Google has definitely become more aggressive lately in the field of competitive warfare and public relations with its anti-trust complaints of Microsoft’s Vista search functionality and now eBay’s banning of Google Checkout as a payment option.
So aggressive apparently that Google has put together a planned protest of eBay merchants at an eBay event.
Now, eBay seems to be firing back and hitting Google where it hurts, in their wallets.
Brian Smith of ComparisonEngines.com says that he received a tip that eBay is pulling the majority of its AdWords advertising campaign in response to Google’s actions.
I got a tip saying that eBay had pulled all its ads from Google AdWords as of late last night. While I have no official confirmation, I couldn’t find one eBay ad live on AdWords, and AdWords is usually littered with them. Ads for eBay companies like Shopping.com and PayPal are still live on AdWords, but there isn’t even an eBay ad up for keywords like ‘ebay’ or ‘auction’ on Google AdWords.
My first thought was that this is as bad for Google as it is for eBay, but I’m starting to think otherwise. I believe that Google’s AdWords revenue is diversified enough to handle a loss of an advertiser like eBay. I don’t have data to back that up, but I don’t recall seeing statements in Google’s filings highlighting eBay as a significant proportion of its AdWords revenue.
Will the eBay AdWords boycott last for long? Probably not as Google AdWords is a tremendous sales and traffic generator for eBay.
But given Google’s recent “pull no punches” stance, one has to wonder if this eBay-Google will spill over into the partnerships which the two companies have formed, specifically the eBay-Paypal-Yahoo partnership.