Friday, July 20, 2012

Google Shopping Bad for Small Business

Okay, this is not my usual topic of pc gaming, but Google just converted Google Product Search, which allowed you to list your products for free, to Google Shopping, which uses the same format but now costs money per click. So Google sticks it to the little guy again. Now they say they did this to get more quality ads, but this just doesn't ring true. Small businesses created quality ads and spent more time on them than the deep pocket big guys because that's how we compete.

If you are up against a more powerful opponent, you have to compete with smarts and guile. I know that's what we did. And we consistently outperformed our bigger competitors because we @ Psychsoftpc paid attention to detail and created better product descriptions. Products being offered by a Fortune 500 company or a small business all showed equally under the old system. On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog. We were playing on a level playing field for once and could compete on quality not on who has the most money. I'm sure that other small businesses did the same.

Now all that's changed. With a pay per click system, our ads just won't get shown unless we pony up the dough. And of course, we can get outspent by our richer competitors. For example, Google showed that for some of our products, our gaming computers or graphics workstations, to show, I would have to bid $4.00 per click!! So the statement that ads would show based on quality not necessarily cost per click is wrong. The deeper the pockets, the more your ads will show and the better position it will have. Let's face it, the big guys don't have the time or desire to put great effort into creating better quality ads, and now they don't have to. They can just outspend us little guys and dominate Google like they do for other Google ads.

I know a lot of small businesses depended on Google Product search to attract customers. It was free, a level playing field with the big guys and dependent on quality not on how much you could spend. Google Shopping is going to cost small businesses everywhere in revenue, customers and, if they wish to continue having their products continue to display in Google Shopping, advertising money. And it turns out pay per click is only the beginning. Google intends to implement a percentage based system. That's right, Google will collect a percentage of every product sold as a result of a Google Shopping search. With margins so tight, who can afford that? The big guys of course!

Well, enough rants on Google Shopping for now. I promise to get back to gaming next time.

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