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Google Confirms "Buy Button" To Appear "Imminently" in SERPs

     
11:55 am on May 28, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Well,, there you have it. Google has confirmed it's going to change the SERPs to include the ability for buyers to remain on its site and buy goods and services without leaving Google's site.
Does this mean it's turning into Amazon!

Google has confirmed that it is to introduce a "buy button" to its search results imminently.

The button would give Google Search users the option to purchase without needing to visit a separate website.

The company's chief business officer, Omid Kordestani, said he wanted to reduce "friction" for users so they buy more things online.Google Confirms "Buy Button" To Appear "Imminently" in SERPs [bbc.co.uk]
"There's going to be a buy button. It's going to be imminent," said Mr Kordestani on stage at the Code Conference in California on Wednesday.


Earlier discussion
Report: Google to Test Buy Buttons In Mobile SERPs [webmasterworld.com]
2:04 pm on May 28, 2015 (gmt 0)

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So, Google wants to control ecommerce across all industries? I would like to know what the FTC/Department of Justice thinks of this (if there are any honest people working in those organizations anymore). This is another nail in the coffin for the free marketplace that has allowed many businesses to be created and prosper. In the not so distant future we as business owners will find ourselves all under Google's thumb.
2:20 pm on May 28, 2015 (gmt 0)

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So, Google wants to control ecommerce across all industries?

According to the article, the "buy" button is about improving conversions for mobile ads. Some advertisers will use it, and some won't. It's their call.

I would like to know what the FTC/Department of Justice thinks of this

I doubt if they're bothered by Amazon's having some competition at last.
2:40 pm on May 28, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I doubt if they're bothered by Amazon's having some competition at last.

When Amazon creates a search engine that takes away from Google's 80-90% market share then that argument would be valid. Until then, this latest move by Google can be seen for what it is - a dominant search engine using their influence to gain even more control over every ecommerce transaction that they can.
3:05 pm on May 28, 2015 (gmt 0)

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The button would give Google Search users the option to purchase without needing to visit a separate website.


Amazing technology!

They can serve up an appropriate supplier to buy from but they can't deliver accurate results from an independent website in their own SERPs, awesome stuff, who would have thought it?
6:07 pm on May 28, 2015 (gmt 0)

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It is not going to stop with the buy button, or with Google taking the payment. Google also wants to do the shipping (they do it now in some places). Companies will more or less just be paying for the ads and providing the products. It will be interesting to watch Google's mobile development moving from a search engine to an online shopping engine (not that there is much difference at this point).

Their list of partner sites and locations is already pretty impressive: [[support.google.com ]]

The one thing that Google has learned is that for mobile you must make the purchase very thumb friendly.
6:19 pm on May 28, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I don't worry about a buy button. If you look at the things an ecom shop has to do nowadays to make customers buying an simple item, than it needs more than a simple buy button. Google may have a lot of knowlegde about search (also this seems lost in the last time) but about ecom user satisfaction they have No know how. I thought they learned from google+ desaster but they havn't. All their widgets they have are only keep alive because google pushes them in front of organic search, if they would have to stand normal competition, they would go down they drain asap.
6:28 pm on May 28, 2015 (gmt 0)

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What's next, the "Like" button?
2:43 am on May 29, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Likes are Facebook, but +1s might will rank you #1.
6:26 am on May 29, 2015 (gmt 0)

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soon you will be able to use your Google Glasses and merely look at something you want and a Google self driven car will bring it to the curb and Google robot will bring it the rest of the way. This will especially work if you are living in a bubble in Silicon Valley. And yes, you'll be able to get google fries with it. These will be special fries that cure cancer.

sorry, I need to go now because I have a friend that needs help getting a job, and can't find the Apply Now button on Google.
6:35 am on May 29, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Buying cancer is a cure for free!
5:06 am on May 31, 2015 (gmt 0)

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WW continues to hate the wrong companies!

Amazon is slowly taking over the global retail market. Currently there are many retailers selling in the Amazon marketplace, but they are (actually pretty quickly if you account for scale) starting to sell everything themselves. They even appear to have automation in place for parts of the process of finding and testing new products to add to their lineup. I don't have inside info on this but it's the only good explanation for things I've witnessed as a developer working with ecommerce businesses that sell both on and off Amazon. Sidenote: from a strictly geek perspective it's really cool stuff.

Once Amazon starts selling something, their algos do not allow other retailers to compete with them for the "buy now" box. Said retailers just screwed. --No I am not one of them and I'm not suggesting that Amazon doesn't have every right to control the algos in their own marketplace.

They're working towards automating the entire stocking and fulfillment process, not just the warehouses but the delivery too. At which point no one will be able to compete with them. Amazon will BE online retail.

Even now I suspect it's too late for anyone to catch them. Their global network of warehouses is a key part of their dominance (cheaper shipping, faster delivery, framework for future innovations) and I can't imagine any company having the capital to build something similar in a reasonable amount of time. Wal-Mart, with their existing brick and mortar network, might have a shot, but they've spent the last decade proving they don't understand the internet. Who else is there, eBay? That's Facebook vs MySpace :-)

Amazon has already shown they're not above ethically questionable tactics to kill competitors or get the upper hand in disputes. I don't mean the kind of debatable accusations that people throw at Google. I mean stuff that's vicious by any measure. Not to mention the way employees are treated at most locations. They make Wal-Mart look good by comparison.

Nevertheless I'm impressed by Amazon. It's amazing what they've accomplished. They are really the first (and will maybe be the only) company to start to manifest what online shopping was always going to become.

But as a candidate for evil mega corporation of the future? Be worried.

Then there's Google: Assuming I understand it, the Buy now button will connect shoppers and sellers. Google isn't selling anything but the transaction. Potentially provides an alternative for sellers pushed out of the Amazon marketplace by Amazon. And for a much lower price tag than the 15-20% Amazon charges sellers.

This kind of crowdsourced marketplace is perhaps the only thing that might be able to compete with the massive automation that Amazon is creating. I don't know if Google is the right company to do it, it would be nice to see it from a company that did nothing else, but in any case I think the concept is the little guys only hope of surviving in online retail.
9:51 am on May 31, 2015 (gmt 0)

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This is turning into a who's your favorite/least favorite bully thread. Can't we all just agree to dislike Hitler and Stalin equally and get back to the discussion at hand?
1:01 pm on May 31, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Then there's Google: Assuming I understand it, the Buy now button will connect shoppers and sellers. Google isn't selling anything but the transaction. Potentially provides an alternative for sellers pushed out of the Amazon marketplace by Amazon. And for a much lower price tag than the 15-20% Amazon charges sellers.

This is kind of a one dimensional view isn't it? The buy now button appears only for paid ads. Google is selling the visibility through paid ads and is injecting themselves into the transaction. If you think this is more affordable than what Amazon charges you must not be actively paying to be on Amazon and Adwords. I do and find Amazon to be much more affordable.

Outside of jewelry and a few other categories, Amazon's fees are capped at 15%. We must not forget the the selling plan fees, which tacks on another $39.99 a month. See the fee schedule at [sellercentral.amazon.com...]

Let's say I have a product that sells for $25, because I do. Amazon's cut on this is $3.75 per sale. In Adwords the CPC exceeds $1 to appear on the first page of Google's serps. With a 10% conversion rate on Google, which is relatively good IMO, it costs me $10 to sell one product. Even with the best ad copy, user experience and ease of checkout I can't avoid those in Google clicking on ads that are just doing research, price comparisons, etc. Amazon is far more cost effective for me than Google. But if Amazon were to stock what I sell, then whoever sells to Amazon the cheapest will get all of the business from Amazon as you noted in your post.

I don't really like Amazon anymore than Google - they are both out to take as much of our money as they can. And they both conduct business in ways that call into question basic ethics.

Though your post was a little off-topic, the basis of it is not. The internet is expediting the consolidation of retail. As Amazon and Google both expand their influence in this area, we the little guys are finding it rather expensive to compete. In ten years I and many other small businesses may no longer be around, which is quite possible if retail continues to get swallowed up by the big guys.
1:01 pm on May 31, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@IanKelley - I assume you are US-based since you are obviously not aware of what is happening in Asia?
2:49 pm on May 31, 2015 (gmt 0)

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As Amazon and Google both expand their influence in this area, we the little guys are finding it rather expensive to compete. In ten years I and many other small businesses may no longer be around, which is quite possible if retail continues to get swallowed up by the big guys.

Plenty of little guys will still be around. The successful ones will be relying less on traditional organic search and more on ads, Amazon's marketplace, and whatever else comes down the pike.

If you're selling things, maybe it's time to think of a freestanding e-commerce site as merely one way for buyers to access your business, not as the business itself.
5:30 pm on May 31, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Plenty of little guys will still be around. The successful ones will be relying less on traditional organic search and more on ads, Amazon's marketplace, and whatever else comes down the pike.

There may be some little guys around, but they won't be the traditional small businesses we know of today. Many will likely be one man shows that can exist off of thin margins that are growing thinner by the month.

If you're selling things, maybe it's time to think of a freestanding e-commerce site as merely one way for buyers to access your business, not as the business itself.

A free standing ecommerce website means nothing without visitors. Amazon and Google collectively control most of the buyer traffic ecommerce websites depend on. If you are not found in one or both, don't expect much in terms of sales. That's why many large brands and smaller businesses pay to be listed on those sites, despite having their own freestanding ecommerce websites. I've had a freestanding ecommerce website for quite a while and utilize most traffic sources at my disposal, with Amazon offering the greatest ROI at the moment. Buyer traffic coming from organic Google listings is almost non-existent as the serps are so overloaded with ads that even ranking in the top three organic positions amounts to very little traffic for many buyer keyword phrases.

Let's not forget that Amazon's CEO Bezos was an early investor in Google and that 25% of Google's current Board of Directors were previous Amazon executives. I would not overlook the possibility of collusion between the two companies as they are more connected than what is commonly reported in the news.

We as smaller retailers should fear Google's buy button as it's another way for them to circumvent control over our own sales process, push us to accept Google payments and ultimately further erode already thin margins somewhere in the not to distant future.
7:28 pm on May 31, 2015 (gmt 0)

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The internet is expediting the consolidation of retail.


Yes indeed. And the buy button is part of that trend.

It's not about favorites, it's about reality.

Amazon will put vast amounts of small sellers out of business. Probably sooner than many expect.

Whereas there is every indication that Google is not going to directly compete with sellers in the forseeable future.

The point being that consolidated markets will eventually be where almost all mainstream online shopping happens. And in those markets it will continue to be all about the easiest possible user experience.

So I see improvements to sales avenues that don't directly compete with small sellers as a good thing.

@red what's happening in Asia?
7:46 pm on May 31, 2015 (gmt 0)

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addressed to Redbar..
but IMO/E he'd begin with referring you to these.. ;)

Weibo...small sellers..
Alibaba...Big and small sellers..
Aliexpress..Small sellers to everyone

Jack Ma..
[techweekeurope.co.uk...]

There are others ( outside of the U.S.A and Europe ) who fully intend "eating life" and not waiting around to "be eaten by life"..
6:10 am on June 1, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Potentially provides an alternative for sellers pushed out of the Amazon marketplace by Amazon.

Not really an alternative since they would need to rank well for each item they sell too. Small mom-and-pop stores simply don't have the budget to mount massive social campaigns using tens of thousands of social accounts and thousands of doorway sites to send the social visitor along(remember, social impacts rank now). No social = no rank and no rank = no button pushers.

Big sites, by building up large scale networks of smaller sites and mass social footprints, have virtually locked up the serps for product related terms. I wish I could provide a few keywords here, you would be gobsmacked by the thin content ranking #1 on the sheer power of social. The content "looks" good and the sites "look" legit but they are thin sites that exist for one reason only, you have to do some real digging to make the connections.

I know of a site that spent a year doing nothing but adding text to interesting images to garner a mass following on a couple of image-centric social networks. When they hit 750,000 followers they put out a few extremely competitive keyword targeted articles which were completely unrelated to each other. BOOM, #1 for BOTH on the power of their social following which, you guessed it, had nothing to do with the articles at all! If you can rank #1 for widgets on the sheer power of your 750,000 followers who like cat images... something is very broken.

I think the combination of buy it buttons for ranked sites with social impacting rank is a very bad idea. If a musician with 10M followers writes an article about widgets and asks for the followers to spread the word they should not be able to rank #1 for widgets on that strength alone but I have undeniable proof that this is happening right now so...

and what does it mean for sites with predominantly informational content? The fight for these buy it button spots will lead to a lot more effort being placed to rank which will, in turn, drive informational content lower in the serps, will it not?
9:57 am on June 1, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@red what's happening in Asia?


For India try SnapDeal, it's only been going since 2010 and look at who's invested in it BIG time:

[en.wikipedia.org...]

There are quite a few more like this up and coming, likewise with China and Indonesia etc.

It's interesting that Amazon does not use the name Amazon in India!
10:19 am on June 1, 2015 (gmt 0)

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It's interesting that Amazon does not use the name Amazon in India!

Type amazon.in in the address bar and see where it takes you.
10:33 am on June 1, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I wonder how this will help Google's case in the current EU Commission investigation.
2:16 pm on June 1, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Type amazon.in in the address bar and see where it takes you.


So why are they promoting junglee?
3:42 pm on June 1, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Not really an alternative since they would need to rank well for each item they sell too. Small mom-and-pop stores simply don't have the budget to mount massive social campaigns using tens of thousands of social accounts and thousands of doorway sites to send the social visitor along(remember, social impacts rank now). No social = no rank and no rank = no button pushers.

The "buy" button won't appear next to organic results, it will appear next to ads on the SERPs.
5:39 am on June 2, 2015 (gmt 0)

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For India try SnapDeal


I'd love to see sites like that make a real place for themselves in the market. If eBay's code wasn't such a mess I'd be pulling for them to hang on to their spot.

Whether or not it will happen is something else though. But maybe you're right, maybe I'm too biased towards where the western market is headed. If India and eastern Asia go in a different direction with their crazy fast growing internet audience that could really change the playing field.

But I guess we're straying off topic..