Google offers a free feature for Product Search, a service which has been available from 2002 when Google launched Froogle. However, in the coming months, this feature is expected to cost more. Now, with the launch of Google Shopping, the search engine giant has converted this free feature into a paid feature. These developments give rise to a very pressing question. What impact will it have on organic searches?
The impact is undeniable
The impact of this new development will help some kinds of businesses and hinder some others. It is stated to be good on businesses which pay attention only to SEO since Google Shopping feature improves rank on organic list, in contrast to paid modules. Previously, paid results were ranked higher than organic SEO but now, there will be a paradigm shift in this regard. Usually, only one or two organic results are shown on the page and they too figure at the bottom. The new system is set to bring a change in this system and give more weightage to organic results.
There is fluctuation these days in the placement of new ads. It has been seen that ads have begun to appear at the right top of the page. As a result, more search results can be added in the required list. So, although the space on the page is the same, a couple of more results can be included in the page. Google is undertaking more experiments as well on the placements of ads and how more results can be displayed. On the practical front, Google cannot depend entirely on giving top priority to organic results because the search engine has to generate revenue for itself. So, what Google is essentially trying to do is find a balance between paid results and organic appearances. This will lead to satisfied user experience while not compromising on Google’s revenue requirements.
However, the balance has not yet been found and the search engine giant is trying out various permutations and combinations. Placement of shopping modules is definitely on top of its experimentation list. Expected changes are fluctuation in size of shopping module, placement and module format. So, until Google finds its perfect balance, the exact impact of Google Shopping on organic search results cannot be predicted precisely.
Criticism for the new format is likely to pour in from all sides since for a lot of businesses who focus more on paid modules, the new system could be more of a liability. If more space is allocated to organic search results, these businesses could take a beating.
Google, however, defends its stand and says that with paid Google Shopping in play, businesses are more likely to be more careful and observant about their data feeds. The quality of search is definitely going to increase. So, end users, who are seeking quality results for their searches, will be benefited the most. Google says that this could also indicate higher quality target traffic for businesses. The major sufferers will be those ecommerce sites which cannot afford or do not want to adopt the paid module. Many of them could end up being knocked out of the top ranks, despite being eligible.