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Newsweek article - No plans to enter Ebay space

     
7:53 am on Apr 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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[msnbc.msn.com...]

Google's CEO, Eric Schmidt:

"If I said at a meeting, 'Are we going to enter eBay's space?' everyone would look at me and say, 'Why? They do a fine job.' The genius of Google is that we find new ways to solve problems that were never solved before."

also:

Indeed, just this week Google is integrating the Keyhole service into its local search product

(in other words they entered the free mail service because Microsoft and Yahoo did not do a fine job and they solved mail problems that were never solved before...:)-)

8:13 am on Apr 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I guess one thing we could look forward to if they entered E-bay's space would be a better looking web site than the crappy cluttered mess that is E-bay today!
9:36 pm on Apr 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

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If it were anyone else but a senior editor at Newsweek, I would dismiss it as idle blue-sky speculation. However, senior editors at Newsweek are not allowed idle speculation in public print. The possibilities are profound.
10:05 pm on Apr 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

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An assault on ebay should start on adwords.
10:31 pm on Apr 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Wow. Okay. Hmm.

Google needs to learn to design before anyone can think they are doing a cleanup job on eBay LOL!

The headline we all need to see at Webmaster Wrold's front page is "Google Employs Happy Cog for Google.com redesign" Yahoo! Ha!

I have fun with all of Google's toys they are cranking out these days(aside from their broken search engine). I can't wait until the pull it all together and make it work.

10:38 pm on Apr 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

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The possibilities are profound.

If Google got into Ebay's space, what would that mean to traditional e-tailers that rely on Google as a source for most of their sales?:

1) They benefit, because more buyers go to Google to find products, and end up buying more from stores because of Google Adwords and possible integration of auctions into the SERPS

2) They get killed, because Google sends its SERP traffic to auctions (as a way to monetize organic results)

3) The effects even out

I remember when Google powered Yahoo and AOL, and MSN was powered by LookSmart. We’ve come a long way from that point. At first search was fragmented, and then it consolidated; now it is fragmenting again with interesting dynamics that would have been hard to predict. Even AOL Search has been showing signs of restlessness recently.

10:42 pm on Apr 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Hmm. It would be great if Google offered an affiliate program for auctions. It would have to be better than eBay's lousy program. My visitors like auctions related to my topic, and I'd like to be able to link to them and actually get paid.
10:50 pm on Apr 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I can see it now....Googlebay (beta in fine print)

I think with googles powerful search, and targetted ads on a ebay like site, this could be huge.

wonder what payment provider they would have to buy out?

10:52 pm on Apr 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Ebay's strong point is critical mass of bidders _and_ feedback accrued over years that keeps people stuck at Ebay... until someone enterprising will allow to them to move with their feedback.
11:08 pm on Apr 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

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If google offered free, or cheap, auction listings there would be a stampede from ebay who have upset their dealer too often.
11:13 pm on Apr 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

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It will happen. eBay make too much profit for a capable company like Google to ignore.
11:40 pm on Apr 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Has no one noticed that they have already started an assult on ebay? It's called froogle.

Just think what a hybrid shopping/auction search site could do?

You could get the big names in with their feeds and the little guys in with their products. No fuss for the big guys (which is a HUGE barrier to them going on ebay to sell) and a broad, searching audience for the small guy.

Now, how they would make money on it is beyond me, unless they start charging to upload feeds and to host the shopping cart aspect.

12:04 am on Apr 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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When did this get released? Ebay is up 2.94% today.
12:07 am on Apr 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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But when I floated this theory to Google's CEO, Eric Schmidt, the Valley veteran who joined the company in 2001, he just laughed. "It's a perfectly reasonable question, but it doesn't compute here," he says. "If I said at a meeting, 'Are we going to enter eBay's space?' everyone would look at me and say, 'Why? They do a fine job.' The genius of Google is that we find new ways to solve problems that were never solved before."

How does this mean they're going to do eBay?

They don't even mention ebay again in the article.

Careful here, you could start a panic!

12:35 am on Apr 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I'm with Blaze on this one. The author cites an interview done 4 years ago, the book The Art Of War and uses the words dudes and "Google-think is under big-time pressure". This Newsweek article is supposed to compell me to believe Google is going to compete with eBay?
12:42 am on Apr 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Google is acting like child fresh out of school. They built a strong search engine that is now half broken. Yet they continue to spread themselves thinner. They want to look like others instead of relying on the formula that got them here.

If I worked at Microsoft or Yahoo I would be keeping my fingers crossed that this story is true. If they think they can impress searchers with 8 billion pages they're listening to their marketing folks too much.

1:22 am on Apr 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Google Auctions would fit in nicely with my prediction from a hundred posts or so ago:

Payments by Gooooogle

as a move into PayPal's territory.

1:49 am on Apr 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I read the entire thread before coming on the interesting intelligence that the initial quote was taken out of context. Thanks for the heads up. Cheers, S
2:27 am on Apr 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Usually, I'd say no way. eBay got the first mover advantage and they throttled all competition.

The problem is, that anyone wanting to sell something online is better off selling on the site that has the most visitors (and therefore the most prospective customers).

Any new entrant to the market will start off with a much lower visitor count that eBay. Even Yahoo couldn't attract the same amount of visitors to an auction site that eBay gets. Therefore its futile. Not many people will sell on the site unless there are enough visitors and the visitors won't come unless there are plenty of products on sale. Catch 22.

Having said that, Google pulled off the impossible when they dominated the search engine market as late movers. I still can't get over the shock of how quickly it happened. Late movers is a compliment for them. Altavista were late movers, Google many years later shouldn't have stood a snowball's chance in hell, but they did it.

I really believe they can take on any online market they want and win.

2:30 am on Apr 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I guess one thing we could look forward to if they entered E-bay's space would be a better looking web site than the crappy cluttered mess that is E-bay today!

Have you seen Google lately?

They only have a few channels to manage and it already looks a mess. eBay has a lot more categories & sub categories than Google's search engine ever will.

3:04 am on Apr 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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It will happen. eBay make too much profit for a capable company like Google to ignore.

simply stating, we may soon see BUY Green Widgets on top of google / froogle , when we search for Green Widgets .

this may be acompanied with pictures.

This may lead to fall of top fold. The top fold will invariavle by owned by BUY widgets and sponsered links.

3:36 am on Apr 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Google can easily build the biggest empire ever seen - by using their search engine as the foundation.

It's a bit scary - but if any one is going to dominate this way I hope it is Google by remembering the way they created their engine. By using clear thought and doing no evil. By looking to solve problems for everyone first and letting money take care of itself (and it did!).

Can they stay anchored to this ideal?

PS, A Google auction would leave Ebay stuck in the mud!

4:44 am on Apr 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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My first google auction would be:
"Unwanted Sandbox for sale - accept any offer"
4:58 am on Apr 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I'd say that would be conflict of interests. How do you promote eGoogleBay? There are gazzilion of keywords. eGoogleBay would compete with eBay and its affiliates for traffic in...Google. Brett, I'd rather say "the possibilities are outright scary".

In fact, Google entering any physical product or affiliate market would (and should) generate a public outcry. Imagine Google competing in your field - they have an ability to basically kill your free traffic.

7:49 am on Apr 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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That was a really interesting article :)

Who knows what is going on in the Googleplex? What I do know is that with 3,000 employees, and time given for personal projects (Google labs), more and more innovative services/products will emerge.

I hope the same goes for Yahoo!, MSN & even Ask Jeeves. Search is growing up fast. Can't wait to see what happens next! :)

8:02 am on Apr 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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If this was anyone else but Google it would be almost impossible to compete with eBay, but it IS Google, and most people go to Google when they want to find something on the internet.

Imagine this: Instead of people just getting search results when they search for a product, they'd actually see pictures of the product with really low prices next to the search results.

It'd be like eBay only with free advertising on Google, auction items would have far more exposure than they do on eBay and they'd even be seen by people who aren't even looking for auctions but might get tempted once they see the prices.

11:11 am on Apr 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I'd have said that this idea is just speculation - until I read the denial from Google. Does anyone remember that they were even denying their IPO just several months before it happened!?
12:15 pm on Apr 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I am sure google would be able to get a big part of that pie
2:42 pm on Apr 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Google will nock eBay out of the water if they go into the e-tail/auction business b/c of all the reasons already mentioned eBay's crappy website, the're crappy search system for products, etc. Google will need to clean themselves up first and fix whatever is wrong with they're search engine but I think the market is actually trying to find an e-tailer to compete with eBay.


Bless

2:55 pm on Apr 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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You can't forget there is a mass exodus waiting because of Paypal's horrendous policies and practices. I mentioned this possibility to a couple people with multi-thousand dollar Paypal accounts which have been "frozen" for two months and they all seem excited to switch to Google Auctions. (They also already have Gmail accounts, so it's not an unbiased group.)
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