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Google Removes Commission Fees for ‘Buy on Google’ Product Listings



With Facebook looking to make a bigger eCommerce push via its new Facebook and Instagram shops, Google’s looking to ensure that it maintains its stake in the online shopping space.

After recently making its Google Shopping product listings available for free, in order to assist businesses seeking options to maintain their sales during the pandemic, the search giant is now also removing its commission fees on Buy on Google listings, available via search results and in dedicated shopping displays.

Buy on Google

As per Google:

“While retailers have several options for driving traffic to their website with free listings or with Shopping ads, many also use Buy on Google to give shoppers a convenient way to purchase something right when they discover it. By removing our commission fees, we’re lowering the cost of doing business and making it even easier for retailers of all sizes to sell directly on Google.”

To be clear, this offer only relates to businesses that are participating in the ‘Buy on Google’ checkout experience. That’s currently only available to selected businesses, and Google is planning to invite more US businesses to the program in the coming months.

  • If you’re brand new to selling on Google through Shopping Actions, you’ll be invited to onboard directly to this new 0% commission version of the program.
  • If your store is already live on the platform, you’ll be invited to migrate your account to the new version with 0% commission over the next few weeks. When it’s time to migrate, you’ll find a Terms of Service overview page in Merchant Center, where you can accept the new Terms to take advantage of the new 0% commission rate. In the meantime, starting July 30, your commission rate will be automatically capped at 5% or less. 

So it’s not available to all retailers, but it is another way for Google to boost its Shop on Google listings, which, as noted, should help it ensure it keeps building on its product display options, and keeps at least some users from switching to other platforms for product discovery.

Google has actually been refining its product discovery and buying options over the last few years. With Pinterest stepping into product discovery – and onto Google’s turf – it’s added a range of new tools and options to keep users searching on its platform instead. But Facebook’s shops look set to have a bigger impact, and with more people now looking to shop online due to the pandemic, the time is right for Google to take a more defined stance, in order to maintain its position as the search leader, in all respects.

In addition to this, Google will now also open its platform to more digital commerce providers, “beginning with Shopify for inventory and order management and PayPal and Shopify for payment processing”. That will provide more ways for retailers to list their products via Google search surfaces.

And to further assist SMBs impacted by COVID-19, Google’s also looking to add a new small business filter on the Google Shopping tab.

With most people beginning their discovery process on Google, it makes sense for the search giant to look to maintain its hold on eCommerce-related queries, while additionally assisting businesses where it can. But again, Facebook Shops looks set to be a significant player in the market.


It’ll be interesting to see if Google is impacted by such.

Google’s commission-free Buy on Google listings will be expanded to all eligible sellers in the U.S. over the coming months. You can learn more about the requirements here, and sign up to join the waitlist at this link.



Iran ‘throttling’ internet to limit protest footage: activists



The restrictions still fall short of the total shutdown seen in November 2019 but have caused a reduction in the video footage shared

The restrictions still fall short of the total shutdown seen in November 2019 but have caused a reduction in the video footage shared – Copyright Ritzau Scanpix/AFP/File John Randeris HANSEN


Iran is imposing increasingly severe restrictions on access to the internet, albeit still short of a total shutdown, in an apparent bid to limit the sharing of footage of protests which have erupted nationwide, activists charge.

Campaigners and Persian-language television channels outside Iran have noted a reduction in the posting of footage of the protests filmed on mobile phones, almost two weeks into the movement that erupted following the death of Mahsa Amini.

The authorities have already restricted access to Instagram and WhatsApp — until now the last remaining unfiltered social media services — and have now clamped down on apps like the Google Play Store as well as Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) that seek to circumvent local access restrictions.

“It’s still not an internet shutdown, and it’s hard to even describe what they are doing to the network as ‘shutdowns’. Perhaps extreme throttling is the best simple term for it,” said the Iran researcher for freedom of expression group Article 19, Mahsa Alimardani.

“But the disruptions are heavy,” she told AFP, saying disconnections were hitting a peak from late afternoon to midnight when most protests take place.


The restrictions still fall short of the total shutdown seen in November 2019 when a crackdown on less than a week of protests, according to Amnesty International, left at least 321 people dead.

Videos of protests and alleged abuses by the authorities are still filtering out onto social media channels, but not in the same volume as when protests first erupted following the death of Amini who had been arrested by the morality police.

“The authorities seem to have learned how dangerous this is for their economy or overall public relations,” commented Alimardani.

– ‘Massive hurdle’ –

Norway-based Iran Human Rights (IHR), which says 76 people have been killed in the crackdown so far, said internet access has either been “severely disrupted or completely cut” over the last days.

“Internet disruptions continue to cause delays in reporting” deaths in the protests, it warned.

Paris-based Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said: “Twelve days after the beginning of the protests, the internet network is still down daily throughout the country.”

In response, social media giants have sought to offer assistance to Iranians, the United States has even agreed sanction relief on some software, and tycoon Elon Musk has offered his Starlink satellite internet network.


But how much such measures can help, especially in the short term, remains unclear.

“Internet outages are happening more frequently worldwide, including in parts of Iran this week,” Google said in a statement on Twitter, saying its teams were “working to make our tools broadly available” following the eased US sanctions.

“We hope these changes help, in some small way, people safely access information at this important time,” it added.

Iranians have long used VPNs to access sites blocked in Iran — even government officials including the foreign minister have Twitter accounts despite the network being blocked in the country.

But Alimardani described using and accessing VPNs right now as “hit and miss” for Iranians with the blocking of the Google Play Store, a major blow when most Iranians are using Android mobile phones with their Google operating systems.

“This is a massive hurdle to downloading safe and new VPNs that work,” she said.

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