At Google Marketing Live, among the flurry of AI-focused updates, Google announced that by 2024 they will eliminate the need for product feeds with Google Merchant Center Next.
This, along with the AI-guided campaign creation process, is largely aimed at small advertisers trying to manage their own campaigns. It also takes a lot of annoyances out of the process of getting product data into Google for advertisers that are only pushing products to the search giant.
While this is a positive step for Google’s customers (the advertisers), it’s also another instance of Google using their impossibly strong market position to inflict massive pain on an industry. This time it’s product feed management solutions. There will still be a place for product feed management platforms – plenty of online merchants still need to get product data to Amazon, Walmart, etc. – but those platforms are surely panicking right now. Most of them offer an entry-level plan for people just trying to get their data on Google. But moreso, this likely sets a standard going forward that the marketplaces will be expected to handle getting products from your site into their systems.