Last night Google Checkout announced that you will now see larger and more colorful Google Checkout buttons on some sponsored results in Google.com. That means, any merchant that accepts Google Checkout, will be given a huge advantage. Plus it means, we technically have these little banner ads on the sponsored listings. As you can read, I am not a big fan of these icons. I actually liked the ones they used before.
The original icons were a green color, and a simple but tasteful shopping cart. It looks like:
Then they removed the color from the icon and it looked like this:
Last night they changed it to look like this:
Now, who will ever see the ad between those two ads with the Google Checkout icon.
Don't get me wrong, I have clients that use Google Checkout and they will most likely benefit from this. But I still think it is not fair nor helpful to the searcher. Of course, Google argues that it "help shoppers more easily identify Google Checkout merchants" but do shoppers care? I asked my wife last night and she had no idea what the icon meant.
You should be able to see these icons in action with a search for sporting goods.
In my full size screen capture, you should see the top sponsored listings still use the old icon, which is cool.
Let's not forget their Froogle tests.
Thank you to everyone who emailed me about this, I can't believe the number of reports I got notifying me about it.