Thursday, 15 February 2007

AdWords & Checkout Icons

As you may have noticed, Google is now displaying Checkout icons by advertisements for advertisers who use Google Checkout. According to their blog post on the subject, "[w]hen people begin shopping by searching online, they're looking for places to shop that are convenient and secure. The Google Checkout badge makes it easier to find these places . . . ."

I see two possible repercussions of the Checkout badge.

First, those ads with the badge may get higher CTRs simply because the badge will draw people's attention to those ads, in the same way localized ads have an extra line of text. This could be a good thing for those advetisers, but not necessarily . . .

Second, those advertisers with higher CTRs may find their conversions dropping simply because their ads were clicked on out of curiosity regarding the Checkout icon, rather than the content of the ad itself.

My gut feeling, at this stage, is that the Checkout icon may well be a good thing for those advertisers. However, whether anyone will want to sign up with Google Checkout just so they get an icon by their ads remains to be seen.

The bottom line is that really Google is just trying to get more users of a system that pales in comparison to its well-established competitor, PayPal!

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