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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager MINDsprinter's Avatar
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    Google Checkout is taking over!
    A NYTimes article about the popularity of google checkout:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/20/te...0checkout.html

    Those aggressive promotions seem to be paying off:

    When Google introduced Checkout in June, it was seen as a formidable rival to PayPal, eBay’s online payment service. And with Google aggressively promoting Checkout during the holiday season and beyond, its use with some merchants has already surpassed PayPal’s.

    But Google’s plan for Checkout has always been about more than online payments. The service is a calculated effort to expand Google’s base of advertisers, which provide the bulk of the company’s revenues.
    Hope all those sales track!
    Jason Rosenbaum
    Affiliate Manager
    MINDsprinting

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
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    This is sad.

  3. #3
    Affiliate Manager
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    Yes, it is.
    Join The [B][URL=http://www.shareasale.com/shareasale.cfm?merchantID=10705]Giftshoppingzone.com[/URL] [/B] Affiliate Program on SAS - [B]10% on sales , Unlimited cookie, over 15,000 products in datafeed![/B]
    [URL=http://gift-ideas.giftshoppingzone.com/]Gift Ideas[/URL]

  4. #4
    Affiliate Manager SpinLife1's Avatar
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    Cool
    Google Checkout is good to help pay your ad bills, but if you really care about your customers you wouldn't use it. You lose that contact with your customers when they are redirected to Google Checkout. We were one of the first sites to use the beta version and we dropped it after about a month. I guess it just depends on the type of business you want to run.

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador simcat's Avatar
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    “We want everyone who sells online to be a Google advertiser.”

    "So by having a Checkout icon that increases click-through rates, over time [checkout] advertisers will have to pay less to get the same ranking for their ads."

    yep, Google is the 300lb gorilla online, like wal-mart is offline..but more-so.

  6. #6
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpinLife1
    You lose that contact with your customers when they are redirected to Google Checkout.
    Basic ecom 101 - keep contact with your customers and keep them YOUR customers....

    Don't get me wrong, I love G, but If I were a merchant, this would be the start of my kiss of death. G has all the pieces to the puzzle now, watch as the next super merchant evolves ...
    Andy Rodriguez Consulting, Affiliate Program Management and Consulting Services, Since 2001
    www.andyrodriguez.com | E: abw@andyrodriguez.com | P: (888) 931-ANDY (2639) | Skype: affiliatedoctor | AIM & MSN: AffiliateDoctor | Subscribe To Our ABW Forum Posts | Follow me on Twitter | Join Our Affiliate Programs

  7. #7
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    Yeah, I just think merchants are letting Google too much into their business. The "free analytics", no fees for 2007. Sooner or later it's recoup time. Control.

  8. #8
    Internet Cowboy
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    It seems they are relying on the laziness of merchants to develop their own promotions & leveraging the merchant's own greed against them by offering free advertising credit for the promotions, all the while scooping up the buyer data to complete the puzzle. So, now they know:

    • Where the shopper came from (how the merchant reached them)
    • What they bought
    • How much it costs the merchant to reach shoppers like this
    • What their conversion rate is
    • All of the merchant's techniques used in advertising with them
    • Who the customer is, where they live and what credit card they have
    Does anyone else see a trend here or is it just me?

    Merchants using GCO, I hope you know what you are doing.

  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager SpinLife1's Avatar
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    I couldn't agree more and that is exactly why we don't offer the service anymore, no offense to Google. I haven't heard too much about this yet or maybe I just missed it, but how is this affecting affiliates? Are sales being tracked?

  10. #10
    Affiliate Manager MINDsprinter's Avatar
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    Well, the short answer is maybe:

    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=82361
    Jason Rosenbaum
    Affiliate Manager
    MINDsprinting

  11. #11
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    Google’s goal is to build up the largest customer database in the world. With this amount of customer info, Google can easily develop customer profiles, segment the customers, and build statistical models for all kinds of marketing initiatives.

    Paypal is just the first of the long list of GCO’s potential victims. People will realize soon that GCO is a threat to their businesses rather than opportunities. I foresee the following parities will be affected by GCO as well:

    Online Merchants (won’t be surprised to see a Google Store coming out in 2 years),
    Online advertising companies;
    Email Vendors;
    List Vendors (Claritas, Experian, etc);
    Web analytics and customer behavior research a firm;
    Affiliate Marketers;
    and many more…

    Also Google will gain competitive advantages over its rival Yahoo and MSN in the filed of PPC advertising. Because Google has deeper insights into online customers than Yahoo and MSN.

    It is really scary!

  12. #12
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    Woodhead is absolutely spot on. What makes it worse is that merchants are giving up this information to Google for free.

    I've told clients again and again never to use Google Analytics, not even to use Yahoo conversion tracking, etc. This kind of data is extremely valuable and giving it away is just not an option in maturing ecommerce markets.

  13. #13
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    They're really pushing it now. Right on the Google home page:

    Google will give you $10
    to spend when you use Google Checkout.

    And Danny Sullivan posted this:

    New Google Checkout Promo; New Google Trust Worries

    http://searchengineland.com/070116-142503.php

    Sam has a blog on it:
    "I’ve heard rumblings from my sources within the company and from a few of the merchants involved in the Checkout program that something major is on the way… soon.

    Tonight, it seems that Google has added Checkout to the main search page in a very prominent way…
    Here comes the fun.
    I’ll release some info when I can, but let me know you opinions on how this relates to affiliate marketing. Strap in… it’s going to be a wild ride in the coming weeks."

    http://www.costpernews.com/2007/01/1...-on-main-page/
    Last edited by Trust; January 17th, 2007 at 01:19 AM.

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador MoneyBusiness's Avatar
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    Bleh, this is a bit annoying. Wonder what could be done to start swaying merchant opinion away from the G and their Checkout system...
    Follow my dog, Maya, and I, as we fumble around the affiliate marketing world: www.MarketingMaya.com
    Recent Project: Cheap Personal Checks (using DigitalQuill)

  15. #15
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    FYI: if you read the 10 pg T&C for google checkout, you are ALLOWING them to pull your credit report/financial report.

    Just another T&C to favor Big brother if they want to venture into...let's say, credit card processing or offering home loans, etc

  16. #16
    Outsourced Program Manager Affiliate Eagle's Avatar
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    They may become the next microsoft on the web, which will probably lead to strict "Monopoly" web legislation, if that is even possible..I think organizations like G, will open doors for internet regualtion in the future. It's not a question of if, but when.

    History tells us that companies like Walmart, Microsoft,etc. can get big, but they have to remain somewhat quiet, because if not, they risk major opposition from smaller competitors and consumers.....
    Emilio Yepez
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  17. #17
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Wait till Google unleashes Google coupons on a direct from merchant RSS or .XML feed ... then whacks coupon spam listings from their SERPs. They have the data mining stats on both search terms and conversions, and jumped on $10-20 off coupons to launch phase1. Think Froogle + Checkout + coupons on a pay-per-performance fee basis. Imagine the caseload savings for their Trademark violation attorneys, while cashing in as the ultimate point of sale attack dog. As a hooked on coupon merchant, how would you handle Google as a couponer super affiliate threatening to whack your SERP fodder?
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  18. #18
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    From a non techy type - a simple comment.


    "For the times - they are a changin......."

    Be patient and it will go round - come round.
    Join the Spicy Aprons Affiliate program on ShareASale Visit us on Facebook www.facebook.com/spicyaprons Follow us on Twitter @Spicyaprons

  19. #19
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Google is all about advertising. It is the largest advertising venue in the world. Who ultimately pays for all advertising? Merchants/Manufacturers/Service providers. Historically advertising is billed on a pay as you say go basis. Cut through all the spin and affiliate marketing is just eyeball advertising with a few reporting hooks. Major difference is there is no guarantee the affiliate publisher (venue) will ever get paid a dime for their advertising exposure efforts. Affiliate publisher accepts 100% of the risk.

    Google will never fall for the affiliate industry smoke and mirrors crapolla... nor should they as the largest advertising medium in the world. They set all the rules for advertising engagements on their site. They know one thing. All advertising ethics begins and ends at the shopping cart. Their ONLY 100% trustworthy SERP, or PPCSE sponsor Ad lands their Googler directly at a shopping cart site. Content sites for a SE are just a freebee filler public service. The better the content SERPs the more sticky the SE becomes for their info seekers.

    Believe me... at any given moment 95% of the world's population isn't involved in buying a damn thing. They might be seeking info, but advertising is just white noise. Google knows they'd best be involved in influencing the buying experience for those 5% who actually are actively shopping to keep those Ad budgets flowing their way. Thus Google Checkout is a key component in their advertising mission. If done right, and policed, it becomes a 2 edged sword. It would act as a trusted barrier seperating the buyer from unethical sellers by owning/protecting the customer info from gorilla marketers. It also acts as an escrow agent (holding the monies till shipped) vetting the scumbag merchants ( or merchant posers) from victimizing Checkout members.

    Once perfected, G-Checkout gains some real clout. Small or large merchants pouring advertising funds into Adwords will have to address their fullfillment obligations or risk losing their Checkout badges. Those like Buy.com, Toys-r-US, Ritz Camera etc etc, who lied and marked their GC orders as shipped to get to the GC escrowed cash, will get their behinds spanked at first. Next step is Google yanks their GC rights, when the bad PR/customer service hits the Google SERPs from forums and bloggers. Buy.com management knows they pocketed Googles $10 & $20 coupon spiffs this last Holiday season. Their Adwhore operations can't do without Google. Google is rankled by Buy.com's fullfillment fubars, especially when they lied when checking off the products were shipped in the GC admin area. Just like Walmart, which pays for all products within 20 seconds of receiving shipping notice, Google Checkout will have to move to a proof of delivery service before releasing consumer payments for major merchants. No suppier cheats Walmart and gets away with it.

    GC takes on all the risk of collecting the product payment during order approval process. They pass out $10-$20 spiffs to incent new GC memberships. They credit Adwords accounts and offer the GC Trusted merchant badges next to those Ads. They give free advertising link exposure to merchants at http://www.google.com/checkout/m.html and at Froogle.com, with all merchant transaction fees waved till Dec 31st 2007. Go ahead Buy.com and continue screwing up GC orders and become the first major merchant Google will use to build total trust with their loyal GC membership by releasing to media your booted from their GC program. GC has already flagged some small Checkout merchant con-men for criminal prosecution.

    The 800lb advertising Gorilla has arrived and is armed with ecommerce stats to die for... Both the loyal Googler and the world's Ad budget champs have a permanent seat in their boardroom, where the rules are set for using the World's largest advertising venue. If perfected, Google Checkout will be Google's club to beat back the Adwhores, giving them a chance to also become the most ethical Ad venue in the world.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  20. #20
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    This was always going to happen & this is just the begining, I predicted this a long time ago. I doubt there will be a market for affiliates in a few years if this continues.
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  21. #21
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    I doubt there will be a market for affiliates in a few years if this continues.
    Not true. Too much money in it for merchants to walk away. And counting on Google to do your selling for you? Just like SEO... merchants will need methods to get their products noticed, and the affiliate channel will still be their strongest.
    Kevin Webster
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  22. #22
    Affiliate Manager MINDsprinter's Avatar
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    I agree with Noth and ecomcity...I don't think Google is heading into the affiliate marketing game. Why get paid per transaction when they are making tons of money per click instead!

    Plus, there will always be room for innovation. A smart merchant wants to be diverse and have his hands in a lot of advertising pots. That means print, TV, display ads, PPC, and affiliate channels. I think the smaller ad networks, affiliate networks, and site owners will always be part of that.
    Jason Rosenbaum
    Affiliate Manager
    MINDsprinting

  23. #23
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Smile
    Quote Originally Posted by MINDsprinter
    I agree with Noth and ecomcity...I don't think Google is heading into the affiliate marketing game. Why get paid per transaction when they are making tons of money per click instead!

    Plus, there will always be room for innovation. A smart merchant wants to be diverse and have his hands in a lot of advertising pots. That means print, TV, display ads, PPC, and affiliate channels. I think the smaller ad networks, affiliate networks, and site owners will always be part of that.
    Correct, as Google would only entertain pay-per-performance deal where they had a complete lock on the results. That would be merchant coupons based off of some automated feed so they stay current. They'd want nothing to do with leads, or anything doing with mass e-mailings. All moves they'd make in SERPs are driven by weeding out the SERP spammers and those requiring expanding their legal bills or Adware/Spyware infestation perps. Googler experience is the key filter. Therefore trademark abusers, freebee operators, template couponer sites get weeded out by a GoogleBot alogo change. All SiteAdvisor Red flagged sites should get whacked too.

    Affiliates should look serious at following Leader's 1st move. Get your feet wet with real products/services powered with a shopping cart. They will always get blessed in the SERPs with the merchant free pass. Conversions rise and ROI on your PPCSE Ads goes down if shown next to natural SERPs. Build sites for bookmarks,work those Opt-in e-mails signup forms, put up niche product showcase landing pages better then offered by the real merchant. Throw away those advertising blinders and hone up the other part of marketing skills... the merchandising part.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  24. #24
    ABW Ambassador
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    "I doubt there will be a market for affiliates in a few years if this continues."

    Of course there will be. If your business is dependent on Google, you never had a real business to begin with. You can still do PPC, you can still do SEO and you can still find lots of other ways to get traffic.

  25. #25
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    Of course there will be.
    I hope your right, remember that we have only seen the start of google, there are still many more Internet users who are yet to convert to google yet. In fact this is just early days for them. If they do eventually take 90% of all searches on the web then we will be under whatever rules they decide, much worse than what it is now. Signs of their complete online shopping domination continue including how they have been pushing their mobile shopping service in Australia & other countries out side the US recently, away from US competitors and the core of the online industry. I'm sure there will still be an industry for affiliates but how big it will be in a whole other story? It might depend on what scrapings are left over from big G.
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