Google Checkout Promo A Cause For Concern?

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Google Checkout appears to be branching out, and not everyone is happy about it. Google purists are annoyed that product information is taking up an increasing amount of space on the main results page; other observers are concerned that the search engine company is no longer being fair to competitors.

Ionut Alex. Chitu first noticed these changes in November, but they appeared to be tied directly to the Christmas shopping season. Now, as discovered by Search Engine Land’s Danny Sullivan, it seems that they’re undergoing a wider release.

Increasing Google Checkout’s visibility, by itself, isn’t exactly a malicious act. But, “That move, along with just having dropped map links to competitors and in the wake of last month’s tips fiasco, rings alarm bells that Google’s not thinking clearly about the best way to balance promoting its own products and the trust of users,” Danny observed.

“Trust” became an issue, in part, because of the search results themselves. Thanks to the changes, the links to “product search results” and to “results available through Google Checkout” are almost equally prominent. But while there were over 11,000 product search results for sd cards 128 mb, the search engine company’s service offers just 280 alternatives.

“I should be getting the most comprehensive and relevant listings that it can provide, not a promotion designed to up the usage of its Google Checkout service,” Danny wrote, identifying one problem. Also, “This type of promotion is indeed going to make more merchants feel like they should use Google Checkout and that they are somehow going to be penalized if they don’t.”

Over at Google Blogoscoped, Nathan Jamin made another good point about Google’s latest changes. “Not very user friendly” he wrote. “Looks like they’re trying to shove as much information up there as possible.”


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Doug is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest eBusiness news.

Google Checkout Promo A Cause For Concern?
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