Google has changed their shopping channel from a free version, to a commercial “pay to play” model. This has caused some questions and confusion.
Google’s original model allowed a business to upload their existing product feed from their website, to be able to rank their products directly within search results. There were a few flaws with their model being free. Many “businesses” did not actually sell the products they represented. Sometimes products were not sold at all or prices were so unrealistic that credible businesses could not compete.
With the new commercial model, Google will not only turn this into a revenue generator for them, but it will allow businesses to compete more naturally. This will not fix the issue over night, as there are still some flaws, but it will deter businesses who do not sell the product they claim to represent.
Search for “Ipad Mini” within Google Shopping and here is what came back as part of the search results:
About half way down the results, you see these two products. While the top result is the Ipad, the second one is not. Because this store has used certain specifications within their product feed, Google is not able to recognize that this is not the same product within the results. However, in the new commercial model in Google Shopping, this business now has to pay to have this product listed here and therefore makes it more difficult to promote other products. This advertiser is more likely trying to show that you can get a similar product to the Ipad Mini for a cheaper price. It should also be noted, that this is the only result that shows up that is not the Ipad Mini and has no branding or images that would reflect an Apple product.