On google.com at least anyway – and google.co.uk will follow shortly no doubt…
*Update – 2nd June 7:11 am BST – I can confirm they have now disappeared from google.co.uk search results.*
Here is an email from Google :-
Please be aware that beginning on June 2, 2011, the Google Checkout badge will no longer appear on your ads on Google search results.
We’re making this change to improve the user experience on Google search results pages.
For more information, please visit https://checkout.google.com/support/sell/bin/answer.py?answer=1323905
The Google Checkout Team
© 2011 Google Ireland Ltd, Gordon House, Barrow Street, Dublin 4, Ireland.
You have received this mandatory email service announcement to update you about important changes to your Google Checkout account.
I thought this was some sort of elaborate joke at first – but the Google link in the email is genuine.
Thanks for the 3 hours of notice Google ! :-(
This is a real kick in the teeth for all those e-commerce sites that went through the painful process of implementing Google Checkout and jumping through all the hoops required to get these badges!
This really really beggars belief…
Obviously this has been done to make room for ‘Plus One’ buttons. Well Google, I hope it was worth it when you find that millions of e-commerce sites remove the Google Checkout option tomorrow!
By the way – you can now permanently erase the following post about how great Google Checkout is from your memories!
AND – furthermore – from now on, when sending out electronic invoices to clients, I will make sure I always use Paypal rather than Google Checkout!read more
The easiest way to get these little yellow stars if you have an e-commerce site is to allow the use of Google Checkout as a payment option – once you get 30 reviews, your seller ratings will start showing on your AdWords ads. (Also – having Google Checkout badges on your ads can also increase your CTR by 10%.)
Have a look on the internet and you’ll probably be able to find a lot of articles about how important good customer reviews are. But there do not seem to be any articles on what sort of increase in sales you might expect if you were to get those little yellow stars (seller rating extensions) attached to the majority of your AdWords adverts. So, to leave no-one in any doubt that customer reviews are important here are some real world figures:-
The following increase in conversion rates for one client were observed after 5 star ratings started appearing on their AdWords ads :-
27.5% ! ??
- This was not a split test.
- Many other factors can affect conversion rate.
- This figure may go down when more data comes in (though there is a pretty big sample of data already).
- *** Update – 31st May 2011 – This is the most important note – having taken the figures for a longer period before and after the ratings starting appearing on the AdWords ads, the original figure of 27.5% looks very much like a fluke. I’ll come back and update this figure when I have a bit more data in. Hopefully there will still be an increase – though it is definitely looking like a *lot* less than 27.5%. (This is an important lesson to everyone with regards to believing everything you read.. :-) ***
But even while taking this figure with a (very large) pinch of salt – I have never seen such a big improvement in conversion rate for AdWords traffic before. Put it this way – if I had my own online shop, then getting glowing customer reviews would currently be my number one priority!
(Even if the increase in conversion rate is not amazing, I would still put getting good customer reviews near the top of my list of priorities… :-)
If anyone else has had any similar experiences, please let me know!
PS – Here is the link for more detailed information on how to get Seller Ratings appearing on your Google Adwords ads:-
PPS – If you have really bad customer service you can ignore this article.read more
I think that Google Checkout has some way to go before it is a popular as Paypal.
But regardless if anyone actually uses it as payment option on your eCommerce site or not, the fact remains, that if you are running a Google AdWords campaign, and you link your AdWords and Checkout accounts, then you get a nice shiny Google Checkout badge attached to all your AdWords adverts (on Google search results in the UK if you you signed up for a Google Checkout account in the UK).
Google say that this can increase Click Through Rate by 10%.
This means that you should be able to make 10% more sales without having to pay any extra money for each sale (whether you use CPC bidding or CPA bidding).
But is it true, or are Google exaggerating just a little bit?
Well, I can confirm after trying this out, and with with some fairly large campaigns that CTR has increased by 10.3%!
Also, if you have a Google shopping feed (and you should), then you also get a nifty little Google checkout symbol beside all of your items in the Google Shopping listings, and a ‘Seller Ratings’ link, which has to help at least a little bit as well (unless you have terrible customer service)…
If anyone would any further info on any of these things, then please leave a comment.