an abstract blog hero image about google cloud marketplace and its past name GCP and GCP marketplace

Is it “Google Cloud Marketplace” or “GCP Marketplace”? A brief history and explainer

Whether you’re a seasoned Googler or an ISV that’s new to selling on cloud marketplaces, you may have noticed something confusing about the way people talk about Google’s cloud marketplace. Is the search giant’s marketplace called “GCP” or “GCP Marketplace,” which seems to be the chosen lingo of industry insiders? Or do we call it “Google Cloud Marketplace,” which is the formal name on Google’s website

Following a series of rebrands, the consensus is still not clear. According to data from SEMRush, the monthly global search volume for Google Cloud Marketplace is 2.6k searches per month, while search volume for GCP Marketplace is lower but still significant, at 1.9k searchers per month globally. This suggests that while Google Cloud Marketplace, the tech giant’s official name for the service, is more popular, many are still holding onto GCP Marketplace as their go-to term.

Confusing, right? 

Here’s a brief history of Google’s Cloud Marketplace, which will help to explain how the new name came to be. 

 

From Cloud Launcher to Google Cloud Platform Marketplace (GCP)

Google’s first cloud marketplace was called “Cloud Launcher,” which allowed third-party ISVs to sell solutions. Cloud Launcher was popular among a niche audience, but the name was confusing and didn’t fully capture that the service was, in fact, a cloud marketplace. 

To sound more like AWS Marketplace or Azure Marketplace, Google rebranded Cloud Launcher in 2018. They called their new cloud marketplace Google Cloud Platform Marketplace, referred to as GCP Marketplace or just GCP for short. The inaugural goal of the GCP Marketplace was to ensure customers could download commercial and open source container-based applications and immediately deploy them to Google Kubernetes Engine. 

Still, costs were high and adoption was slow. Until Azure and AWS began doubling down on cloud marketplaces following Covid-19, GCP Marketplace was rarely a key focus for Google. 

 

Dropping the “P”: GCP Marketplace becomes Google Cloud Marketplace

In 2022, Google began doubling down on their cloud marketplace and partnership ecosystem, which introduced key changes alongside a company-wide rebrand of Google Cloud. Importantly, Google dropped “Platform” from the name, implying that GCP Marketplace or GCP should no longer be in use, either. While many insiders still call it GCP Marketplace today, in 2024, the search giant’s chosen name is Google Cloud Marketplace (and don’t worry if you’ve never heard of GCM, because it seems that no one uses that acronym – yet). 

While Google Cloud was dropping “Platform” from its name, the tech giant also implemented key changes to their marketplace to keep up with Azure and AWS, such as:

  • Reducing Google’s commission from a slide scale up to 20%, down to a flat rate of 3%
  • Doubling the company’s investment in the partner ecosystem, including resources for co-marketing, training, and enablement 
  • Expanding regional sales and technical teams to support ISVs
  • Allowing resellers to sell third-party Google Cloud Marketplace solutions, which at the time was available on Azure and AWS, but not Google
  • Leaning into AI, ML, data, analytics, and security (read more about Google Cloud Marketplace’s investment in AI and ML on our blog)

You can learn about other changes in a 2021 blog post by Kevin Ichhupurani, then Corporate VP, Global Partner Ecosystem & Channels.

 

So why did Google change the name?

When Google Cloud dropped the “Platform” from the name, they did so across the board in June 2022. By moving away from “GCP,” the company sacrificed the brand recognition of their popular acronym – which is still searched nearly half a million times each month. 

Overall, though, the easiest answer is that Google Cloud Platform, as a name, was both a mouthful and slightly confusing, especially when preceded by terms like marketplace. We might find an analogue in the infamous moment when investor and Napster-founder Sean Parker advised Mark Zuckerburg to drop the “The” and call his company, “Facebook.”

In terms of their marketplace, Google made a clever bet when simplifying the name: spell out “cloud marketplace” after Google and capture organic search traffic for more generic queries, “cloud marketplace” or “cloud marketplaces.” It won’t come as a surprise, then, that when you search the term “Cloud Marketplace,” “Google Cloud Marketplace” is the first result. 

 

Boost your Google Cloud Marketplace listing with Invisory

Listed or thinking about getting listed on Google Cloud Marketplace? With Invisory, you can:

  • Streamline listing and transacting with our API integrations. You focus on building technology that will positively impact your customers and we take care of the rest.
  • Automate GTM deliverables, such as 1-pagers that help you get the attention of Google Sales reps.
  • Develop a “better together” story that helps you explain how Google benefits from your solution being on the marketplace.
  • Operationalize your cloud marketplace channel into a lead and revenue generating machine. 
  • Expand to other cloud marketplaces, including AWS Marketplace, Azure Marketplace, and the Salesforce AppExchange


Reach out today.

Share our post on social media and tell us what you think!

Resources to help you grow & scale your business

The Black Hat USA 2024 conference, which will take place August 3-8, 2024 in Las Vegas, is just around the corner, and

If you’re an ISV looking for a new revenue channel, you’re probably listed (or thinking about listing) on cloud marketplaces. Maybe you’re

At the peak of the pre-Covid tech boom, a new category began to emerge: cloud go-to-market, or cloud GTM for short.  With