Trends Available In Google Checkout

    January 11, 2008
    WebProNews Staff

Google has created a version of its Trends search comparison tool that allows people to look at Google Checkout and what people buy with it.

Since all of the information provided in Google Checkout Trends has been anonymized, as it is in Google Trends, it can provide only general results.

At least, we think it’s supposed to do that.

The Google Checkout blog said Checkout Trends "aggregates the sales data of Google Checkout merchants and charts it in a matter of seconds." Interesting enough.

But the searches we tried, like Ugg boots, iPod and Zune, Batman and Spiderman, chess and backgammon, DVD player, Blu-Ray and HD DVD, brought back the same result each time: "Your terms do not have enough search volume to show graphs."

"Go ahead and try it out — and get creative with the searches. You may be surprised at what you find," David Wurtz wrote at the blog.

He’s right. We were surprised. At what appears to be either a colossal outage, or a product that sauntered past the QA department while everyone was scarfing down their gourmet Googleplex lunches.

Nintendo Wii, not enough search volume? April Fools’ Day is a few months off, people.

A few people did manage to pull some data out of Checkout Trends. Google Blogscoped humorously looked for "Google Apps," since the for-pay premium edition uses Google Checkout to process the payment.

The graph for Google Apps in Checkout Trends dropped precipitously in December 2007. Tony Ruscoe noted that could be due to lower spending during the holidays, or that the current data is incomplete or inaccurate.

Garett Rogers at Googling Google cited the inherent flaw in the system, where Checkout Trends shows price times quantity sold over time.

"The reason the results aren’t really valid for items that aren’t priced the same is because the chart shows us the revenue of each item," said Rogers. "A higher price will artificially inflate ‘popularity’."