Google’s decision to move its Shopping product from a free to a paid-for service has coincided with a massive decline in the number of shopping results showing up in universal search integrations on Google.com.
A new report from Searchmetrics shows that in January 2012 shopping results appeared in 20% of universal search integrations, however by December this number had fallen to just 5%.
The steepest decline occurred in October, which is also the month that Google made the switch to a paid-for model.
To be clear, universal search refers to boxes containing additional media, which appear between the actual organic search results and can also generate higher click rates.
Overall the data shows that the proportion of keywords with at least one universal search integration declined throughout 2012. In January the proportion was about 86% but by December it had decreased to 75%.
In the same period the integration of images remained constant at around 30%, but for video it declined from 76% to 62%.
Google monopolises its own shopping results
Searchmetrics also analyzed the shopping integrations based on which brands appear most frequently, with the results showing that Google dominates its own search results.
Google consistently accounted for more than 50% of the shopping integrations during 2012, with Amazon its closest competitor with around 10% market share.
As the first chart showed, the biggest loser in universal search integration last year was video content although it still appears in 62% of universal search results.
The report shows that, as with shopping results, Google dominates video integrations with YouTube enjoying more than 75% market share throughout the year.
In fact YouTube slightly increased its market share in the summer, which obviously led to a converse trend among its competitors.
Searchmetrics’ report is based on search results from several million keywords analyzed over the course of 2012. The data pool generally consisted of the first five pages of search results.