Google likes being the universal traffic cop online. Every little whisper, every intent, must pass through its gates. Like a sieve for all our online experiences. A giant that casts a long shadow over everything. Search. Content. Maps. Online payments.

But one place where it is losing its gatekeeper status—and struggling to be relevant—is e-commerce. So on 15 October, when reports indicated that Google will launch a new “Shopping” tab for its Indian users, it came as a surprise to no one.

“There’s nothing off-script about what Google’s doing in India.