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Google to deliver goods to online shoppers

SAN FRANCISCO — Google is taking another step beyond Internet search and into grocery delivery.

Google Shopping Express will initially provide same-day delivery of food and other products bought online by a small group of consumers in San Francisco and suburbs south of the city. Google didn’t say how many people.

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If the test goes well, Google plans to expand the service to other markets.

It’s part of Google’s effort to increase consumer reliance on the Internet, so it will have more opportunities to show online ads, which generate most of its revenue.

Waiting days or more for delivery of online orders ranks among the biggest drawbacks to online shopping. It’s a problem and eBay aim to solve by offering same-day service in some markets. Walmart offers same-day delivery in five markets.

National, regional, and neighborhood merchants are enlisting in Google Shopping Express. Google has hired courier services to deliver orders to homes and offices. They will drive Google trucks and wear its uniforms.

Google is still trying to figure out how much to charge. For the six-month test, consumers won’t pay a surcharge. Instead, Google will get commissions from merchants.

Google is closing some older online services, such as Google Reader, to devote more attention and money to other projects — irking some users.

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