Google today announced that is introducing free listings on the search results on the Google Shopping tab. Free listings will appear in the U.S. before the end of April, and Bill Ready, President Commerce at Google, wrote that the aim is to expand the free listings globally before the end of the year.
According to Google, the free listings will help merchants to better connect with consumers, regardless of whether they advertise. Google says it has hundreds of millions of shopping searches each day.
For the existing users of Merchant Center and Shopping ads, Google says there is an opt in on Merchant Center. Advertisers need to select “Growth” and then “Manage programs” in the left navigation menu. Then activate the “surfaces across Google” program card.
Retailers that only want to participate on the free listings, need to apply on Merchant Center and also opt in into “surfaces across Google” program.
Paid listings and free listings will appear side by side on search results on the Google Shopping tab, so Shopping Ads will continue to exist as of today. The difference is that ads will have competition from free listings.
Last year, Google introduced Shopping Ads on YouTube.