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Google To Require Retailers To Pay To Be In Google Shopping Results

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the search-neutrality-in-action dept.

Businesses 102

gambit3 writes "In a move to squeeze more cash out of its lucrative Web-search engine, Google is converting its free product-search service into a paid one. Online retailers will now have to bid to display their products on Google's Shopping site. Currently, retailers include their products for free by providing Google with certain data about the products. Google then ranks those products, such as cameras, by popularity and price. 'We believe that having a commercial relationship with merchants will encourage them to keep their product information fresh and up to date. Higher quality data—whether it’s accurate prices, the latest offers or product availability—should mean better shopping results for users, which in turn should create higher quality traffic for merchants.'"

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Good while it lasted... (5, Insightful)

raydobbs (99133) | about 2 years ago | (#40185471)

Well, that was a slightly useful tool when it worked... not so much now. Now I will just get a listing of who paid to be there, and who are sure to keep their prices fixed to one another.

Yes indeed. (4, Insightful)

game kid (805301) | about 2 years ago | (#40185561)

"Paid" does not imply "higher quality"; in search listings, it's quite the contrary.

Re:Yes indeed. (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#40185893)

Not paying doesn't mean higher quality either.

Re:Yes indeed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40187585)

Not paying doesn't mean higher quality either.

No one was claiming it did. So what's the purpose of pointing that out?

See, Google *is* claiming that paid means higher quality. That's why there is value in pointing out that this is not true. Your post, not so much. Value-free, in fact.

Re:Yes indeed. (0)

Dishevel (1105119) | about 2 years ago | (#40187991)

See, Google *is* claiming that paid means higher quality.

I could see a case where paid would mean better quality.
Only of course if you make it a small payment. Just enough to make it have some worth to you so you will keep the data current.
Also if they do it like their ads where you pay less for having better content that will have a real effect as well.
So while paid does not mean higher quality if paid is done correctly it can mean higher quality.

Re:Yes indeed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40188345)

See, Google *is* claiming that paid means higher quality.

I could see a case where paid would mean better quality. Only of course if you make it a small payment. Just enough to make it have some worth to you so you will keep the data current. Also if they do it like their ads where you pay less for having better content that will have a real effect as well. So while paid does not mean higher quality if paid is done correctly it can mean higher quality.

Yeah what you say boils down to "maybe it does maybe it does not -- depends on the situation and must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis". In other words, we have no fucking clue and cannot make a blanket statement either way. So we are back where we started. So you point out the bleedin' fuckin' obvious. So your post also is content-free and worthless. Nice try, thank you for playing.

Re:Yes indeed. (-1, Troll)

Dishevel (1105119) | about 2 years ago | (#40188411)

The most worthless content free posts are usually from cry baby bitches that have all their angst saved up so they can sound tough on the internet,
Maybe if your mother loved you just a little bit more you would not have ended up jacking off to /. posts till the pain becomes too much and you inevitably kill yourself.
Have a nice day.

Re:Yes indeed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40190429)

The most worthless content free posts are usually from cry baby bitches that have all their angst saved up so they can sound tough on the internet, Maybe if your mother loved you just a little bit more you would not have ended up jacking off to /. posts till the pain becomes too much and you inevitably kill yourself. Have a nice day.

Wow so somebody criticizes your post and suddenly you poorly analyze their childhood and conclude they must commit suicide?

You know you're psychotic, right? Do you get outraged when the electric utility sends you a bill too, you sick fuck?

Re:Yes indeed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40187591)

Not not paying doesn't mean not higher quality either. Beat that!

and you won't get the cheapest. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40185909)

And if you're shopping for the best price, the retailers with the lowest margins are not necessarily going to be paying to be on Google shopping because that'll eat into they're margins.

I actually see Amazon not paying google.

Re:and you won't get the cheapest. (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | about 2 years ago | (#40186539)

It's really a shame... I will often use google to search for products, though typically favor Amazon, Newegg and a handful of other sellers for products.

Re:and you won't get the cheapest. (2)

RobertLTux (260313) | about 2 years ago | (#40186929)

what i would like to see is a way to disable E-Bay and other auction sites when im looking for something.

Re:and you won't get the cheapest. (3, Informative)

Widowwolf (779548) | about 2 years ago | (#40187649)

When searching for a product such as lets say crucial memory, just type Crucial Memory -ebay...

Re:and you won't get the cheapest. (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 2 years ago | (#40192701)

If you register with Google they have a blocked search site list for up to 500 blocks, to filter out content from particular sites you might be sick of seeing.

This pay for listing, is really bid to bullshit, the highest bidder get the best bullshit to feed to the end user. A higher listing on price performance than reality reality would provide. Basically Google is doing nothing but selling end user trust and gullibility, precisely how Alta Vista screwed itself as a search engine.

Re:and you won't get the cheapest. (2)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 2 years ago | (#40186591)

And if you're shopping for the best price, the retailers with the lowest margins are not necessarily going to be paying to be on Google shopping because that'll eat into they're margins.

I actually see Amazon not paying google.

Nothing wrong with that. I'd probably buy from Amazon even if Amazon's prices are higher - given a choice between Amazon and some shady site, I'd go Amazon every time.

That's the problem with price comparison sites - either you go lowest price and hope the site is legit, or you go with a trusted, but more expensive site.

Anyone who's bought a camera from non-reputable dealers probably knows this - having some cheaper deal go south because the seller asks if you want to pay for a battery, cables, lenses ether because they are "optional" in their version (i.e., they say they sell the complete kit, but it's just the bare minimum body they'll repack).

Re:and you won't get the cheapest. (1)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#40186681)

no sh1t

half the shady retailers are NYC shady electronics stores that my parents told me to avoid since the 80's. they are always "going out of business", sell grey market stuff and you never know if its really new

Re:and you won't get the cheapest. (1)

asdf7890 (1518587) | more than 2 years ago | (#40190247)

Nothing wrong with that. I'd probably buy from Amazon even if Amazon's prices are higher - given a choice between Amazon and some shady site, I'd go Amazon every time.

This is a problem I have with Amazon's saerch engine: I can't ask it to show me only stuff coming from Amazon itself. If I want to search everyone, I'll use a general search (like Google's currently is, but going by this story soon won't be). If I'm searching on your site Amazon, I'm searching for stuff you can sell me. If I wanted to by from someone entirely more random I'd search with Google/whatever or, gods forbid, eBay. Maybe some people find the current search useful, but please make "searching for products other people sell" optional because I don't find it useful (and you probably lose sales from me because I spot deals elsewhere while searching elsewhere).

Re:Yes indeed. (1)

ewieling (90662) | about 2 years ago | (#40186175)

"Paid" does not imply "higher quality"; in search listings, it's quite the contrary.

Are you saying that as a retailer you will pay to have products listed which you no longer sell? From my reading of the summary, preventing that issue is the stated intention of the change.

Re:Yes indeed. (3, Insightful)

nabsltd (1313397) | more than 2 years ago | (#40189863)

Are you saying that as a retailer you will pay to have products listed which you no longer sell?

Scammer's might.

Right now, Google Shopping results hit a lot of places that either have much higher prices once you get to the site, don't have the item in stock (but will "order it" if you pay them first), or have other shady practices (not giving Google the correct shipping costs, price is only good for wholesale volume, etc.).

Depending on the cost, some of those places might pay Google to keep them in the listing. Other, more reputable stores might have to either increase prices or drop off the Google list. So, it would appear that this change might lead to worse overall results.

The solution to this is to allow users to mark results as good or bad, and use that as part of the sorting algorithm, but Google hasn't ever had anything like that for shopping results.

It's a different kind of search (2)

Greenspark (2652053) | about 2 years ago | (#40186253)

Search listings that should be prioritized by popularity and relevance will be heavily skewed by 'paid' listings. But this is a different case, I think. Most of the information is supplied by the vendors. Therefore, it's easy for it to become out of date because the vendors have no accountability for maintaining it. However, if the vendor has to pay a little, then they're more inclined to either keep the values updated, or let the listing expire. It's quite possible that this will do exactly what Google claims: improve the data integrity. Of course, they're gonna put a little in their pockets in the process. But... don't most people expect to get paid in exchange for providing a service? A little revenue means there will be available funds for improvements. It's how things work. Advertisement has always had a cost. Why would Google's listing be ruined by it?

Re:Yes indeed. (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 2 years ago | (#40188165)

It might if it gets rid of the spam. Since anyone can upload their price list at the moment there is a lot of crap, including eBay style misleading keyword spammed titles and plain wrong information. Making them pay will discourage casual spammers and allow Google to more easily block people who set up multiple websites for the same company or who persistently break the rules.

I have no idea if it will actually work, but I have a feeling Google didn't just do it on a whim or out of pure short-term greed...

Re:Yes indeed. (1)

Ndkchk (893797) | about 2 years ago | (#40188881)

If it gets rid of all the scammy stores that don't actually let you buy the product at the listed price, I'm all for it. Google is pretty good at keeping that stuff out of regular search results, but they can't seem to get it out of product search.

Re:Yes indeed. (2)

mounthood (993037) | more than 2 years ago | (#40189145)

User quality ratings should inversely determine advertising cost. High quality == free advertising. Perfect for G+ integration.

Re:Good while it lasted... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40185575)

Agreed. I wasn't searching for 'sponsored' retailers

Re:Good while it lasted... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40185583)

Yep, to me this means if I want to see shopping results on something I just googled, I'll ctrl-t, amazon.com, instead of being lazy and hitting "shopping".

What's next, I have to pay to have my web page show up on their search? Oh, wait...

Re:Good while it lasted... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40185677)

Honestly, have you used their shopping search that much? You said it all when you said "when it worked." Nearly every time I've used it, I got nothing but junk, dead links, shady websites with suspiciously low prices, etc. The results are pure garbage a lot of the time. I'm not sure if this particular method is the best way to fix it, but they should definitely try something.

Re:Good while it lasted... (0)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40186245)

Google Worked okay for me, and provided a listing from cheapest to highest price. That's how I discovered magazinepricesearch.com which saved me a lot of money. Otherwise I'd still be paying double what I should.

Re: Yeah not using that anymore (1)

colinnwn (677715) | about 2 years ago | (#40185731)

It wasn't always comprehensive. But it was useful in that it got the unrelated cruft out of a regular Google search, while sometimes missing a small retailer that didn't provide their product feed to Google. I generally searched Amazon, Google Product Search, and then a general Google search. Guess I'll drop the Product Search.

Re:Good while it lasted... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40185827)

Now I will just get a listing of who paid to be there, and who are sure to keep their prices fixed to one another.

Count your blessings - at least Google doesn't allow bidding on search results (yet). Or maybe they could collect payment to exclude some embarrassing images from google-image search.

Re:Good while it lasted... (1, Troll)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#40185967)

I wonder if a clue a poster is a troll is the number of nonsense AC posts reply.

Shopping works as well as amazon, better then eBay
The yellow box at the top that has a sponsored links? yeah, that's what they are talking about.
Not the actual results.

Re:Good while it lasted... (0)

raydobbs (99133) | about 2 years ago | (#40186357)

I'm a troll because ACs respond to me? Amusing, completely strange idea. I don't need to post as AC to agree with my own idea, I tend to have more to do then that.

My statement is based on the summary (I know, didn't read the article - but that's a proud /. tradition...) and it's my feelings on the facts as presented in the summary.

Re:Good while it lasted... (2, Informative)

ajlowe (2653007) | about 2 years ago | (#40186211)

... who are sure to keep their prices fixed to one another.

As the owner of a medium size e-commerce site, I can tell you that most of the time that prices are fixed, it is not the fault of the retailers. Nine time out of ten, when you see every reputable retailer listing for exact same price, it is because the manufacturer has established a MAP (Minimum Advertised Pricing) policy where they will refuse to sell their product to any retailer who advertises their products below the MAP price. Most online retailers hate MAP as evidenced by our efforts to get around it by marking out prices, asking customers to create an account for best pricing, or not showing prices until the item is in the cart. These are all attempts to get around MAP policies which are instituted by manufacturers in order to protect their brick and mortar retailers by artificially inflating the price of the products online. MAP policies were illegal and considered price fixing in the US until a 2007 Supreme Court Case. More info http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minimum_advertised_price [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Good while it lasted... (1)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 2 years ago | (#40192843)

Thank fuck that most sane countries still consider that sort of thing illegal then. You guys really need to reign in your government.

Re:Good while it lasted... (1)

Fjandr (66656) | about 2 years ago | (#40186703)

Yup, that was my thought. The margins are so small that requiring payment is going to make the ones I'd be looking for either disappear or compensate in their prices. I might use it a few times to see if it's still worthwhile, but I'm guessing this change is going to remove the last of its marginal usefulness.

Re:Good while it lasted... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40190217)

Considering the prices are never accurate now, I don't see it becoming much less useful

Re:Good while it lasted... (1)

griego-glass (2653479) | more than 2 years ago | (#40194511)

I agree as a small business owner I don't know whether or not I will continue to use their Shopping Service. I guess it will depend on cost since honestly I don't make much money off of the Google Product search or in general currently http://www.griego-glass.com/ [griego-glass.com]

Pay-to-Play v. Commercial Relationship (5, Insightful)

Bob9113 (14996) | about 2 years ago | (#40185563)

'We believe that having a commercial relationship with merchants will encourage them to keep their product information fresh and up to date. Higher quality dataâ"whether itâ(TM)s accurate prices, the latest offers or product availabilityâ"should mean better shopping results for users, which in turn should create higher quality traffic for merchants.'

That is a fine explanation of why you want to have a formal relationship with the retailers that you include in your search engine. Of course, that has nothing to do with it being pay-to-play. The pay-to-play is the part that matters to your users. The quote above is clearly deflecting attention from the change from a search engine (motivated primarily to satisfy the user) to a shopping mall (motivated primarily to satisfy the retailer). That is the part that is significant to users.

Re:Pay-to-Play v. Commercial Relationship (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | about 2 years ago | (#40186697)

In this case, it kind of is a shopping mall... I would think that as long as Amazon, and other major online e-tailers remain on the listings, I won't complain at all. I see tons of shady listings, with half, or less pricing in the shopping search than appear on their site... and often will hit out of stock results on the actual website. If the price is nominal... say $1 per item per month for 1,000,000 items would be reasonable as a price structure for listings.

Re:Pay-to-Play v. Commercial Relationship (1)

Bob9113 (14996) | about 2 years ago | (#40187011)

I see tons of shady listings,

Pay-to-play is unrelated to whether Google filters the results based on quality. They filter spam and other shady SEO in their regular search engine, and certainly have the technical chops to do the same in a shopping search engine. The question of shady listings is entirely unrelated to pay-to-play. Including that notion in the discussion is disingenuous.

Re:Pay-to-Play v. Commercial Relationship (1)

nabsltd (1313397) | more than 2 years ago | (#40189891)

In this case, it kind of is a shopping mall... I would think that as long as Amazon, and other major online e-tailers remain on the listings, I won't complain at all.

If Amazon and other big sites (eBay, Newegg, etc.) fell off the list, I wouldn't care, as I know those sites, and they have good search engines. Google's advantage was in finding smaller legitimate sites with good prices. I think that is who will suffer most from this change.

Re:Pay-to-Play v. Commercial Relationship (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 2 years ago | (#40188281)

Apparently you have not noticed that Google's entire business is built around satisfying the retailers, primarily via advertising. They just realize that the best way to do that is by keeping the users happy and providing them with the best search engine, free email and other services.

If Google services put the businesses paying them above the users they would be ad-laden crap that no-one would use. The reality is that their services are so popular that people want to advertise on them and will accept the limits placed on them (text only, no paying to influence search result ranking).

Re:Pay-to-Play v. Commercial Relationship (1)

Bob9113 (14996) | about 2 years ago | (#40188747)

If Google services put the businesses paying them above the users they would be ad-laden crap that no-one would use.

Perhaps you didn't read the article. Every single entry in Google Shopping from now on will be a paid placement. It will be 100% ads. I don't think you can get any more ad-laden than 100%.

no paying to influence search result ranking).

Umm, again, perhaps you didn't read the thing you are commenting on. Every single thing displayed will be a paid placement. It is 100% pay-to-play. "Unpaid results will never appear" seems pretty strongly influenced by payment.

Oh yeah... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40185569)

FTA:

Google Shopping will empower businesses of all sizes to compete effectively

I wonder how Google's marketing department managed to rationalize that one. Remind me again how putting monetary barriers to competing in a market empower businesses of all sizes?

Re:Oh yeah... (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 2 years ago | (#40185779)

I believe that they justified it with the symbol above the number 4 on their keyboards.

Re:Oh yeah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40185945)

I am not using a us/english keyboard you rude insensitive clod.

Re:Oh yeah... (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 2 years ago | (#40186261)

Google problably is, though.

Re:Oh yeah... (1)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | about 2 years ago | (#40186419)

d'oh! you got him with yer logic ray! kaPOW!!

Re:Oh yeah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40191371)

Actually with the right pricing model, (e.g. pay per click), there's no reason that the system would favor the larger businesses. But I agree the rationalization is stupid. Unfortunately doing something "because we have the right to, and because it makes us money, which is our duty to our shareholders" is bad publicity with many people.

Shoot themselves in the foot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40185581)

Its great to see companies start shooting themselves in the foot. That's how the market makes room for new companies, eh? See: Yahoo, HP, RIM, MySpace..

Re:Shoot themselves in the foot (1)

Prosthetic_Lips (971097) | more than 2 years ago | (#40190337)

Oh, was that humor? I was expecting you to go in a different direction, and then you put Yahoo, HP, RIM, MySpace.

I was expecting AltaVista, AskJeeves, InfoSeek, Overture.

But, yes, I agree with your premise -- does Bing have a shopping search yet?

Driving customers away (1, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about 2 years ago | (#40185621)

That's the ticket to bolstering your failing shopping program, get just a little more blood from that stone.

Re:Driving customers away (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40186161)

Let's all go use Bing Shopping!

As google slowly goes downhill (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40185629)

Please please please google *FO's, don't become a bing-like product.

Google shopping used to be a great tool. Sigh

Froogle to Google Shopping to...um...googlebay? (1)

txsable (169665) | about 2 years ago | (#40185691)

So Google is taking what is really a useful tool for consumers and make it another bidding system...only where the seller is doing the bidding. Now, if this means that all the ebay ads for products I'm searching for disappear, I wouldn't complain too much. however, all I see is this becoming another useless marketing site for moneyed resellers to push their drek, and price fixing so there won't really be any more deals to find. I don't mind ads but if I want to read a site with nothing but, I'll go to my local newspaper's classified section.

Re:Froogle to Google Shopping to...um...googlebay? (1)

Jeng (926980) | about 2 years ago | (#40186465)

The question that will determine if this is good or not is how much Google ends up charging the retailer. If it's under a buck a listing I can't see this being that bad, if it's around $10 a listing this is going to be bad.

Re:Froogle to Google Shopping to...um...googlebay? (1)

nabsltd (1313397) | more than 2 years ago | (#40189941)

The question that will determine if this is good or not is how much Google ends up charging the retailer. If it's under a buck a listing I can't see this being that bad, if it's around $10 a listing this is going to be bad.

If by "listing" you mean "unique product identifier", then $1 is way, way, way too much. I doubt Amazon would pay several hundred million dollars per (week/month/whatever) to be listed in Google product search.

I suppose it would have to be some sort of volume-based scale, where a few hundred item store might pay $0.05/item to list, and Amazon would pay $0.0001/item.

Why not make it optional? (1)

_8553454222834292266 (2576047) | about 2 years ago | (#40185733)

They could just rank the paid customers higher or even hide the free listings by default. Then at least the free listings would remain available if what I wan't isn't being sold by any paying customers.

This is a good thing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40185735)

The Google Shopping results are full of errors and bogus data. If a small fee helps address this then that's a good thing.

The issue would arise if they costs for a good listing becomes draconian (like Yelp).

Next: Maps (1)

_8553454222834292266 (2576047) | about 2 years ago | (#40185775)

If you want your business to show up on google maps it has to pay up. Could hide your city too if the local government doesn't pay to be listed.

Re:Next: Maps (1)

Tough Love (215404) | about 2 years ago | (#40186329)

If you want your business to show up on google maps it has to pay up...

Isn't that why we have Open Street Maps?

future step (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40185799)

pay to be listed within first 50 results on SERPS

It's like AdWords (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#40186449)

pay to be listed within first 50 results on SERPS

They already have that; it's called AdWords. And when I read Google's description of the new paid listings, AdWords is the first thing I thought of.

Calm down Francis. (0)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#40185853)

Its the Google shopping results.

Go to Google shopping.
Search for, say, USB Outlets.
That section at the top the is clearly differentiated? THAT'S what they may charge for you to be in.
Not the search results.

The knee jerk reaction about everything google does has gone from annoying, to numerous and now returning to annoying.

Please use facts, and not wild ass thoughts that just pop into your head.

Re:Calm down Francis. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40186013)

Nobody seems to be confused about that.

Re:Calm down Francis. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40186059)

It's not knee-jerk to understand that the shopping results will now be there for the retailer, rather than the consumer.

You need to learn to control your mania so your posts don't come across as odd, the way they so often do.

Re:Calm down Francis. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40186327)

It's not knee-jerk to understand that the shopping results will now be there for the retailer, rather than the consumer.

Can you please explain that sentence, it seems filled with dumb. Are you sure your hovercraft isn't filled with eels?

Re:Calm down Francis. (2)

Tough Love (215404) | about 2 years ago | (#40186903)

The knee jerk reaction about everything google does has gone from annoying, to numerous and now returning to annoying.

At one time those "knee jerks" were nearly all trash-talking Microsoft astrofurfers, then after Jobs declared jihad I suppose it changed to a mix of Microsoft and Apple astroturfers. But now there is a new class of Google critic... people like me who used to think Google could do no wrong. But I have witnessed just too many examples of Google arrogance getting in the way of what is best for the user. A few examples off the top of my head: 1) Obfuscated search lilnks that spy on me, are stupidly awkward to copy, and often add ridiculous amounts of lag resolving to Google servers instead of to where I actually want to go. 2) Google news. In spite of literally thousands of comments from users that they all hated the beta, and essentially no comments in favor, Google ignored the resounding consensus completely and deployed anyway, causing thousands more negative comments. Today in spite of some window dressing it is still worse than the classic. 3) Android. Open source, closed development. As a result it has a fraction of the developers it could have, progresses more slowly, and sucks more than necessary, especially in areas that Google does not monetize. 4) Changed the search page to look like Bing. Good grief. At least Google had the sense to pull that after a few hours. But why didn't they check to see if everybody would hate it first? Oh, probably they did, and ignored the feedback just like news, the only difference being that this time the negatives cut straight at the core business and somebody with a clue recognized the danger.

Now, the thing that makes it worse is, I still have a lot of respect for Google's corporate culture, unlilke Apple or Microsoft which seem to bent on outdoing each other sinking to new depths of corporate depravity. Google is not that far gone, far from it. That is why I personally tend to react more strongly to (possibly) stupid things that Google does. There is still hope that Google can be shamed into doing the right thing, unlike Microsoft or Apple.

In this case I doubt there is any issue. The point is, I am now conditioned to expect the worst whenever I see a new alarmist article, troll or not, because of the really bonehead moves I mentioned above and others, that are incontrovertible facts.

Not quite (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40187085)

The point is that the top part is going to take over the search results. The bottom part, where you don't have to pay for placement, is being removed entirely.

From TFA:

First, we are starting to transition Google Product Search in the U.S. to a purely commercial model built on Product Listing Ads. [...] Ranking in Google Shopping, when the full transition is complete this fall, will be based on a combination of relevance and bid price--just like Product Listing Ads today.

From Google Shopping [google.com] :

Google Shopping will launch this summer with new features designed to make shopping even more intuitive, beautiful, and useful. With this launch, Google Product Search will be discontinued.

Re:Not quite (1)

rgbrenner (317308) | about 2 years ago | (#40188121)

Google Shopping will launch this summer with new features designed to make shopping even more intuitive, beautiful, and useful. With this launch, Google Product Search will be discontinued.

This is just what google needs: the 3rd (4th?) change to their upload format.

Not to mention, it's so little used, you can almost ignore it without affecting your sales.

Good job Google

Calm down (3, Interesting)

N1AK (864906) | about 2 years ago | (#40185875)

One of my biggest issues with Google shopping is the number of prices that aren't current and inability to tell legitimate new sites from frauds. If they can improve that while charging a marginal fee then I would accept that as a worthwhile deal. Ultimately if Google charges enough that competitive shops stop listing then it'll shoot them in the foot. Also, just about everyone in Google's listings appears to allow affiliate sites and or buyers to use cashback sites. Google would be effectively skimming off some of their profit margin that they are happy to give to others.

Re:Calm down (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 2 years ago | (#40186135)

If it's about keeping data up to date then they should be able to return that money to either the consumers as a small discount (to encourage them to use the service) or the stores (as a kickback every time a shopper buys through the shopping results). I can't say I'm happy with this decision, even if it is only a portion of the results that they are talking about, it still feels like a money grab.

Re:Calm down (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40187515)

Google web search has the same problem of filtering out fraudulent or malicious sites, but they don't try to solve the problem by charging for placement.

Alternatives? (1)

aqmxv (1469151) | about 2 years ago | (#40185997)

So does anybody have a decent alternative? It's really hard as it is to actually product search on google because of the SEO fake 'review' sites taking up the first 3-10 pages of results. Having them cut off Google Shopping at the knees like this is going to make it even harder for me to actually find stuff I need to buy.

How about some actual details? (1, Informative)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#40186011)

Re:How about some actual details? (1)

pavon (30274) | about 2 years ago | (#40187609)

That was already linked from the summary, and from you comment above it's clear that you didn't even bother to read it yourself.

Contradictory to its users purpose (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40186015)

When I use the shopping feature, I want to be able to see as many options as possible, with some easy way to weigh up ratings and prices. The moment Google stops presenting me with all the relevant options, or artificially creates tiered presentations, I'm going to start using other shopping services more heavily.

Re:Contradictory to its users purpose (1)

Jeng (926980) | about 2 years ago | (#40186225)

Ok, so I take it that you don't currently use the service?

In other news (1)

ViperOrel (1286864) | about 2 years ago | (#40186109)

Google to set large mountain of money on fire to make room for even larger mountain of money.

So much for unbiased search results (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40186111)

Now I'll be looking at the high-paying stores (amazon, sears, penneys) and not seeing the low-or-non-paying stores that often offer the best bargains.

Google isn't serious about "Shopping" (1)

Animats (122034) | about 2 years ago | (#40186133)

Google Shopping isn't even in their main toolbar. It's now hidden under "more".

It was never that good (2)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 2 years ago | (#40186139)

Using the shopping function is really a desperation measure - the prices are rarely "good" and the vendor list is exceedingly short. Anything that looks interesting is usually wrong. This is really on loss, since it's one of the few google services that simply isn't worth your time unless you need something obscure and you don't care where is comes from or how much it costs.

Re:It was never that good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40189787)

It used to be fairly good. Never as good as shopping sites that specialized in whatever product you were looking for. You could always find better deals on sites that specialized in computer gadgets or cameras or whatever, but google shopping used to be half way decent. Now it is unusual that I can't find a better deal by just going straight to Amazon or Newegg, or better yet, just doing a straight up web search for the product and pecking through the results.

We all know who to blame (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40186145)

This is /. , so obviously Microsoft double agents inside Google have implemented this to make Google look bad. I believe we should support Google and all other non-Microsoft companies at this, their time of need. So in comments below, please let to vicious mockery of Bing, service you never use, be filled with unbridled outrage and hatred.

More to the story (4, Funny)

Sentrion (964745) | about 2 years ago | (#40186163)

Google is also requiring the retailers to pay in Google Dollars which feature a picture of Larry Page at the center of every bill. Beginning in August the new Google Dollars will be the only currency that Google will allow to be used for all transactions with or through Google websites. The new Google Dollars will end the debate over whether the US Dollar or Euro should be the de facto world currency.

But pegged to which currency? (0)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#40186531)

In your hypothetical, if Google Checkout would use a separate parallel currency, to what other currency or currencies would it be pegged? Money is only good for what it buys, and retailers need to buy from their suppliers using the currency that the supplier accepts.

Re:But pegged to which currency? (2)

Mabhatter (126906) | about 2 years ago | (#40187565)

Pegged to Facebook, Zynga, XBox Live, Wiipoints... And Smurfberries!

Re:But pegged to which currency? (1)

idontgno (624372) | about 2 years ago | (#40188657)

Serious currencies, I see, not funny money. Like bitcoins.

Google got worthless for some searches years ago (2, Interesting)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 2 years ago | (#40186297)

You look for anything that might be a product and you're going to be wading through pages of vendor sites. They should drop the shopping app altogether as it's already integrated with basic search.

all i heard was (1)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | about 2 years ago | (#40186337)

'We believe that having a commercial relationship with merchants will help to eliminate small business competition in the global arena .'

There, fixed the interview for you.

Re:all i heard was (1)

Blue Stone (582566) | more than 2 years ago | (#40194533)

Spot on.

do no evil (1)

eruci (1546315) | about 2 years ago | (#40186785)

... and they forgot to add : more money for google. i use askvini.com instead

Re:do no evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40190785)

What's evil about making money? As long as they are up front about what is paid for, so consumers know what they are searching, why shouldn't Google monetize their product search?

Or to put it another way: If I gave you my life savings on the promise that you would try to make the most return possible for me, and instead you gave to to a bunch of "makers" to do "cool shit", would that be good, or evil?

Open Letter To Google (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40186861)

Dear Google,
As a fan boy, step 1 is to stop relying on your search results when shopping.
Googles likely response? You will stop me finding price comparison (competition) sites easily?
Step 2, I go to Bing or Facebook search. (shudders) - I think I'd rather sh** my pants, but you know what? You ARE DOING EVIL, and this along with your other stunts is getting close to tipping me over the edge.

You SHOULD be helping me FIND the CHEAPEST price, not the cheapest sponsor price, which are almost NEVER the same. Your search will become useless to me.

Sincerely,

AC

You made your money at Google... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40187677)

You made your money at Google. You got in before IPO. You keep working there for the fun of it. You've been looking for that startup idea. Suddenly, there it is. Right from within. Company loyalty? I think I heard of that in a storybook long ago. Time to leave and start a shopping search engine that doesn't suck.

Alternatives? (1)

gatfirls (1315141) | about 2 years ago | (#40187819)

....Because the shopping tab was my go to place to check out brands and compare stuff easily and semi-reliably. Next up paid for page ranking, let's go back to what made search horrible 10 years ago.

This ends the usefulness of Google Shopping. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40188253)

That's really all there is to be said.

Now that money will corrupt the process,
the search results cannot be trusted.

Fuck you, Google.

They must want me to use Amazon instead (1)

Eightbitgnosis (1571875) | more than 2 years ago | (#40190573)

That's the message I'm getting

It was a piece of junk, unfortunately (1)

mattr (78516) | more than 2 years ago | (#40191679)

I took the time to register about 50 products for my Mother's site victoriantreasury.com that has some handmade products - handmade valentine gift cards based on real antiques in her collection. Anyway the site shows up on the top page of google's results so I thought it might attract people interested in buying in this niche area.. she's really a collector and runs a collectors' society so it is not like Hallmark or anything. But it seemed it would be a perfect long tail kind of niche to fit Google's merchant area.

Well, despite even having to update the spreadsheet more than once as rules changed and putting much time into it, we never got many hits and finally when it recently seemed like it should start working the results list got filled with other vendors spamming tons of identical products to the point that our company didn't even show up in the list of vendors. The engine was very susceptible to be gamed. If they did an ounce of work trying to make a serious engine I would not begrudge them a percentage of any sales made but as it is, I am sorry I wasted my time on Google which you never know if they are going to stand behind a system they build or trash it the next week. Sure glad I didn't get into Google Wave, either. Maybe Google is its own worst enemy?

Google changes motto... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40192133)

Dateline Mountain View, CA... Google Inc. (GOOG) changes it's motto to "Go ahead and be evil."

Once again, the consumer gets screwed. To anyone who might use this in the future, be advised that the extortion money retailers will pay Google to be listed has to come from somewhere. Where does it come from? Why... the people who buy the products and services they're selling. So Google isn't taking money away from them, they're taking it away from YOU!!!

Google is sticking YOU up, and it is time to dump Google. Let Google know you won't accept their ripping us off by doctoring search results based on who is willing to pay. Sponsored results were bad enough, but at least you could just scroll down to get past the bullshit... try "Duck Duck Go (SSL)" instead, they're not tracking you OR selling your personal data to third parties to score money off you, (unlike some people,) tracking where you go on the net, or trying to siphon money out of your wallet...

Just sayin'

What's Changed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40193379)

Search: Integrity

Results: Buy Integrity Now

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