I’ve been debating for a couple days whether to even post on this. Technically, Google Checkout can be classified as a merchant tool, which is generally a bit outside the realm of small business search marketing.
Only, in this case, it’s really not. Google Checkout is tied heavily into AdWords, which is very much an element of search marketing. That alone makes it on-topic … plus, I have some other material in the pipeline that’s a bit outside the strict realm of search marketing, so if we’re gonna stretch definitions, may as well start here.
Google Checkout was launched last week, and already has a number of merchants taking part. In my short time back from vacation, though, I’ve yet to hear from any clients who want to investigate it — heck, I’ve yet to hear from any clients who even know about it!
What is it? Well, it’s kinda sorta like PayPal … only different. It’s an extension of the AdWords system, and has the potential to make your ads more visible … if searchers start to click more often on ads with the Google Checkout icon. It’s probably a good idea for small businesses to use on their web sites … if you don’t mind Google knowing even more about you and your customers, like their credit card numbers, for starters.
Some reading material:
Chris Sherman writes an excellent overview on Search Engine Watch, with a strong recommendation for small business owners to use it:
For now, using Google Checkout will be a no-brainer for smaller merchants with limited budgets, as the program provides a valuable service for very low cost and offers additional benefits for advertisers.
Not so fast says PPC guru Andrew Goodman, who lays out the contrarian viewpoint and says “…it’s easy enough to come out on the ‘dislike’ side of this announcement.”
I’d love to hear thoughts from anyone who’s used Google Checkout — either as a merchant or a shopper.