Google to turn search into a marketplace?

Everyone’s been calling for years for Google to launch a marketplace and now the Wall Street Journal reports that a Google Buy Button is to be added to Google search pages in the near future.

WSJ suggests that Google will start rolling out a buy button on mobile ads initially, although the chances are high that this will be expanded to desktop searches at some point in the future. The new service will be rolled out to a small test group to start with so don’t automatically expect to see it from day one. Also it would be no surprise to discover it’s limited to US merchants and possibly only to member of Google’s Trusted Stores program.

Good news for retailers who use Google Product Listing Ads is that it’s thought Google will simply charge retailers through the advertising fees you already pay.

Consumers who choose to purchase by clicking the buy button will be able to complete the transaction without ever leaving Google. The first time you purchase you’ll be able to store your payment card details with Google for future purchases.

Who won’t like the Google Buy Button?

There are a couple of groups who will not be fans of a Google buy button. The first are of course marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon – they’ll either have to embrace the Google buy button, which on the face of it Google probably won’t welcome as they won’t be able to vet the ultimate retailer.

The second group who really won’t be amused will be the EU legislators, who are already looking at Google’s dominance in search from an anti-competitiveness viewpoint. The question the EU will ask is if Google display buy buttons in search should they also display buy buttons from other search engines such as marketplaces and price comparison sites?