Update: Google has officially launched this product now. You can check it out here.
It looks like Google has again let some news slip a little earlier than intended. A blog post on Google's Commerce blog came through the RSS feeds, titled, "Bring New Content to the Web with Google Wallet". The post, however, is not on the blog now.
The post announces Google Wallet for Web Content, which Google describes as an experiment designed to help content creators "bring more high quality content to the web." Google says that while it expects advertising to remain the most effective monetization model for most web content, it knows there is more content that creators could bring to the web if they had an effective way to sell individual articles that users can find with search.
According to the post from Google's Rob Ennals and Pali Bhat, Google Wallet for Web Content comes with the following features:
- Buy web pages individually. Your users can buy exactly what they want, with typical prices ranging from 25¢ to 99¢.
- Instant Refund if they don’t like the content. Help users feel comfortable buying your web content by offering them an “Instant Refund” within 30 minutes if they aren’t happy with it. There are checks in place to prevent excessive refunding.
- Long preview content. Provide free preview content to give users a feel for what the rest of the content will be like. Search engines rank articles based on the free preview content (not the paid content), so you should make the preview reasonably long in order to rank well.
- Rich obfuscated content. Let your users know what they can buy, by showing them a rich obfuscated version of the rest of the page.
- Single secure payment method. Let users buy web content using the same Google Wallet account they already use to pay for content across all Google properties.
- Provide perpetual access. Once your users buy content, they own it forever. Google provides an archive service help you provide perpetual access, even if your web site ceases to exist.
- Compatible with ads. By running ads alongside the preview content, you can get an ad impression even if a user doesn’t buy the content.
In the post, Google reveals that Pearson (DK and Peachpit) and Oxford University Press are already selling web content with Google Wallet, and that "hopefully" GigaOm and Motley Fool "may be ready for launch".