Google to charge retailers for product listings

Paid-for product listings

Google is switching its product listings from a free to a paid-for service, charging retailers in a bid to squeeze more cash out of its search business. Up until now, retailers could submit items to Google Product Search, which then ranked them by relevance or price. Now, merchants will have to pay a fee to have their items listed, which Google claims will improve the customer experience. Retailers will also see their products promoted in Google’s general search results, and with larger images.

The changes come as Google also rebrands Google Product Search as Google Shopping and improves its layout. The firm’s experiments in online retail are so far lacklustre, with e-commerce giants Amazon and eBay proving unassailable in the space. The changes are expected to take place by autumn this year.

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