Google Checkout offers AdWords advertisers free sales processing for up to 10X their monthly AdWords ad spend. In addition, merchants using Checkout get a nice graphic near their ad which helps increase the clickthrough rate of their ads, effectively lowering their click costs while driving more traffic to the merchant sites (in exchange for giving Google an excuse to market Checkout).
More recently Google has added coupons to some of these buttons, making them even more appealing to click on.
I saw one competing site (in the retail vertical) using this coupon ad for their own brand. How silly is it for the advertiser to pay Google per click for AdWords ads targeted to their own brand AND give their customers a discount for going through Google rather than going direct?
I have been seeing a lot more Google shopping results in the organic results, which also act as an advertisement for Google Checkout.
Some AdWords advertisers have a “show products from” plus box that goes with their PPC ads
Once that box is extended the search results look like a thin affiliate site
Currently a lot of these extras appear on brand related searches, but that will change as Google…
- gains experience and confidence
- gets merchants to give away more data
Google has their own affiliate network through the Doubleclick Performics purchase. While Yahoo! is busy signing a deal to syndicate Google ads and Microsoft is playing catch up, Google is quietly setting themselves up as an inventory management system with more interactive ads…offering merchants convenient “free” extras each step of the way.
3 big questions from the competitive landscape
- How long until somebody buys Valueclick?
- When will one of the big 3 start offering publishers feeds that can be bolted onto newspapers and other large trusted sites?
- When will one of the big 3 offer a Chitika-like AdSense ad unit that charges advertisers on a per conversion basis rather than a per click basis?