Google Buy Button Closer to Reality; Carriers Eye Ad-blocking Software


Google will soon roll out Buy buttons for search product ads that take users to a Google product page to complete their purchases. This is the latest example of an Internet giant trying to move activity from partner sites and apps to its own. The most notable similar examples are of Facebook recently becoming an instant publisher, and serving web users as a products search engine.

As a matter of fact, the news first broke out back in December when Google approached retailers about the idea. Macy’s is reportedly among the retailers talking with Google about supporting the feature, which will follow the launch of Buy buttons from Facebook and Twitter.

The concept of the service is pretty simple – Google will store and process payment info; retailers will still handle shipping, customer support, etc. Currently, Google is addressing retailer concerns about losing access to customer data by passing on contact info users opt to provide.

The search engine’s company  won’t charge advertisers extra for adding a Buy button. However, it stands to profit if a more convenient buying experience leads to higher conversion rates, thus compelling merchants to up their Google ad spend. The rest of the technology companies are constantly increasing to the same.

This could particularly hold true on mobile devices, where small screen sizes can lead to a poor shopping experience on 3rd-party sites, and drive users to make purchases via retailer apps and so cutting Google out. Amazon is indirectly in the crosshairs: Google has argued Amazon is its top search rival, given the greater likelihood of Amazon shoppers to go directly to its site/apps and bypass Google search.

However, European carriers are increasingly looking to gain leverage against Google plans to roll out ad-blocking software to users this year on an opt-in basis. Several peers are also reportedly thinking of blocking ads. The effort could run afoul of European net neutrality laws, or spark a backlash from local advertisers and publishers. It could also lead Google and other companies whose ads are blocked to retaliate by blocking their content from being delivered to a carrier’s users.


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