On the same day that Yahoo & eBay announced their PayPal and Yahoo Search Marketing oriented partnership, Google registered the domain GoogleCheckout.com, according to ZDNet’s Garett Rogers. Like any other Google domain registrations which make it to the top of the search engine blogs on a slow Memorial Day weekend, this domain registration is surrounded by mystery.
Garrett French (with an extra ‘r’) or Market Smart Interactive lends his detective work:
Is this more of a PayPal thing or a shopping cart add-on that will sync with Google Analytics?
date Yahoo + eBay went live: 2005-06-25
date DNStinations registered domain for Google: 2005-06-26
And back with Garett Rogers:
I think it will be a shopping cart system to help websites accept payment for their items online. The money site owners make will be deposited into a holding account at Google — just like AdSense works.
Isn’t this starting to sound a lot like PayPal? Who knows, they could even offer a Google branded Mastercard “debit card” like PayPal’s ATM/Debit Card — after all, the domain googlemastercard.com is registered to Google too.
If this is indeed what they are planning, it would make sense for Google Checkout to tie into Google Analytics so website owners can easily track with certainty how their AdWords campaign is directly affecting sales — right through the checkout process.
Rumors have been flying for years that Google would build a payment system which would be an alternative to PayPal, something they are testing with their Google Video Store and Google Base. Expansion into the webmaster cooridor would make perfect sense as a wrapped package with Analytics, AdWords, AdSense, Pages or Blogger (imagine the ability to launch a business blog with direct sales powered by Blogger/Google Checkout).
One aspect of the Yahoo eBay partnership which I feel is being overlooked is what the integration of PayPal means to the Yahoo Publisher Network. Under one umbrella, Yahoo may soon offer YPN Ads, Development Tools, Publisher Yahoo Maps & Y!Q, and Yahoo Stores powered by PayPal all under one roof. PayPal is the preferred online payment system among many online shoppers and site owners already, expanding to Yahoo’s Small Business and Yahoo Publisher Network is only going to build strength to both YPN & Paypal.
My opinion is that if Google does not introduce a checkout or payment system now, it might be too late. Not only would a Google Checkout ecommerce cart & payment system give publishers more reason to use Google Analytics, but Yahoo just might sweep the publisher rug directly from under Google’s feet with its own hosting. analytics, integrated PayPal payment systems, and a more relevant and publisher friendly contextual advertising system - which is something that Google cannot afford.