May 31, 2012 at 12:00pm ET by Danny Sullivan on SearchEngineLand.com
Google Product Search is getting a new name, Google Shopping, and a new business model where only merchants that pay will be listed. It’s the first time Google will decommission a search product that previously listed companies for free. The company says the change will improve the searcher experience, but it will also likely raise new worries that Google may further cut free listings elsewhere.
“This is about delivering the best answers for people searching for products and helping connect merchants with the right customers,” said Sameer Samat, vice president of product management for Google Shopping, when explaining that by moving to an all-paid model, Google believes it will have better and more trustworthy data that will improve the shopping search experience for its users.
Perhaps this will be so; perhaps not. We’ll only have a better idea when the transformation is complete. The process begins now with experiments, launches more fully in the summer and will take through the fall to finish in the United States, when the service should be formally renamed from Google Product Search to Google Shopping.
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