• Khalid

    Though I do agree with the thrust of the piece, Danny, I think it’s a little early to draw major conclusions. If in 6 months it’s still an abysmal experience, that would be completely fair to say. Today, I feel like a footnote should be added.

  • seoword

    The release of the new shopping system right before the holiday shopping season is very frustrating. I don’t understand the logic of that.

  • http://twitter.com/TheNextCorner Dennis Goedegebuure

    Sorry Khalid, but Google has been working towards this product for over 2 years. The flaws pointed out by Danny here are very valid, as we are approaching the shopping season.

    Not having Amazon in the shopping results is actually a major miss on user experience. if the argument from Google is around Paid listings will be better for the user experience, this is a miss IMHO.

  • http://twitter.com/crompton Chris Crompton

    It was released in July.

  • ScottyMack

    I don’t get it. If you’re trying to influence shoppers, it’s highly doubtful they are reading this. If you are complaining about the pay for pay model, then complain about that.

    If you don’t like a television show, you change the channel. You don’t complain to everyone about the show (or do you?).

  • seoword

    Good point.
    From July until October it was a mix of the old and new system. The formal cut over to the new system happened in October. There was a noticeable change in shopping traffic in the middle of October from sites that had setup the new system well in advance.

  • http://searchengineland.com/ Danny Sullivan

    Scotty, we’re a site about search engines. We write about how well search engines work, because we have an audience that is interested in them. This is an article about flaws in Google Shopping, flaws that aren’t being corrected by a new model of gathering listings in the way that Google suggested things would improve.

  • jayesh khandor

    One of the things Google promised by moving Google Shopping to the pay-to-play model for merchants was how much the experience was …

  • chx

    Amazon itself lists everything so many times it’s impossible to compare things there.

  • http://www.facebook.com/anil.badlani Anil Badlani

    When product search was free merchant would do everything to
    be searchable and stay competitive thereby end user would get best deal.
    Presently same merchant has to pay to stay visible which means he has to add
    that much in cost resulting to list his product at higher price. I think Sooner
    or later buyers will lose confidence in Google shopping.

  • http://www.facebook.com/the.nathaniel.bailey Nathaniel Bailey

    Not at all, google should have had all this planed out and fixed before making the change over to paid inclusion, so I think Danny is completely right to jump on the poor quality that google is showing in its shopping results, because they shouldn’t have said they will be better if they aren’t ready to be better!

    I hope this shoots google in the foot and people leave the google shopping engine for a competitor like bing because I for one will not be using it again as the amount of listings is too small now and I know for a fact that the places where I would normally buy products for cheaper are no longer in the shopping results!

    All this means from a shoppers perspective is that google are stopping them from getting the best deals a lot of the time and so from a shoppers point of view I am much better of not using the paid shopping results to find a good and cheaper deal any longer :(

  • http://www.facebook.com/the.nathaniel.bailey Nathaniel Bailey

    “(or do you?)” hell yeah! Why not complain, its our god given right to complain and give our opinion when something is well and truly f’ed up! Especially if its been f’ed up just because the company have become greedy money grabbers and are telling us its for our benefit, when all its clearly benefiting is their wallets!

  • robthespy

    Shopping is an absolute disjointed mess! Especially w/ the un-verified rating display system.

  • David

    Unfortunately this is nothing new. In my experience Google Shopping has always been this bad, which was fine when it was free, but to now charge for it without any sort of improvement in the listings / shopping search results really grates.

  • http://twitter.com/ChraveTech Chris Avery

    I’m only using my own experience of listing items in these shopping sites (including Amazon), but what happens with other sites is that some marketers realised that if you don’t want to be part of the “normal” pack of results for a product (as perhaps you are not the cheapest), you can make up an EAN code (which is usually the unique identifier for the product and is the number found on the bar code) and when you upload your products the system will often automatically create a new product. Of course the problem comes when that EAN code is then uploaded by someone else (we we selling a print cartridge where someone had used the EAN as a really expensive dishwasher). This leads to a terrible experience for the customer as they will see dishwashers for the price of the cartridge! The only way round this is much more rigid policing of uploads and for google themselves to have a catalogue of EAN codes complete with products so that if you alter the code, you’re advertising under a different product.

  • Sean Godier

    If I’m Amazon, I don’t pay-to-play either. After all, Google is ranking Amazon tops in organic on most searches, even if the Amazon page isn’t optimized as well as competitor pages (and doesn’t provide as good of a user experience).

  • http://www.facebook.com/katherine.luvr Katherine Luvr

    “Over the years, Google’s not been particularly friendly to affiliates,
    in particular not wanting to reward them in its unpaid listings”

    In the fashion & womens apparel space, affiliates dominate and continually outrank the main retailers.

  • http://twitter.com/TheNextCorner Dennis Goedegebuure

    Shopping season = Increased Shopping queries = Increased commerce marketing budgets = Increased Revenue for G. I’m bullish for Q4 for Google just because the shopping revenue is new in the mix, and will show a nice Y-Y increase in revenue…

  • http://twitter.com/zolgatron Nikhil

    Good article overall – I agree with the problems you are facing, but having worked on similar stuff myself – I’d like to point out that “grouping” things together is an extremely difficult problem with missing/wrong data.

  • brian_metzger

    If I am going to do pay per click, then I need to market differently then sending “cold traffic” to a sales page. Conversion rate relative to cost per click is a losing game, but don’t tell that to my competition.

  • http://ftc.gov/ MonopolizedSearch

    Here’s the kicker…. Products in Google shopping, with little competition, are being sold at nearly twice the going rate as what is found on Amazon. The consumer is getting hosed when using Google shopping. Definitely stay away from Google shopping this holiday season unless you like paying twice as much as you have to for gifts.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lenae.londagin Lenae Yawn

    I hadn’t even thought to check the Shopping results for a major product like these. I thought maybe the problems I’ve been having with our products were just due to a lack of competition! That makes me feel a little better about the horrible quality of our results.

  • ScottyMack

    I get that Danny and read every single thing this website and scores of others in the SEO niche publish. I guess I don’t consider paid advertising real “search” and the tone is more about how people think they are owed something because what once was free isn’t now.

    Frankly, I’m glad it isn’t free anymore. Way less competition in Google Shopping to get to the top of the results as far as I’m concerned and I’m paying half of what an AdWords ad costs and getting twice the CTR.

  • Thomas Redmond

    Just did a Google shopping search for jeans. Why is it so hard for Google to understand that I am not interested in buying used clothes on eBay? http://screencast.com/t/nhdlLdIzg4I

  • David Rothwell

    It’s still early days yet.

    A lot of these problems originate with the merchants, and now they are having to pay for what was once free, some of them will wise up and get it sorted out.

    There will still be those who like in AdWords will continue to pay for poor results.

  • Hashim Warren

    What a mess!

  • JS

    Im finding it to be a discouraging money pit already. Lots of tire kickers wasting my money looking, not committing. If I have the best price and the landing page is simple and to the point (free ship), what’s to think about? I love window shopper traffic, but I’m not making money on Google shopping yet, Amazon makes money daily — and at a sturdy 12% fee (and much higher price). My Amazon sales fell -50% when Google Shopping turned off Amazon’s listing feeds. How about a pay for inclusion for tha if the buyer commits in Amazon? That would be worth it for me.

  • JS

    My Amazon sales plummeted on this change — hey, I would pay Google an inclusion fee to turn this back on, my sales are down -50% so this is a no brainer. Consumers are now finding Google Shopping nearly useless.

  • http://matter2energy.wordpress.com/ Maury Markowitz

    One of the things I’ve always found a little odd when looking over the Google ecosystem is how their non-core assets have such terrible search. You highlight one such example here, how the very item you searched on doesn’t come up at the top. Compare this with the exact same search in the main Google.

    Another example, even more egregious, can be found in the model library for (nee) Google SketchUp. It seems to apply no logic at all… try practically any two word term like “cordless drill” or “solar panel” and go in one page deep.

    It’s very confusing.

  • Max Wigs

    There is no ebay anymore! your search is outdated. I think ebay told Google to go fly a kite

  • Max Wigs

    Danny, any update on this article? It appears eBay has been black-listed too; or has opted out of Google Shopping. My sales have completely taken a dump due to this