Google recently announced its plans to retire Google Checkout, an online payment processing service, and transition towards a more streamlined product known as Google Wallet. While the complete shutdown of Checkout will occur on the 20th of November, the news has already created some waves in the business market. Some are considering it a loss on Google’s account in the battle against PayPal for online payment processing, while others deem it a clever move. Before we jump to conclusions, it is important to understand what caused the demise of Checkout and how will it affect the market. Why did Google Checkout fail? When Google launched Checkout in 2006, it adopted a similar policy as with previous products: the people will either adopt it or they will not. As a result, Google never actively ‘sold’ the product to consumers, nor did it make any efforts to highlight the salient features of Checkout to them. Around the same time, similar services like PayPal were arriving … [Read more...] about What Does Google Checkout Dying Mean For Merchants?
Fair does not mean equal
We all know that monitoring online reviews is important for online marketing; but lately, it seems that not all reviews are created equal. In fact, Google+ Local reviews may have a greater impact than others on your online marketing effectiveness. According to Searchmetrics’ analysis of SEO ranking factors in 2013, Google+ had the highest correlated effect on search rankings for Google UK. A 2013 study from Now Digital Marketing Works took it one step further, reporting that Google+ reviews are the most important factor when it comes to inclusion and ranking in the Carousel. While some consider it rather bold of Google to place so much importance on its own social media platform, it’s not exactly surprising. Google is the ultimate authority in its own eyes, so it makes sense that the search engine would turn to its own subsidiary when determining rank. Your Google+ Local page is all the more important, then, when you’re looking to give your site an SEO boost. Google+ … [Read more...] about Does Google’s Review Count Inflation Give Them An Unfair Advantage In Local Search?
Since the early 2010s, visual search has been offering users a novel alternative to keyword-based search results. But with the sophistication of visual search tools increasing, and tech giants like Google and Microsoft investing heavily in the space, what commercial opportunities does it offer brands today? Visual search 101 There are two types of visual search. The first compares metadata keywords for similarities (such as when searching an image database like Shutterstock). The second is known as ‘content-based image retrieval’. This takes the colour, shape and texture of the image and compares it to a database, displaying entries according to similarity. From a user perspective, this massively simplifies the process of finding products they like the look of. Instead of trying to find the words to describe the object, users can simply take a photo and see relevant results. Visual search engines: A (very) brief history The first product to really make use of … [Read more...] about What does visual search mean for ecommerce in 2017?
Google has opened up its shopping ads to external providers and there is greatly increased competition for product ads. Around one third of ads in the British, German and French search results are provided by external services, Searchmetrics’ 2018 Google Shopping Study reveals. However, traditional product and price comparison portals are hardly found in these ads. Most are occupied by marketing agencies who bid for ads on behalf of online shops. Now, several large comparison sites, including Idealo and Comparado, have made a complaint to the European Commission. Their position is that Google Shopping’s distribution of ads is no fairer than before and they demand that the EU take further measures against Google. Shopping Study 2018 Google Shopping today: The competitive landscape In June 2017, the European Commission found that Google had been abusing its market dominance in the area of shopping ads, and issued a 2.4 billion Euro fine, as well as demanding that Google … [Read more...] about Google Shopping 2018: Does more Competition mean fair Competition?
On Monday this week, Google announced that they would be changing their treatment of star rating rich snippets in search results. We already know that Google wasn’t happy with how star rating rich snippets (like those pictured above) were being used in the wild. “Structured data penalties” have become common in the past couple of years, mostly (in my experience) for the practice of placing organisation-level ratings markup across your entire site, which Google considered inaccurate or misleading (as the ratings weren’t for the specific content of the page they were on). Lots of examples of this exact behaviour continued to exist, however, with Google seemingly unable to enforce their own rules at scale (as is common for activities requiring manual review). So what has changed? It looks like Google is about to get far stricter on when they will and will not respect ratings structured data, the Schema.org property which has until now triggered these … [Read more...] about What Google’s Star Rating Rich Snippet Changes Mean for You