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Google adding buy button on mobile searches: WSJ

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Search giant Google is looking to add a buy button on its search results pages for products on mobile devices, reports The Wall Street Journal. The publication added that the button will appear next to sponsored or paid search results, which are usually on the top of the page, and will be displayed under “Shop on Google”.

If users click on the buy button, they will be redirected to another Google product page where they will be able to complete the purchase and be able to pick colours, sizes and shipping options. The report added that retailers such as Macy’s are in talks to take part in the launch and that the products will still be provided and sold by retailers, and not by Google.

The move marks a strategic shift as the company gets deeper into retail and puts it directly in Amazon and eBay’s territory. Amazon, on its part, is looking at shopping through its new piece of hardware called the Dash Button. The Dash Button is Wi-Fi-enabled device that will instantly order a predetermined product, and the size and quantity, within seconds of pressing it. Amazon uses customers’ credit card information on file to make payments automatic and the product is delivered after two days.

Marketing opt-in 

The Next Web highlighted the concern raised by retailers that their online brand identity would take a beating because of the new buy button which would be consumed by Google’s brand. However, under the programme, Google will allow buyers to opt-in to retailers’ marketing programs and let them collect information on customers, while product pages would be heavily branded. Google will save all customer payment information before passing on the retailer’s cut.

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Focus on mobile

Google has been increasingly focusing its search efforts on to mobile and earlier in April said that it will mark-down websites that aren’t mobile friendly in search rankings and mark-up websites that are mobile friendly. A Google spokesperson told Re/code that mobile friendliness isn’t the sole criteria for mobile search results, and in case a site is not mobile friendly but has high quality content, it  could still rank high in the search results.

Earlier this month, Google also integrated tweets into its search results on smartphones. Google will get broader access to tweets every minute for this feature, which Google has used to start displaying relevant tweets when users search for certain trending topics. This feature is currently running on a trial basis. It does not seem to be live in India yet.

Last week, Google began displaying info on Google Now cards from third party apps like RunKeeper, Jawbone, Feedly and 67 other apps. After Google started adding third party Android apps to Google Now cards in January, it has expanded the number of apps, which now totals to 110.

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