Google to Add ‘Buy’ Button to Search Results Within Next Few Weeks

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Google to Add ‘Buy’ Button to Search Results Within Next Few Weeks

Within the next few weeks Google will be rolling out a “buy” button that will allow people to purchase certain items directly from its search results pages.

A report in the Wall Street Journal indicates that Google’s buy button will initially be available only in mobile search, and will appear alongside paid search ads — not organic search listings.

WSJ’s anonymous sources have explained how the buy button will work. When you click on the buy button you’ll be directed to a special Google page to fill out the usual purchase. Then you submit your payment information directly to Google, where the order will be passed on to the retailer to be fulfilled.

This marks yet another example of Google aiming to be your one-stop solution from everything to finding web pages, to purchasing products, to ordering takeout. Just last week Google introduced a way for US customers to make delivery orders from local restaurants.

As Google expands into the online retail space it’s sure to pose a threat to current industry leaders like Amazon and eBay. Even smaller retailers aren’t thrilled with this move. Some are privately expressing concern that they will lose their brand identity as more customers place orders on a Google page rather than the retailer’s website.

Through this program, retailers will still have the opportunity to invite customers to opt-in to their marketing campaigns, as well as collect customer information. Google will save all customer payment information before passing the sale on to the retailer.

Instead of taking a portion of the retailer’s sales price, like Amazon and eBay, Google will continue to be paid by retailers through its existing advertising model.

Google has not officially commented on its buy button, so an official launch date has yet to be confirmed.

Matt Southern
Matt Southern has been the lead news writer at Search Engine Journal since 2013. His passion for helping people in all aspects of online marketing... Read Full Bio
Matt Southern
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  • Ron

    Is this when Google “jumps the shark?”

    • Alan Bleiweiss

      Do you mean to say “Is this when Google jumps the shark again?” Because I’m pretty sure they’ve been jumping sharks for a while. Yet one more play to stop users from clicking through to other sites.

      • Ron

        Maybe that is what I meant! For the SE that is “supposed” to help you find a website where you answer may lie, they are now intentionally diverting traffic. Worse yet (“don’t be evil”) they are mostly adding and abetting the giant multinational retailers to the exclusion of the little guys. It’s good to be King…

  • Martina McKeough

    Wow not heard of this so glad I stumbled on your blog. Would be great for my business as I sell online products as well as services so any extra exposure can only be a good thing. Does mean however that exposure on Adwords for those top spots on mobile could be at a greater premium.

  • KeithR

    One day, Google is going to wake up and realise that not only is it no longer a search engine, but also that it has been overtaken in search by a more focused competitor. Once Google becomes recognised as primarily being an online store – it’s finished. It will have compromised its mission to such an extent (in the quest for ever-increasing revenue), that it will no longer be the search engine of choice – it will have become an aggregated shoppers’ destination almost exclusively. They’ve been so successful I believe they’ve taken their eyes off the ball.

  • DevDigital

    Google is playing a game again. Not a good move, users are not going to buy blindly without checking out the product.

  • Bob Tenant

    Most interesting post!

    If the ‘Buy Now’ button only appears on paid search ads, this will create external pressure for smaller retailers to also have presence in the paid search, hence increasing the overall value of advertising space. This means:

    1. Google will cash in some mad dough.
    2. Smaller retailers will be pushed out of business simply because their add purchasing power is largely inferior to bigger players.
    3. Reduced competition = partial monopoly since the lion’s share will be distributed between a handful corporations.

    Hitting mobile devices first is also a great move. Anyone using their phone or tablet regularly knows how frustrating it could be to browse for a long time. If the very first thing you see is what you went online in the first place, clicking that button and saving yourself the rest of the hassle makes a ton of sense.

    Further to what KeithR pointed out, Google is not content of being #1 search engine anymore. I sense their long-term strategy includes much more than that. Since most of the users are already in their back pocket, sky is the limit now.

    We have some mighty interesting few years ahead of us, folks.

  • Anne Maria

    As a retailer, anything that boots sales measurably is good for my business. Google and Amazon are sure bets for increasing revenue, cautiously.

    I am excited about Google’s proposed ‘Buy Button’. However, as the article stated, maintaining the data feed and changing regulations can be challenging for a small retailer to keep up with