Widgets are becoming the norm on social networks, blogs, and start pages. Google has just released their version of an ecommerce widget (which they call a gadget) for the iGoogle start page and everywhere else that can take a snippet of code. It was announced on the Google Checkout blog.
Now, this is not what I would classify as an ecommerce gadget. You cannot conduct a transaction, but it is a good indication of what Google has in mind.
Currently, it simply displays a product with an image, name, mini-description, price, and merchant name. It also shows a handful of other similar products from select Google Checkout merchants in a carousel scroller. It's more an advertising gadget.
Here is the kicker: when going to add this Google Checkout gadget it asks if I'd like to see this gadget on google.com
Could this mean we will soon see ecommerce gadgets right ON Google search results? I'd say yes. There is nothing preventing Google from developing out the gadget to be fully transactional, especially with Google Checkout as the transactional engine. We already know they are serving up gadgets for things like weather.
What does this mean for online retailers?
- All your hard work getting to the top of Google SERPs may be all for nothing as Google Checkout merchants will likely have prominent visibility in the form of a gadget
- You will recognize the opportunity to leapfrog competitors by getting on the Google Checkout train
- You will have to learn how to optimize for Google ecommerce gadgets in addition to organic listings
- It will be part of AdWords and likely be a pay-for-performance delivery medium
- Nothing. Google will 'not be evil' and figure out a way to index merchants products regardless of Google Checkout status and include them in gadgets. (Highly Unlikely)
- Nothing. I have read too much into this and Google will never try to close the loop on ecommerce transactions - selling ads AND product on the same page. (Highly Unlikely)
There it is, the Google Checkout ecommerce gadget. What do you think? Will this change everything we know about SEO for ecommerce? Is this a huge opportunity of which you are eagerly waiting to take advantage? Is it nothing?