In a surprise, Google announced on April 21 that a portion of listings on the Google Shopping tab would be free. Google had required sellers to create a Merchant Center account and run Shopping Ads through Google Ads. Henceforth, sellers with Shopping listings will still need a Merchant Center account but not Google Ads.
The notion of free Shopping listings may sound familiar. Google’s initial foray into comparison shopping, called Froogle, occurred in 2002. In 2007, Google renamed it to Product Search. Listings were free on Froogle and Product Search, although merchants could also run ads. Then, in 2012 it renamed again, to Google Shopping, and began charging for all listings.
Original full article here.