londrum - 9:37 am on May 24, 2010 (gmt 0)
Eventually Google could sell products directly, like a huge Amazon, getting paid not only from ad spend, but from product purchases as well. Like a huge affiliate who gets paid in every case and it not at the whims of advertisers lowering their adwords spend.
it's a bit dangerous for google to go down that route, i think. if people start to think of google as a shop, then what happens when a purchase messes up? if amazon fail to deliver a product i shop somewhere else. if people think google messed up then they shop somewhere else too -- taking away all the other traffic as well, like search.
they can't start listing prices all over the place either, because if people get it in their heads they can find cheaper prices listed elsewhere, then they'll vote with their feet. and google wouldn't want to just print the cheapest ones, because that wouldn't be impartial enough.