Google Releases Product That Actually Could Make Money

from the first-time-for-everything dept

There's a lot of talk today about Google releasing its long-awaited PayPal killer, dubbed Google Checkout. On the surface, it looks very much like the various e-wallet endeavors that launched and failed in the 90's. But the idea of not having to fill out credit card information at every online store does hold some appeal, and Google may have a shot at making it work. For one thing, their large advertising base gives them a natural group of companies to sell the service into, something the other companies never had. To exploit this, the Google is offering rebates to companies that advertise and use Checkout. This is pretty clever; it's generally hard to give discounts on auction-based ads. If they were to, say, give an across the board 10% rebate to advertisers, the price of buying ads would just jump up accordingly. But by giving a slight edge to those who use Checkout, they may create a rush among companies to sign up for it. Another way of thinking about it is that it's less of a PayPal killer than it is an Amazon killer. One of Amazon's main selling points is the convenience it offers consumers. If Checkout enables similar convenience across the web, it may reduce Amazon's appeal. So far, Google's had only minimal success with its non-search busines, but Checkout's clear revenue model and tie-in with an existing services could allow it to actually succeed.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Craig, Jun 29th, 2006 @ 10:04am

    I'm skeptical

    While I regularly cheer on Google's efforts, I don't hold out much hope that this will be widely adopted, either by consumers or vendors. Microsoft had an awful time with its Passport system back when, and I don't think things have changed enough to make a similar offering significantly more successful. But we'll see. Either way, it's good news -- more competition and innovation is generally a good thing in the end for us consumers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2006 @ 10:27am

    I think this effort from google will be a big hit. I just created my own webpage from google pages, listed my inventory and dropped in the code for google checkout. Beats all the effort needed by fleabay and paypoo....

    All along I've very indifferent to google's offerings but I can see how everything is coming together now.

    There's a difference between Passport and google. Passport was brought in an era when there was no effort to offer such integrated services. But google has now shown the way...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Charlie G., Jun 29th, 2006 @ 10:28am

    Anti-trust?

    I like the idea, but am wondering if they're opening themselves up to anti-trust violations. IANA lawyer, but if they're using their position in the search/ad market to influence vendors to use Checkout, I smell lawsuit.
    But you know what? I'd probably use it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Posterlogo, Jun 29th, 2006 @ 10:30am

    You must be joking with the sarcasm...

    Nice headline: "Google Releases Product That Actually Could Make Money". As if you don't wisk you were part of the Google behemoth or owned some of their stock. If you think they NEEDED this to make money, you've been living in a cave.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    keepin' it real, Jun 29th, 2006 @ 10:44am

    You must be joking with your post...

    The sarcasm works. I guess you just don't understand the scenario. Google has a whole host of products...which make them zero money. The vast majority of the money they make, something like 85%-90% is from companies paying for advertising. So Posterlogo...you're comments are pretty offbase and don't make a whole lot of sense. So who's been living in a cave again?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    icon
    bmac (profile), Jun 29th, 2006 @ 10:48am

    Passport is no Google

    The main difference is that Google is a part of the language and culture, as in "Let me google that", or "I googled for it and found what I wanted". "Let me MSN search for that" doesn't have a chance in hades of catching on.

    Microsoft passport came at a time when most people were still too scared to trust their credit card information to a web site. Now it's generally considered safer than using it over the phone or in person in a store.

    Ebay, Amazon, stick a fork in yourselves, you're almost done. I love Google's stuff and will definitely use this one.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Sean, Jun 29th, 2006 @ 11:17am

    Well now.

    This seems like it could actually give the kick in the ass to PayPal and Amazon. Which could actually be good. If like Anonymous Coward says and you can just plug in a bnch of shit and it makes you a code to put into your website is true, well fuck I would use it. Makes my life easier.

    Seems like Google could make a pretty penny off this idea too. Good job Google, keeping us with some good products!

    That's my two cents.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Dale, Jun 29th, 2006 @ 11:27am

    That's true about Amazon.com

    It really only recently occurred to me, but I am an example of someone who always tries to buy stuff through amazon.com because (1) I don't have to enter my credit card info and (2) it narrows the range of vendors that HAVE my credit card info.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2006 @ 11:38am

    After all the fraud I've had to deal with on E-bay, and the crap I've had to put up with through Paypal I'm happy there is just another choice for me to take my business. So long as google doesn't "suspect" problems with my account and hold my funds "indefinitely" then I'll be happy to use their service.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Cynical Monkey, Jun 29th, 2006 @ 11:39am

    Why don't people like Amazon?

    I noticed some posts cheering the possibility of Google Checkout causing trouble for Ebay and Amazon. I do resent Ebay's nickle-and-dime fee schedule, but I admire Amazon for listing used products from 3rd-party sellers, who in fact compete with Amazon's own products.

    So I was wondering, why don't you like Amazon?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Cynical Monkey, Jun 29th, 2006 @ 11:48am

    Hasn't Google forgotten its mission?

    One more thing. With every new thing that Google releases, I keep wondering, how long has it been since Google actually improved its search capabilities? How long has it been since Google has offered new search experience?

    It's not that hard to improve it. For example, today I wanted to find some articles for reducing subcutaneous fat level for bodybuilders (to get that competition look). Top results by far were sites pushing weight loss products/videos/programs. None of them contained any useful information.

    Now, how hard would it be for Google to add two buttons to each link returned, asking "Was this result useful? Yes/No." I could mark the BS results and presumably so could other users, telling Google not to return those links.

    This is just one example. I am sure that Google's brainy employees could come up with lots of other improvements to try out. My question is, why don't they?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Skippy the Squirrel, Jun 29th, 2006 @ 12:04pm

    Re: Hasn't Google forgotten its mission?

    My guess is those top hits you are referring to have payed Google to be in the top spot. It is pretty easy to spot those by either the address or description. I try to never click those because it gives validation to this kind of practice. Google is a great search engine. I'm jacked they will have other sources of income to hopefully curtail some of the payed adds.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Zeroth404, Jun 29th, 2006 @ 12:12pm

    all I know is that Amazon usually has stuff cheaper :-)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Ted Bailes, Jun 29th, 2006 @ 12:30pm

    Google Checkout and Real Estate

    Thinking Ahead:

    Soon Realtors and For Sale By Owners will list homes for sale on Google Base and accept earnest money using Google Checkout.

    Things are Changing Fast!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2006 @ 12:33pm

    Yeah, if nothing else Paypal's idiotic policies make me look forward to this.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2006 @ 12:46pm

    Re: Hasn't Google forgotten its mission?

    send your comment to the google engineers so they know that you care. they probably won't see it here, so send it to them and be heard!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Cynical Monkey, Jun 29th, 2006 @ 12:56pm

    RE: Hasn't Google forgotten its mission?

    Clarification to Skippy the Squirrel: No, no, I wasn't talking about the sponsored links on Google. C'mon, we all know how to use google by now :-)

    I was talking about the actual, non-sponsored results, which were mostly junk. I had to look through them to ascertain that they were junk. Why do other users need to do the same thing? That was my point. Google needs to keep improving their search capabilities, which they are not doing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    snitsrevenge, Jun 29th, 2006 @ 12:56pm

    Re: Hasn't Google forgotten its mission?

    I think they are afraid to screw up a good thing. Kind of like Coca-Cola did when they came out with their New Coke in the 80s.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Alen3000, Jun 29th, 2006 @ 1:06pm

    Re: Hasn't Google forgotten its mission?

    http//google.com/coop .There are a lot of improvements but are still in an early beta stage and therefore are find only at the labs

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2006 @ 1:21pm

    Re: Re: Hasn't Google forgotten its mission?

    coke came out with new coke to mask its change from sugar to HIGH FRUCOTOSE CORN SYRUP


    Yuck

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Joe, Jun 29th, 2006 @ 1:52pm

    Personalized Search

    If you're logged in to your Google account, there is a Personalized Search (beta) feature. You don't specifically tell them which results are bogus, but you remove results that you consider bogus and it tries to give you more relevant results in the future.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Aaron, Jun 29th, 2006 @ 1:55pm

    Re: Hasn't Google forgotten its mission?

    They don't need that because they figure if you CLICK on the result then that means it was probably helpful. The fact that you didn't click means that they feel fairly certain it was a failed search.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Cynical Monkey, Jun 29th, 2006 @ 2:11pm

    RE: Hasn't Google forgotten its mission?

    Aaron, that's exactly my point. If I clicked a link on the search results page, then there might be useful information on that page. There MIGHT be. Often there isn't. That's why users go back and forth between search results and the actual pages to find out what's useful and what is not. That is manual filtering in addition to Google's.

    I maintain that Google can easily take this one step further and capture what the user thought after he/she visited the actual page. Was it indeed useful? The user did the work, read the page. Google can offer a way to capture the result then pass it on to other users. Amazon does that with reviews. They ask, "was this review helpful? (yes/no)." Why can't Google ask, "was this page useful to your query? (yes/no)."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2006 @ 2:18pm

    I use google tools almost every day.

    I still am going to laugh though when gmail profiles get stolen. And the newspaper ads, "I have been a victom of google fraud." :)

    Atleast I have more faith in them than their competition.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Michael, Jun 29th, 2006 @ 2:21pm

    Just a thought:

    You know, is anyone else curious to see how fast phishing attempts and hack attempts on google are going to come flying? especially now that there's a huge chance of getting credit information....

    I mean .. click fraud on textual links is one thing...

    However, I'm not using my CC on google check out until it has proven itself in battle for a few.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Jonboy, Jun 29th, 2006 @ 2:21pm

    Re: Hasn't Google forgotten its mission?

    "Now, how hard would it be for Google to add two buttons to each link returned, asking "Was this result useful? Yes/No." I could mark the BS results and presumably so could other users, telling Google not to return those links."

    Do you know how many assholes out there would think it was funny by marking links bad, that are actually helpful? ( I could see competitors doing this to eachother). There are millions of searches done everyday. Do you think they can monitor this feedback on a consistant basis. Although this would be a perfect solution to create an ideal search query result, this just doesnt seem feasible.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Troy, Jun 29th, 2006 @ 7:18pm

    Re: Hasn't Google forgotten its mission?

    Google is constantly hiring individuals who do rate query returns.
    http://www.google.com/support/jobs/bin/topic.py?loc_id=1628&dep_id=1094

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Nicholas, Jun 30th, 2006 @ 6:36am

    Re: Hasn't Google forgotten its mission?

    Actually, Google does do that. If you read the short description, and click the link, Google assumes it was helpful and uses that information to adjust the page-rank. The results that are clicked the most for any particular query will be shown higher than those that are never clicked.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Robert, Jun 30th, 2006 @ 8:35am

    PayPal Killer??? NOT!

    The only way this will become a PayPal killer is if eBay starts letting you pay (easily) with Google Checkout, and THAT is NOT going to happen!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Webdawg, Jul 5th, 2006 @ 11:55pm

    Google Checkout is nothing like PayPal

    Everyone is assuming Google Checkout is a payment system. It is not. Google Checkout transfers the entire shopping cart contents from a store onto Google's site. Google wants to be the checkout system for every store on the internet... for obvious reasons. This is not a payment gateway. You can not send money. The interface only supports basic products and is a bit unintuitive. PayPal, on the other hand, is an extremely useful service for sending and receiving payments. They are a gateway, meaning you can use them to process payments seamlessly from any website. Unfortunately, Google checkout is not a complex ecommerce system and not a payments system either. It is going to force stores to accommodate them because people are screaming for “Gooooooooogle”. In the end, the customers will be disappointed when they realize Google Checkout does not unite or integrate the shopping experience. It is designed to sell more ads, down to the very last peace of real estate they could carve up.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    MaxTheITpro, Aug 19th, 2006 @ 10:17pm

    Go Google go!

    This is GREAT news because Google has 2 thing that most other web companies crave: Trust & goodwill. I've heard nightmares about PayPal, but I truly believe people (vendors, shoppers, etc.) are rooting for Google. Yes, I've been peeved at times with Blogger (erors in editor) and GMail (slow once in a blue moon), but overall I applaud their efforts. I definitely look forward to getting in on this Checkout thingy. Most importantly, I hope they don't ignore eCommerce vendors here in Africa as things are really starting to heat up - big time...especially in East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda). PayPal ignored this region; hopefully the Big G doesn't. BTW, I am also very impressed with Amazon's service offerings. They have, by far, the BEST customer experience on the planet when it comes online shopping and customer service. I hope to emmulate some of these features for our upcoming eBuisness web portal here in East Africa. Stay tuned!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This