Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) will begin to charge money for a service which has been free. Sameer Samat the Vice President of Product Management for Google Shopping wrote in a blog:
First, we are starting to transition Google Product Search in the U.S. to a purely commercial model built on Product Listing Ads. This new product discovery experience will be called Google Shopping and the transition will be complete this fall. 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.
In other words, if companies want to be part of the system which helps Google users find products and services, they will have to pay to be listed. Google has found another path to make money on the backs of many firms that need its traffic the most.
Douglas A. McIntyre