates.

The transition from Google Product Search to Google Shopping is supposed to be complete in the fall. Merchants who create product listing ads by August 15% can get a 10% monthly credit of their total Product Listring ad spend through the end of the year, and current Product Search merchants can get a hundred dollar AdWords credit toward the ads if they fill out a form before that date.

Let us know what you think about Google Shopping.

  • http://motrizmarketing.com Dennis Miedema

    Great article! I’d like to give my two cents here:

    I don’t know if people have noticed, but Google has been a dealer for many years now. Their basic strategy is moving in with a “free-to-play” model with a service others ask money for, gain market share, make incremental improvements (the first version always sucks), and when their ecosystem has taken over the market almost entirely? They switch to a “pay-for-extras” model.

    Examples: Google Maps, Google Analytics, and now Google Shopping. I mean, how long are business owners staying asleep? Every Google service will be monitized.

    • http://www.DasCheap.com Buy it Cheap

      Indeed I agree, though the sad part is that the general “web shopper” doesn’t really care. Nor should they.

  • http://www.elsonconsulting.co.uk Steve at Elson Consulting

    @Dennis I totally agree. You’ve forward a very convincing case for the prosecution. I’d like to call upon any witnesses or web marketing experts for the defence to argue against. Hmm, I rest my case :-)

  • http://www.googlesucks.com Tominguez

    It is not about the Google Shopping, the FTC and DOJ should be looking into the Toasted Store Program which demands to implement yet another difficult chunk of code which we the merchants have to work hard to implement in every page. The Trusted Store is Toasted from the start, it requires that merchants share very sensitive information about the customer, in our privacy policy like most fellow merchants, we disclose that we do not share info with third parties, google toasted store forces merchants to break the privacy and terms of use policy. As a buyer, I will never trust a store that uses the Toasted Store Program.

    One can say, well, you can use it or not, but well, let me tell you, we, the merchants, have been working quite hard to create content and product feeds which google has always used to make a profit, is not like they offer it for free, our work and efforts have a cost too, google’s ONLY business model is been and always been content and data and we are the ones making it happen, the very last thing google should be doing is to make us pay for our content, is like a song writer creating a song and pay people to listen to it, or a restaurant that creates food and pays people to eat it, we create what google uses as profit.

    The Toasted Store Program, the Google Shopping are just another fad, this creates a lot of work and investment for merchants and for what, to have google change or shut down the service 2 years later? Do we really need a Toasted Store Badge, so is google saying that Authorize.Net, NetSol, Godaddy, HackerSafe seals are worthless? The google shopping has lots of fake reviews, just look at the problem they have in EU, privacy issues, fake reviews, monopoly abuse, etc..

    Our feeds have been deactivated several times for very insignificant reasons, 2 weeks ago the merchant center account stopped working, the feeds are fine, the account has broken links in every part, we reported this 11 days ago, to this date, we got a reply 4 days after the initial email, then 6 or 7 more, with the same copy paste reply from some guy with weird name, totally irrelevant and referring to us as if we were born yesterday, blaming the browser cookies every time, is not a tech issue, just about this time, google is trying to make sellers feel how important google is to ecommerce, that is a monopoly abuse if you are the biggest search engine in the world and you got there because of us, Microsoft was affected by the DOJ for the explorer browser, people had the choice to use a Mac but is not the point, the point was the low tactics used to try to abuse the need you know exists. We spent years feeding people with our content, today, we give 2 **** to google Panda or Pinguins, every seller and every content site is been affected with technology excuse propaganda, if we put the very same effort in a few months using other marketing methods, we will have much better chance to do business every day than to put up with the google nasty tricks, when google decides to show me who clicks in the ad 10 times in 5 minutes, then I will trust them, for now, is a very Untrusted Company, I really want to support the FTC and DOJ so they can step in and see what is happening here, content sites, merchants, Unite!

    • http://www.googlesucks.com Tominguez

      And word for Matt Cutts, CUT the BS, SEO is about Title, Meta-Description, Meta-Keywords, Relevant and interesting content, no about Penguins or Pandas, period.

      • http://www.DasCheap.com Buy it Cheap

        Wait, and now don’t forget…You can be penalized for “Over Optimization”…lol

  • Charles Small

    I no longer use any search engine for anyting but getting to the web sites of national brands. If I enter any search string other than such a brand name, all I get are page after page of useless, badly organized, uniformative, error-ridden directories. If I do find the name of some entity I want to visit, these directories never have the entity’s URL. So if I search on that name, I never the see URL of the entity; insead, all I get is that subset of the useless directories that have some fragment of the name listed. Further, eBay is nothing but people reselling stuff they have bought for a higher price that I can get at my local Wal-Mart. Except that none of the local stores actually stock what they list on thier web sites; you have to wait while they order it for you. In short the entire on-line search and shopping experience has been totally ruined and swamped by paid “hits.” The only thing left that is useful on the web is Wikipedia. Other than Wikipedia, the web is good mainly for mind-rot like Cracked.com or The Onion. Wait! That’s not entirely true. I can easily keep up with the Kardashians. Yowsah! Wow!

  • http://www.jltcreative.com JLT Creative

    Google is obviously doing whatever they need to, to get ahead, and it seems to be working.

  • sofakingdabest

    If the mantra is a free unregulated internet, why is Google regulating search? If Google volunteers to be the fiduciary of search, they then become a target of the FTC. Google has lots of cash. The sharks are circling.

  • Angela

    Received a phone call from Google yesterday to help set us up for this new Google Shopping and had the opportunity to explain that for those of us who have always played by the rules, this is a huge disappointment. They told me that this is the only way that they have decided to get the duplicate content people, who have been monopolizing Google Shopping, out of the mix because they won’t want to pay for the duplicate content products. I told her that they should police google shopping and get rid of anyone not playing by the rules. Now I have to come up with a budget for something that I didn’t intend on paying for and ‘hope’ that I come to the top of Shopping as a highly scrupulous company. I’m not happy!

  • Dustin

    But wait there is more! It’s only a matter of time before google begins selling products online and directly competing in basically every vertical possible.

    Amazon already does this with people who list products. Once they collect enough data about a profitable selling item they sell it themselves.

    I bet google is chomping at the bit to get into selling products as well. I know people are going to say no way google would never sell stuff… Just wait and see, first it will only be a few things, like a phones, apps, books, games. It’s so innocent they only want to help the consumer to have a better experience!

    They have to continue to monetize all possible parts of their reach.

    • http://www.googlesucks.com Tominguez

      That is why they are now being investigated by the FTC, The DOJ will come soon with monopoly issues just as they are facing ( and losing ) in EU with the fake reviews, sharing sensitive data with third parties, etc. Google is indeed trying to create a law for search, for knowledge, for what people can sell or not, for who can rank or not all overlooked by fees, that is not a real law, that is monopoly, when you are not clear about your intentions and for years have used people’s data ( feeds, content, personal info ) using it to make a profit and then on top of it, charging now for it??? That is extreme monopoly

    • Laurel

      You’re right about that, Dustin. Last year they started giving away FREE websites AND hosting to California businesses (excellent vehicles for AdWords). Really nice for independent web designers like me 😐

  • John

    On Google Shopping. . . Everything in my niche shows as one giant advertisement for Overstock….Google is like the others…Small sites supported them when they were a nothing and they threw us under the bus

  • http://store.creative-wholesale.com Ken Fallaw

    Google shopping is an auction for the highest rating. Only Google benefits, the customer will be paying more for the product.

  • Chris

    The way Google has been going the past few months, they has broken their mould of “do no evil”. Being an American company it is not that surprising..as we know they will sell their mothers for a buck.

    Lets leave it at that, before Google block my IP again.

  • http://www.vimeo.com/8336589 Brian

    Get away from the icy cold of Google’s corporate winter and move to the warm spring of Bing. Google is where you will find corporate search results; Bing is where the ma and pa shops are.

  • mdsouza

    Also known as “Bait and Switch”

    • Dave

      Nope. I understand you don’t like Google’s move, but “Bait and Switch” has a different meaning.

      “Bait-and-switch is a form of fraud, most commonly used in retail sales but also applicable to other contexts. First, customers are “baited” by advertising for a product or service at a low price; second, the customers discover that the advertised good is not available and are “switched” to a costlier product.”

  • http://lots0cash.com lots0

    This has been the Google Business model all along.

    Provide a “free” service, then charge for it after business have built a business around the “free Service”.

    You do have a choice… Just don’t give the big G your money.. you can survive, you can even profit online without google… Oh yes you can.

  • Dave

    Free for a period then it becomes a pay service… Yeah, that’s how a ton of things work on the Internet, it’s not just Google. Nearly every beta service I have ever used I got in free and then eventually had to choose to pay or quit.

    Did they provide a worthwhile service for free for an extended period? Yes.

    Are they giving advance notice before changing it over to a pay service? Yes.

    I understand it’s inconvenient for some people, but don’t act like this is something new or strange that only Google has done.

  • Tragic Error

    Would only be fair if Google gonna let Consumers pay for a seach. the service of an searchrengine is formaly (so not only) to serv them, so let them pay for it !!

  • http://www.micromacromundo.com William Bartomeu

    This will be the end of small businesses and will help only those monsters that can pay “pay per click” such as Amazon or eBay.

    If we must pay just to show curious people what we have, we will be bankrupt very soon.

    Google has to find a way, if the want to do this, to charge ONLY if the click ends in a real sale.

    • http://www.DasCheap.com Buy it Cheap

      Whatever the case, the model is very broken, and I certainly feel that either that or a CPA model would warrant a “working mans return”. There is a 100 different ways where legitimate business could feel more secure about the new structure. Banging businesses out against corporate America is not one of them.

  • http://www.theokaynetwork.com Steve G

    This is one of the very rare things that I actually think Google has a right to do, that is, as long as they let users know it’s not an organic product search anymore. Honestly they should take their search engine approach to product searching and allow paid product placements, much like there are paid advertisements on Google’s main search. I don’t understand why Google didn’t just do that instead of turning their entire product search into a paid model for sellers. I’ve heard rumors it was due to spam and scams running rampant, and I just have a hard time believing that Google can’t put a stop to that while offering a free service of product searches. Yes, they need to monetize product searching, but they need to do it like they monetize a regular search, with ads that clearly represent themselves as paid advertisements.

    • John Conlin

      Unfortunately, Steve G: I think it is going to be up to FaceBook and articles (And Bing doing good PR) to let consumers know that product search results are not only paid for, but that people can bid for better position.

  • http://cass-hacks.com Craig

    I don’t 100% agree with Google’s decision but at the same time…

    If Google is the drug dealer, what does that make the people who allow themselves to become dependent?

    A ‘user’? I am/was, but dependent? I was born at night but not last night.

    If people were to dial back the idiotic and extreme rhetoric, their plight is more likely to be taken seriously, at least more so than just being a whiny kid just out of diapers cut off from the teat.

    I do feel bad for sites that have been able to expand their businesses with Google’s Shopping listings’ help and hope Google comes up with an alternative to our having nothing to fall back on, short of having to now develop Adwords strategies and technology in addition to what was needed for Google shopping, being in the same boat myself but, I, for one, don’t care to have my position represented by a whiner that isn’t going to get listened to as he has nothing positive/useful to contribute.

  • http://www.captaincyberzone.com Cap’n Cyberzone

    As I recall, a couple of years ago, Google paid a $500 million fine for “drug” related Adwords monkey business.
    So I guess maybe a drug dealer’s mentality is at work here …
    just say’n


    I care less about Google.

  • http://www.mlmconsultant.com Rod Cook

    I agree right down the line:

    Google Maps,
    Google Analytics,
    Google Shopping,

    However not Every Google service will be monetized because some will be flops! Just wait and see!

  • http://www.adovationz.co.nz Digby

    On that basis just about all new internet startup are Drug Dealers.

    They all seem to get started for free and then look for a way to “monetize” their service.

    And Google seem to forget about all of the other Comparison sites out there that require payment from sellers.

  • Watching the Wheels

    I sell on venues and didn’t find that Google Shopping produced a significant amount of traffic.

    By Google deciding to drop free placement, alot of unnecessary cyber hoop jumping has been removed from my stress load. I will be able to list what i want where I want. I can stop playing the endless guessing games as to how one word just might have qualified as a “Google taboo word” that would zap a particular listing. I can list all my items in all my venues.

    In my oppinion, I would rather see REAL customer service from the cyber Goliath, as opposed to having to work with oppinions since Google relies upon user forums to do THEIR job for free.

    NO LOSS!

  • http://www.DasCheap.com Davod Scarpitta

    Well, I’m glad to see that my voice was heard by the legendary Web Pro News. As I come here often for the great content. However,

    I am not complaining about the fact that “I won’t get Free Search Traffic anymore” moreover the tactics that have been used and hypocrisies that exist.

    Years ago, “they were all about the free search”. In exchange we GAVE THEM VALUABLE DATA. That they literally built their entire shopping protocols on. And as time went on, they became more astringent demanding more and more data. But Guess what?

    This Data costs us as well. From procuring images, to descriptions and product details, this all was given to them in exchange for bringing us to the light. Now fast forward a few years later, they have immense amounts of data, their policies become even stricter and now viola! You gotta Pay!

    But it doesn’t stop there. What do you have to pay? How much will it really cost to get you to stand with the giants?

    Well, the bottom line is that they won’t tell you. And even worse is that if you heed the “new PLA instructions” that some “select users” will be on a CPA! ( Which would be more fair if offered to everyone but I can imagine the big boxes are the only ones entertained with this ).

    I would have felt much more comfortable if the playing field was alot more level overall. Though as history tells us, that’s never the case.

    And of course we can “not use Google”, but reality kicks in when 85%+ of the populous does and the first thing you see will be sponsored listings on the top and to the right of your result.

    No to mention all the Amazon and EBay affiliates are scattered on Page 1 & 2 , and then natural listings consumed by the monsters then your small flame will have a hard time lighting the way.

    Bottom line: Searchers are lazy, that’s why we optimize. The savvy will search better prices, and some will find it but that will not be the standard. So now if you aren’t on the bench, then your are out of the game!

    • http://onlineshopownersofamerica.com/ Anita Cross

      Davod, (or is it David?)

      The funny thing is, I don’t have a problem with Google wanting to monetize the product search. I just think they are going about it all wrong.

      First, they changed the datefeed criteria to require data that is more likely to be in an inventory system of the big department stores, which they implemented last Fall. Now the move to paid-only listings.

      It’s all geared for the large companies with deep pockets.

      Yet they could certainly make as much, maybe more, by instituting a tiered system, where you pay a flat monthly fee per datafeed, based on the number of items in the datafeed. Then stores carrying a small inventory might pay $5/mo, while stores with 100,000 items or more, might pay $50/mo.

      And it wouldn’t prevent them from continuing with the AdWords-like paid listings.

      I think the most insulting thing is that they talk about improving the service for the searches. You and I both know that there will be fewer choices for consumers because of this change.

      Why can’t they just “man up” and say they are going to a paid model so they have more money for their shareholders?

      I predict the more commercial Google becomes, the less market share they will retain. Perhaps Google will become the next Altavista.

      And thank you for sharing your views with WebProNews.

  • John Conlin

    There is no way driving small stores off of Google is good for the consumer. We use Google shopping now for product listings and to help price our products: how low can we go and still make a profit. We know others do the same: why pay to serve as other’s market research. When we did run an ad campaign, we were delegated to the “under 5,000 a month – which wipes out most stores that are not huge). The result for consumers:

    A) Lack of knowledgeable customer service about niche products (call Home Depot of Overstock and see if they can explain a specialized product in a timely fashion)
    B) It is inevitable that the added advertising costs will be wrapped into the product costs
    C) Most consumers won’t know and will be buffaloed just like they are buffaloed by the “estimated shipping costs” some people post to get to the top of the price list.

    I don’t buy this whole argument that it will improve product searches: if a store’s feeds are bad or riddled with errors: don’t post the feeds. If it happens a couple times, make them wait to post. If it’s a pattern, kick them out.

    Everyone is being penalized for bad acts of few. Personally, we don’t like shopping for fishing gear or specialized products with Big Box stores (and Overstock in particular not only has bad customer service, much of their stock is discontinued second rate items).

    We like talking to the small stores who can explain what type of lure is best for certain types of fish, season or rapid water vs a calm pond. And, they often toss in fishing tips along with their sales pitch. Infinitely preferable to dealing with a relatively inexperienced person who has a pre-scripted list of Q&As and can’t go outside of that.

    Bing is making a comeback, and it is because of Google’s own activities, beginning with the “Privacy Policy.” Perhaps they should read Aesop Fables: in particular, the dog with the bone staring into the pond.

  • http://www.hot.com.au Dane

    While I’m not looking forward to paying for Google Shopping listings, I must admit they’ve been the most thorough in their checking of the price feeds retailers give them. It annoys me when other paid shopping engines charge while letting their listings show outdated pricing, the same companies listing under multiple stores and incorrect availability! I’d rather support Google than a lot of the other guys in this game. e.g. http://www.ausmedia.com.au/content/shopbot-com-au-scam-warning

  • john

    google passed a long way from love of surfers and webmasters to what we know now. Most of peoples/webmasters start hating this company. But thoughts are material, will see what happen next.

    even last ‘g indian hangout’ was so funny, when m cutts show themself as professional politic – him answer questions but without any sense. Like ‘why so much ads at google search above the fold?’, answer was – ‘only some pages have ads above fold’ and looks him really think what answered question. So we can have ads above fold if not in all pages??? Of course that him not tell us. Only about how smart they are.

    google indian webspam team – oh my good, the cat got the mouse!

    I submitted request about one of my sites – get stupid and insulting answer – not via gwt, but in my website comments. That guys know how protect them self.

    May be soon this webspam team will sell viral status or some backlinks on all seo forums.

    Anyway something must happen soon, because google broke the inet eco-system.

    Them also find perfect outsourcers place. But G already looks like indian company based on facts how them commercialize and penalize everything without sense and faces in ‘how we cool’ G videos.

    May be google need just to start sell links in organic results also, so nobody will care about them anymore.

  • http://www.OnlineSportsCollectibles.com Larry Bricker

    It is time for all to stop using google and start using other search engines and shopping. I am boycotting Google and will never use any of their products even if my business goes completely under and I hope all of you do the same. It is time Google understands we are what makes the internet go round, not Google and it is time to put Google out of business. Get some balls people and stop letting Google walk all over the small business.

    • john

      good idea. Make sites for bing/yahoo and for other traffic sources. Stop care about anchor in title, backlinks, velocity, etc.
      Put in robots.txt
      User-Agent: googlebot
      Disallow: /

      When few thousandths of sites will do it – we can send press releases – google is not global search engine anymore. At the world lot of sites who not allow google to crawl their sites.

      See cutts & company faces when it happens. It will really zebra penalty for google.

  • http://www.website-consultancy.com/ Website Consultancy

    Unfortunately Google are attempting to wrap up the web before their next competitor comes along – it’s a very closed shop.

  • http://www.isearchsmart.com David Hoffman

    I don’t disagree with the comments about being put off by the new fee structure from those who have provided the content and data that has made Google Shopping a successful product.

    But we sometimes lose sight that Google, and other web brands, are ultimately for-profit companies and “Do No Evil” not withstanding, will always need to act in what they determine is their best interest.

    I think we would all feel more comfortable with Google when they make product changes like this if they would provide something of REAL and lasting value in conjunction with the new direction – not a 10% discount or $100 coupon but instead better customer support; improved product distribution, design or operation; exclusive opportunities for long-time advertisers; etc.

    • http://cass-hacks.com Craig

      What they offer, 10% or $100 is pocket change compared to what can be accomplished using the new service.

      That wouldn’t even cover a fraction of the cost of implementing the changes one needs to make to move their efforts to other products Google makes available. It’s a token compensation.

      That doesn’t mean it’s Google’s bad for offering so little. I’m just saying that it seens more of a public relations effort to try to placate people who would concentrate more on their are losing something instead of looking to see how they could gain more than they had to begin with.

      Change is painful, I know, but there is a huge and I mean HUGE light at the end of the tunnel for those willing to put in the effort to either hire whoever they need to do what needs to be done or gain the experience and knowledge themselves.

  • IMBack?

    Look, this is what it is, Google’s products are offered free but never is it guaranteed they will stay free. If they choose to monetize it they will. Marketers who don’t want to pay for *anything* go nowhere. Be glad you mastered Google Shopping while it was free. You probably know it inside out while others are just discovering it. Use some of the profits you made while it was free to launch your paid campaign. Simple, really.

    • Robin Green

      we also not guarantee google any right to index our websites.

  • http://www.infiniteelectronix.com Jerry Edwards

    Yahh OK “I’m Back”.. Google wants 2500 a month from me for traffic..I barely make much more than that and I am an authorized dealer for 30 brands.. How many people you know can afford $2500 a month for 1 shopping system???

    This will boot out ALL small businesses and make way for the scummy Amazoner’s of the world that have large checkbooks and no nothing about the products they sell.. AWESOME idea.. Google shopping has allowed some of the lowest, sleeziest marketing ploys into their system.. Multiple feeds from the same company, fake companys, fake websites, blogs, tons and tons are fake posts that redirect to Amazon.com, fake prices, “business names” like Leroy Brown with fake prices that redirect to UK sites and blogs that are all fake steal your information sites.. I have pointed this out to google and it just goes on and on and on.. At $2500 a month you would think that you will be listed amongst the best and most legitimate sellers online.. NOPE.. You will be listed with anyone that can afford it.. RIPOFF “companies” or not.. I have sold online for 18 YEARS so I am very familiar with all of this.. Now it is all about money, not what is right, not what is legitimate, nothing. Just give me the money! GREED, GREED GREED Period.. America the land of the greedy bastards, the land of file bankruptcy when you run your business into the ground cause you have no clue how to run a business you just got a checkbook.. America, land of the lie about my military service based on freedom of speech, America land of the use chinese child slave labor to make our products cause we won’t pay anyone minimum wage to do the same.. What a joke!!

    • http://cass-hacks.com Craig

      A $2,500 a month spend on Adwords should net you between $350K to $635K a month in sales.

      If not, either you are doing something wrong or your business isn’t viable without free advertizing.

      People make the mistake of thinking that Adwords is just something you set and forget and that works by itself.

      Think that and then talk to anyone with real world successful experience in marketing in other venues and they’d likely shake their head, pat you on the head and ask you to kindly leave the thinking to people who know what they are doing.

      Yes, it took work to compensate for the change in using a different technology to achieve the same thing but for the company I work with, this turned out to not at all be about a door closing and instead, just a different path to a door leading to a much greater reward.

      So, whine if you want to or, deal with it and excel beyond where you were.

      It’s easy to prove me ‘wrong’ though, just keep that attitude and fail.

      Try proving me right instead.

      I’m wrong, you lose, I’m right, you win.

      The choice is yours.

      • Roger M

        “If not, either you are doing something wrong or your business isn’t viable without free advertizing.”

        Internet is not about advertising – it is a network where people like you and me pay monthly ISP subscription fee which makes the network infrastructure possible and companies pay for developing and hosting their websites to promote their products and services. Everybody pays their dues this is what makes internet truly free. This freedom is about generating free traffic (remember everybody is paying their dues, money from advertiser is not required to sustain the “network” unlike Main Stream Media like print and TV which are fully dependent on advertisers to sustain)

        Business website owners allow google to index their content for free in expectation of getting free traffic, this is what google promises.

        When google manipulates SERP to “favor” advertisers value of google to website owners decreases also googles “right” to index worlds information for free also decreases. Remember google is depended on free content where as website owners are not dependent on google, if tomorrow google stops existing, within 2 months local directories and search engines will come up to fill the gap.

        In this situation google has to play very very nice in a give and take situation or go bust, main stream media tactics won’t work. Wall street investors has to understand this.

        Internet is not about advertising, it is about free traffic….. becuase we all pay for this freedom.

        • Robin Green

          you correct, this craig live in his own world.
          google will stop ability to index our sites if we not will see traffic from them. robots.txt/disallow!

  • Unhappy Web User

    As someone who frequently uses Google Shopping to search the web for unique and interesting items, I find this EXTREMELY disappointing. This is the equivalent of Google replacing their search results with nothing but AdWords with hopes of “improving the user experience.” I understand that Google needs to find new ways to make money, but please do users a favor and keep the original Google Shopping experience, even if it has to be on a separate domain like froogle.com.

    • Roger M

      “understand that Google needs to find new ways to make money”

      They are making good profits already, isn’t it? or is the whole economic system a big scam?

  • http://cass-hacks.com Craig

    With change, there are new opportunities.

    I’m not going to give away too much to my potential competitors but maybe this will shut up the whiners.

    That is if they have the technical understanding necessary to make use of it.

    Two terms:
    ‘All products’
    ‘Max bid’

    If you can’t recoup anything you may have lost, or even get more than you had to begin with using those two terms intelligently, quit while you are behind.

    Yes, it requires using Adwords but it may be time to start wearing the long pants and realize that you don’t get something for nothing forever so basing one’s business model on a free service remaining free into perpetuity is no business model at all.

    • Roger M

      “basing one’s business model on a free service remaining free into perpetuity is no business model at all.”

      basing one’s business model on a free “content” to index remaining free into perpetuity is no business model at all. Shhh……. that is google 😉

  • http://www.bestfatburners.com Fatty

    You can’t rely on free search engine trafic anymore, and this is the way Google wants it. If I ran Google I would also look at ways to monitize the search traffic. It doesn’t sit well with webite owners but its only going to get worse.

    • Robin Green

      them do as web spammers, creating MFA banner/ads rich website. Dream of all webmasters in the world. But when good site changing in this way – it mean only way down. their time as leader tic-tac, tic-tac, tictac.

  • http://Wredlich.com Warren Redlich

    Bunch of whiners. This attitude is why governments are so messed up. Once you give something to people for free they scream bloody murder if you take it away.

  • http://www.thecollectorshub.com The Collectors Hub

    Google’s new paid approach will definitely hurt or even destroy small ecommerce businesses. There is no way to compete with the mega corporations once money comes into search.

  • http://www.zazzle.com/artnip kss9

    I think Google is contradictive. It claims to thwart beefed up page hits by traffic exchanges (paid traffic) and yet now they want to be paid to list businesses. If they’re going to do that then they need to rethink their visitor definitions/calculations.

    <a href=http://www.zazzle.com/artnip/ Artnip Dementia Signage For The Home

  • http://www.tempowebdesign.co.uk website design

    I have seen a few places calling Google Drug dealers following this change. It does seem strange as its been a free product for so long, maybe it will increase the quality as lots of rubbish was in the shopping section of Google.

  • http://www.mobiquest.co.uk Mobile Websites

    To the general shopper it seems as though they are getting what they want. They are not aware of Google drive to capture all the traffic for themselves and there business driven shopping sites.

  • Little Concerened

    I have 3 main issues with this, in doing this they are becoming the biggest affiliate advertiser there is. (sorry for rambling so long after spending thousands of hours trying to make it online I find this a frustrating subject).
    (1.) They don’t follow the same rules that they insist every one else follow that if you are an affiliate advertiser you need to create a site with original content, and they frown on other people that using alternative paid advertising or paid listing with a link back.
    (2.) Is any one going to be going to the (organic) original stores that Used TO come up in search results if the searcher does not even need to finish typing the search term and the whole top of the webpage gets covered with paid search results and G’s paid affiliate advertising for that search term (it fills the whole screen).
    My site was seeing 35 visitors a day and suddenly dropped to 1 but not sure if this is connected in any way.
    (3.) The third and main problem is that their recent algorithm updates are eliminating online businesses owners and webmasters ability to advertise their businesses online in other means besides this form of paid advertising. Specifically their claim that it is such a big sin to pay for a listing in a web directory (or even get a free listing in a directory). That they went as far as to remove or de index most directories for most search terms they used to come up for. Beyond that sending letters to website owners via webmaster tools telling them that their websites are being degraded do to questionable inbound directory links and that the people must remove them. No matter what their excuse is I see this as an anti competitive marketing strategy to eliminate other sources of online advertising and opens the door for black-hat sabotage of competing businesses by devious parties. Who cares if you paid $1-20 bucks to list your business somewhere online in a directory and there is a link back to your site, everything on the internet is connected with links it is probably why its called the web. Also even free directories are not seeing any more traffic from search. And free as well as paid directory owners have/are receiving letters from people asking to be removed due to G requesting they do so in their webmaster tools accounts. The truth of the matter is that web directories have been around prior to G, they have always operated by listing businesses in organized structure similar to a phone-book or any thing else. And G is the largest of all directories due to it’s automated bot that adds sites automatically and listing sites with their secretive algorithms. So any problem with using directories or especially if you are listed in a directory and have received threatening warnings from G, is directly the fault of a very Poorly or intentionally anti competitive programed algorithms with fuzzy cute little animal names, that are not as cute or innocent as they are made out to be. Of course this is just an opinion which every one is free to make their own.

  • http://www.dieselpowerproducts.com Diesel Josh

    Yes, i do agree with the drug dealer analogy. Google Shopping has been a complete pain in the butt to design our site for. I have spent hundreds of man hours re designing our site to function better with Google shopping. They have no support as of now, so it is extremely challenging to fix problems in low search clicks without knowing what is wrong. Anyways, until now, i have been relatively pleased with our performance. We average about 150 clicks per day. But now having to pay for these clicks is going to definitely hurt our bottom line. What people have also forgot to mention is that Google is going to start removing product pages from organic search results. They want to completely transition to a paid model. This completely forces us to pay or leave the game. Another huge problem with google shopping is competition. If we do a great product page and rank well organically on shopping we often will be not even show up because big stores like amazon take over. Amazon always is in the number one spot on any search. We have added Google wallet and received reviews so we do better, but the big guys always take over. There should be some sort of randomness with the Google shopping feed, not a who ever pays the most wins model. A lot of people are speculating and we have no clue what will actually happen come September. I think we will be fine, but i am sure a lot of businesses are going to be hurt by this change.

  • http://www.chirukaanuka.com Chirukaanuka

    Google’s new paid approach will definitely hurt or even destroy small ecommerce businesses. There is no way to compete with the mega corporations once money comes into search.

  • wilner

    This is another reason why the dependency of people on using only Google to find things and to shop only hurts those people in the end when they are business people. People are too dependent on Google for things. There are other alternatives out there, but most people and business owners are reluctant to use them. To their peril, I’ll say.

  • http://www.ezqconsulting.com/ Sumit

    I agree with you on Google shopping. Its for Google Benefit the customer are pay more for the product.