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Is Google Shopping Really Free Now?

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Is Google Shopping Really Free Now?

 You’ve likely heard the news that Google Shopping is free now, in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Is that true? And if so, what does it mean for brands?

Is Google Shopping really free?

Yes, eligible brands are able to list for free on Google Shopping now. (US clients with an active Merchant Center feed are eligible. If you’re already running Google Shopping campaigns, you are automatically opted in.)

What does that mean?

Eligible brands can create listings for free on Google Shopping, but this is much different than a Google Shopping Ad. A Google Shopping listing refers to an organic search result on the Google Shopping Tab (see image below). Your product listing will not appear on the homepage (All) SERP.

Google Shopping tab

Your free listing would instead appear as an organic search result on the Shopping tab, which appears below the carousel of sponsored products that appear first (see image below).

Google Shopping ad

Instead, your listing would appear as an organic search result (see image below). The key here is that there is no guarantee of placement — it functions much like any other organic ranking.

Google Shopping free listing placement

TL;DR: Yes, the Google Shopping listing is free, but it will only show up as an organic search result on the Google Shopping page.

Should I apply for a free listing?

The simple answer is “Sure, why not!” If you end up being eligible, it will cost you nothing and will likely drive some sales for your brand. Remember, If you’re already running Google Shopping campaigns, you are automatically opted in.

A few things to keep in mind:

  • Make sure you can meet demand. If your stock is running low, we recommend not listing those items. Keep in mind that your supply chain may be impacted in the next few months. If that’s the case, will you still be able to fulfill orders?
  • Don’t use your Google Shopping listing as a substitute for Google Search. Taking up real estate on a Google SERP is much more impactful than a Google shopping listing. Your shopping listing should only serve as a supplement to your paid search on Google, not as a replacement.
  • Don’t depend on getting free access. Google has been vague on what brands are eligible and how to apply. Our team has scoured posts from Google and articles from industry leaders and have still be unable to find any clear description on how to apply, or what qualifications a brand needs to meet to gain access.

We hope this clarifies some of the confusion surrounding this latest announcement from Google. There are still a lot of unknowns surrounding it, so we’ll update as soon as we get more information.

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