Google Checkout Buying Market Share from PayPal

Google has deep pockets, and is certainly not afraid to use its war-chest of cash to take on PayPal. Hitwise reports Google Checkout’s $10 off $30 promotion (and the just announced $20 off $50) is helping the company to buy its way into the online payment processing market.

Its market share of visits was up 30% in the past four weeks (week ending 11/18/06 vs. week ending 10/21/06), and soon it should rank in the top 20 Google properties.

While PayPal gets 70% of its traffic from eBay, Google Checkout is casting a wider net with its partner network. Here’s where Google Checkout is getting its traffic from…

R.I.P. Search Engine Watch

Please mark your calendars for December 11th. That is the day we will say a sad farewell to Search Engine Watch as Danny, Chris, Barry (and everyone else) leave to start Search Engine Land.

While I am sure SEW will continue to attract eyeballs, it will clearly see a sharp decline in traffic, once its all-star cast of authors leave. No one goes to SEW because of its looks or interface. They go there because Danny Sullivan is there. Without Danny and his posse, why would you want to continue reading?

Search Engine Land is a success before it has even launched. I predict that within 6 months, it will have more traffic than SEW.

So, what about you? Will you stay loyal to SEW or Danny?

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Happy Thanksgiving

I hope all you Marketing Pilgrims have a great Thanksgiving.

Hat-tip to the original Pilgrims.

Best Time to Schedule Your Pay-Per-Click Ads?

The WSJ tackles a reader question about the best time to schedule PPC ads. Of course, WSJ knowing nothing about the subject, turns to recent comScore data for its answer.

The best day of the week?

ComScore analyzed online shopping trends in 2005 and found that Monday and Tuesday had the highest shares of consumer spending, each with 18% of total sales for the week; Wednesday had 17% of sales; Thursday 15% and Friday 16%. Sales fell off markedly on Saturday and Sunday, averaging 9% and 8% of a week’s total sales, respectively.

The best time of day?

The highest percentage of dollars spent online during a typical weekday occurs between 11 a.m. and noon, followed by 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. and then 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., comScore says. By far, consumers spend the fewest dollars online in the hours between midnight and 8 a.m.

Mossberg Reviews Vox Private Blogs

Walter Mossberg takes a close look at the new private blog tools available from Vox.

There’s the positives:

  • We found the process to be quick and simple, and the results to be attractive.
  • We liked the privacy features.
  • Vox does a nice job of jazzing up the world of blogging.
  • No formatting or HTML code is necessary, a requirement that used to plague many blogging services.

And the negatives:

  • Vox also doesn’t do a great job of implementing many features that are standard in blog services.
  • Not everyone will want to register with Vox just to see your protected content.
  • Vox’s weaknesses, the most important of which is clarifying its group labels.

Google Offers Sitemaps Tool for News Sites

Google has launched a new version of its Sitemaps for news sites looking to have better control of what content is indexed.

News Sitemaps tell Google exactly which articles to crawl for inclusion in Google News. The News Sitemaps XML definition lets webmasters specify a publication date and time for each article and to set keywords for each article that determine placement of the articles into the relevant sections on Google News.

More at PC Pro.

Google Click-to-Call Subject to Phone Pranks?

For a brief time yesterday, TechCrunch speculated that Google had removed its Click-to-Call function on Google Maps, due to prank calls. The post was later updated to confirm the function was still in place.

It does raise an interesting question about the potential for abuse. What is to stop someone from simply clicking dozens of links and entering the phone numbers of friends, enemies or premium numbers?

I can see the spammers making their plans now. Within weeks we’ll hear about a wave of businesses receiving phone calls with recorded messages from an ousted prince in Nigeria.