Google is now offering “Free” Google Shopping Ads

The President of Commerce at Google recently published a blog dated April 21,2020 in which he said:

“…We’re advancing our plans to make it free for merchants to sell on Google. Beginning next week, search results on the Google Shopping tab will consist primarily of free listings, helping merchants better connect with consumers, regardless of whether they advertise on Google.”

– Bill Ready, President of Commerce, Google

The impact of free listings in Google Shopping is unclear at this point. Google stated that for retailers, it means free product listing exposure to Google search users. For online shoppers, the impact is that more products are available to them through Google Shopping.

Google Shopping Advertisers

For Google Shopping advertisers, this means your existing paid shopping campaigns will now be augmented with free advertising listings. Google does not specify the ratio of paid shopping ads to free shopping ads. Nor does it state which metrics it will be using to know when to serve free shopping ads vs a paid shopping ads.

To qualify, Google stated that if the advertiser is an existing user of Google Merchant Center and Shopping ads, they don’t have to do anything to take advantage of the free shopping listings. That’s good news for merchants with existing accounts. For merchants who do not have a Google Merchant Center & Google Shopping accounts, contact us and we can help you get onto Google’s shopping platform. For the U.S. these changes will take effect before the end of April.

What existing Google Shopping advertiser’s can expect:

  • More competition in Google Shopping
  • Lower impressions & clicks
  • Lower click through rate
  • The cost per click should decrease

Google is trying to help struggling retailers promote their products online. There is another underlying goal and that is to attract advertisers back on their platform to spend ad dollars. Google has taken a huge advertising hit since the pandemic started and retailers shut their locations down. Google similarly rolled out a promotion last month giving Google Ads advertisers free advertising credits.

Need help managing or setting up your Google Shopping ads? Contact us for a consultation.