Google confirms that it contains systems that automatically add products to your e-commerce website’s shopping cart. It is done to verify the price merchants provide them with matches what is found in the shopping cart.
“We use automated systems to ensure consumers are getting accurate pricing information from our merchants. This sometimes leads to merchants seeing abandoned carts as a result of our system testing whether the price displayed matches the price at checkout.”
It does make sense as sometimes you see a website that says “special price in the shopping cart” or many a time you won’t even get to see the price once until you add it to the cart. It is not sure if it is a way to get shoppers closer to checking out or there are some issues with displaying prices for a few products at a discount on the first main page. It might be both or maybe Google is trying to crack down something through bait and switch tactics.
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Google uses automated ways in Google Shopping to check whether Google Merchant is not breaking any Google Shopping policies. One of the policies is
“failure to clearly and conspicuously disclose the payment model and full expense that a user will bear before and after purchase.”
Google Merchant center Terms of Service lets Google crawl and check those pages it says
“if the content you submit contains URLs or similar content, you grant Google the right to access, index, cache or crawl the URL(s) and the content available through such URL(s), or any portion thereof. For example, Google may utilize an automated software program to retrieve and analyze the websites associated with such URL(s).”
There is indeed a help document on controlling crawling in the Google Merchant Center. Though it seems it uses Googlebot-image and Googlebot to crawl the website and if yes then users can block it from your cart pages technically? Google is working on clearing how the automated systems interact with the Merchant websites in the future.