Google Shopping Search Bias Warning
I'm sure most people realise this but Google doesn't do a whole of market search for products it puts forwards products from retailers that may have advertised with Google previously etc or creates a very limited window of what is actually available.
Case in point Halfords bikes. Halfords have about 40% of the UK market bike market by volume and about 25% by revenue but you wouldn't know that from Google's shopping search. Sometimes random Halfords bikes appear but they are often less popular models but generally they don't.
If you search for bikes be it mountain bikes or road bikes you get a lot of hits for Amazon, ebay and higher end bike brands but the best value models that you really need to consider often don't feature in the Google results.
I'm sure this is across many sectors but I only notice it on bikes because that is what I know. Often the bikes Google puts forward are an appalling selection of what is available and terrible value.
The Carrera Virtuoso is probably the best selling road bike in the UK. It's a budget Claris based road bike with disc brakes and retails for £380 when many brands are now charging over £1000 for Claris road bikes or close to it but most are round £600-800.
Halfords have actually been very good recently with their logistics and have managed to get in bikes fairly well compared to many other shops. They don't really pay for marketing they just buy bikes from the big bike factories in Asia typically and retail them directly themselves. This gives the end customer much better value because the logistics are so simple.
Google is not your friend, it is a commercial company trying to extract money from you. They don't want you to buy a £380 bike if you would consider a £700 bike and they get £20 revenue from it.
Personally I think such sites should have a warning about them controlling the results you see and that their results may not represent the best purchase for you. Also instore can often offer better value for many items but google wants you to make an online purchase with affiliate income for them.
The same is true of many shopping search bots I'm sure all trying to generate revenue and lead you to where they get affiliate income but Google is so huge and I think people have a positive view of them.
I should point out I have no connection with Halfords at all and I'm sure there are many sectors where some companies dominate value but are unseen from Google shopping results, Halfords was just the example I know.
One trick you can do is if you use Google shopping search and you find a product you are considering do a normal non-shopping search for that product name and you may find because you are specifically looking for that product you find many more options often cheaper for the same product. These may be companies that do not advertise with Google and therefore do not need to create such a high margin to pay for Google advertising.
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