Have you seen the new Google Checkout icons which are displayed with paid search ads where the merchant is using Google Checkout? The evidence we’ve heard so far is that those icons lead to a higher click through rate.

What will that do for your paid search rankings?

Try searching Google on “tow bars” – go on you know you want to.

At least at the time of writing this brings back the top sponsored link as ‘towequipe’ and there is a Google Checkout icon also in there.

The (still relatively few) people we’ve talked to about click through rates for paid search ads WITH the Google Checkout icon versus those without all agree that the icon leads to higher click through rates (as you might imagine).

Whether this will remain the case or not we don’t know.

But in the mean time, if it is the case that higher click through rates on your paid search ads lead to better paid search rankings (for the same, or less, money than your competitors’ ads), then isn’t Google Checkout a reasonable paid search optimisation tactic right now?

Or are Google discounting this effect in their ranking calculations? Or is it a cunning way to encourage merchants to adopt Google Checkout?

Ashley Friedlein