Google offers free listings to ease relations with retailers 10
GOOGLE has said it will allow retailers in Europe to list their products on its shopping search engine for free from next month, just days after the company faced accusations it was failing to fix competition issues on its e-commerce site.
Until now, companies have had to pay to have their items show up on the
Number of countries in Europe where the search engine giant is to launch a Local Services Ad feature, including the UK
Google Shopping tab, which can appear at the top of the search engine when users search for specific items.
Google is also launching a Local Services Ad feature in 10 countries across Europe, including the UK. This would show users a list of local professionals close to them, and provide reviews and licence information for their services.
Searches on Google containing “available near me” had more than doubled globally, the company said, as the Covid-19 pandemic meant many people were staying closer to home. Matt Brittin, Google’s European president, said it had become clear that retail would be “vital for an economic comeback” for many regions.
“We want to do everything we can to help retailers respond to the need to be more online than ever before.”
The announcement comes just days after it faced criticism on how rivals can use its shopping tools.
Earlier this week, a study commissioned by rival shopping comparison sites claimed Google had failed to address competition issues, and that their visibility on its site had dropped since the US giant was fined by EU regulators in 2017.
Mr Brittin said Google disputed the numbers and the methodology of the report, and since remedies were enforced three years ago, price comparison sites had attracted billions of clicks.
“What we’re trying to do here is everything we can to help retailers find more customers,” he added.
Shopping is only one area where Google has faced competition concerns in recent years. The EU opened an indepth inquiry into Google’s $2.1bn (£1.6bn) acquisition of Fitbit last month.
Reuters yesterday reported that the deal is set to get the green light after Google offered concessions to avoid shutting out rival fitness trackers.