Question of the Week: What Do You Think of Google Shopping's New Pay-to-Play Strategy?
Trying to stave off competition from Amazon.com, Google recently changed Google Shopping to require e-commerce companies to pay to be included in shopping results, so product listings are now ads. Inclusion used to be free.
Google says the change will improve its shopping results because retailers are more likely to list accurate and up-to-date items if they're paying. It also says the service had become polluted with product listings that were out of date or misled consumers about things like shipping prices.