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Google Allows Big Box Retailers to Monopolize Google Product Search

Posted on September 16, 2009 by Vanessa

With all of the talk regarding the drop in Google Product Search traffic we have been looking for ways to improve and differentiate our products in what has also been known as Google Base, Froogle and Google Shopping.  According to Channel Advisor retailers have been reporting that traffic from Google Product Search has been down as much as 60-80% since June of this year.

In reviewing our listings and researching the ever frequent updates we found several (to put it lightly) searches that were completely dominated by big box retailers.  Not only were these searches dominating us but they were completely eliminating any competition, as in only one retailer was shown as offering that product line (at least on the first page). 

I could understand if the retailer's that were shown in these searches  all had the most relevant data, the most robust attributes, the best pricing, the largest number or reviews, the highest ratings, and this engine was based on bids, but none of these are true.  In one of the first searches for the Kohler Forte bathroom faucet the Home Depot shows as a retailer over and over again, yet their robust and relevant data refers to this popular Kohler collection as "Fort".  You will also notice that the only other retailers referenced are Walmart and Amazon.

 

Google Product Search Result Screenshot Favors Bad Data from Big Box Retailer

Google Product Search Result Screenshot Favors Bad Data from Big Box Retailer

 

Porcher, a luxury brand by American Standard, is then shown as primarily sold by Walmart.  Walmart has fewer ratings than other retailers listed and of those ratings also has the lowest seller rating.

 

 

Google Product Search Result Screenshot Favors Poorly Rated Big Box Retailer

Google Product Search Result Screenshot Favors Poorly Rated Big Box Retailer

 

I am a Google fan, always have been, but have they forgotten about the user experience?  When shopping are we not looking to compare?  Not in this case (unless you want to click through a few more pages), because the Home Depot is the only option you're going to find for this Jado search. 

 

 

Google Product Search Result Screenshot Selects Only Big Box Retailer

Google Product Search Result Screenshot Selects Only Big Box Retailer

 

 

The Home Depot hasn't completely cornered the market on Google Base, Walmart has capitalized as well as you can see by this search for American Standard's Town Square line.

 

 

 Google Product Search Result Screenshot Selects Only Big Box Retailer

Google Product Search Result Screenshot Selects Only Big Box Retailer

 

Blog Update

We have confirmation from another source, which works with online retailers in optimizing their marketing strategies, that this is an ongoing problem.  According to our sources this has been happening in other categories, most predominantly in Home & Garden and Electronics.  We tested our sources information using a search from the Home & Garden category for a Skyline Chair.  The results were similar to what we experienced within our own category, one listing for Eco-Furniture and every other listing for Walmart.


Google Product Search Result Screenshot Favors Big Box Retailers in Multiple Categories

Google Product Search Result Screenshot Favors Big Box Retailers in Multiple Categories

 


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