Google said on Tuesday that it is opening its shopping platform to make it free for sellers to list their products on the company’s search engine. Previously, the search results for the shopping section of the site came from advertisers who offered specific search terms, such as fitness equipment or rice cookers.
Sellers will now be able to list products on the search engine’s shopping tab, even if they’re not advertisers. The results page will mainly consist of free product listings, although advertisements for paid products will still appear at the top and bottom of the page, a Google spokesman said.
The change, which takes effect in the week of the nest, occurs when physical retail is impacted while people crouch in their homes to combat coronavirus pandemic. When stores and other businesses closed their doors, online shopping surfaced to help people buy essential supplies.
Google is also partnering with PayPal to allow merchants to link their accounts to Google to speed up the integration process, said Bill Ready, Google’s president of commerce and former COO of PayPal, in a blog post.
The new tools represent a major boost to Google for purchases. Last year, the companyversion of Google Shopping, the search giant’s retail center. The updated offer allows people to search for items and offers options to buy items on a retailer’s website, at a nearby physical store, or on Google’s own website.
New changes in purchases increase Google’s rivalry with Amazon. The two tech giants were already at war on several fronts, including smart home technology. Google’s Smart Home speaker and Assistant voice software are racing to catch up with Echo and Alexa from Amazon.
Google has attracted criticism in the past for its shopping efforts. It didn’t help that Google received a $ 1.7 billion fine from the EU for what the commission called “abusive” ad practices, especially when it came to Google’s shopping product.