Yes, we're talking about Google again today. There are only so many subjects related to the world of search someone can write about on a daily basis. Since Google released 'Google Shopping' in May, the service has been met with a lot of controversy. Just last week, I wrote about Google doing away with the inclusion of weapons in Google Shopping.
Chris Crum, of WebProNews, has now brought another topic to the forefront -
Google's paid model. You talk to a group of 10 online merchants, and just about everyone will have a differing opinion towards the idea of paid listings in Google shopping.
In the article above, one of the merchants went so far as to say Google is like a drug dealer. Getting people hooked on their service for free, then making them pay after they feel as though they have to rely on the service. I like Crum's reaction to this statement, in that making the comparison is pretty extreme. No one is forcing merchants to use Google Shopping, and feeling as though "you have to" use the service means you're not practicing enough diversity in your distrubition & marketing strategies.
Despite some of the negative reactions to Google Shopping, there are those who support the decisions made by the search engine giant.
Amit Kumar, CEO Of marketing app provider Lexity, said this of the paid listings, "While the free Google Product Search program was great for some SMB retailers, in general the results were hit or miss – there was very little predictability on whether products would show up in search results, how often, and detailed statistics were not available."
"On the other hand, our customers that participated in paid advertising through the Product Listing Ads program have much more visibility into how their products are faring, and have much more control (for instance, the ability to control which products get promoted more aggressively, which products should not be shown in Google’s search results, etc)"
For those who have taken part in Google Shopping, what are you opinions towards their paid model and how have the returns been on your investment?
| John V. |