Practical Ecommerce

Pay-per-click Ads Impact Google Checkout and PayPal

If you’re running an ecommerce store, you’ve probably heard of PayPal and Google Checkout. The following is a quick rundown of things you might not have known about the two.

Google Checkout

You can process 10 times your ad spend in Google AdWords for free. For example, if you’re spending about $3,000 per month in AdWords, you can process up to $30,000 in website sales with zero transaction fees.

If you hook up your AdWords account to your Google Checkout account, you will be eligible to display a badge on your pay-per-click ad. It really will make your ad stand out. See for yourself: type “toys” in See that Toys R Us ad with the Google Checckout logo?

Google Checkout offers almost seamless integration with some popular carts out there. Check out for more information.

You’re also able to accept payments via Google Checkout on the mobile version of your site. If your customers have existing credit card information stored in their Google account, they would be able to pay you just like on a normal computer. The transaction would take place via Google Checkout.


If you’re processing payments via PayPal, you might be eligible to display a PayPal logo in your Yahoo! Search Marketing ads. For example, try searching for “chocolate” on Do you see the FTD ad with the PayPal logo? The existence of this logo could positively impact the click-through-rate of that ad.

PayPal Mobile allows customers to pay via SMS (short mobile service, which is a form of texting between mobile phones). This could assist users to pay for your product just after seeing your banner or text ad.

Greg Laptevsky

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  1. Legacy User March 6, 2008 Reply

    Google Checkout still does not integrate well with my cart, oscommerce. Plus, I don't like the fact that customers can leave feedback on you. That is just a sound board for complaints – why would any merchant want that?
    Not using G/C here. Paypal's IPN integrates much better than GC.

    — *dave*

  2. Legacy User March 6, 2008 Reply

    Not that it is really relevant Dave, but if you have good service and products – then yes, you DO want to be rated by the customers, because you will gain many customers in the future from the great ratings. On the other hand, if you are getting poor ratings, which is the only reason that I can imagine its bothering you, then you want to re-think your strategy, product mix and customer service guidelines.

    — *jeffrey*

  3. Legacy User March 6, 2008 Reply

    Dave, Google has written integration for OSCommerce and you can get the plug-in here:

    I've never tried it, but I use their integration for Zen Cart (and Zen is based on OSCommerce) and it works just great.

    — *carol*

  4. Legacy User March 6, 2008 Reply

    Customer feedback can also be positive; not allowing a customer to comment (positively or negatively) can sometimes can be inferred as having something to hide. if a business's products, pricing, and shipping charges are all reasonable and above-board then there is no reason to fear the feedback. yeah, there will be some who are PITA's, but they are a small minority

    — *Ted*

  5. Legacy User March 6, 2008 Reply

    Google's lack of instant download feature makes Paypal the only real choice.

    — *Giant*

  6. Legacy User March 6, 2008 Reply

    Dave & Carol: I was able to successfully install Google Checkout for oscommerce for various customers before. Not a big problem and works very nicely.

    Giant: If properly configured you can always setup the Settings->Integration->API Callback URL to notify your script about an order. In which case you can then simply send out an email to your customer with the URL for download.

    Honestly for a good developer there is almost always a way to set things up properly with different systems and you should almost never be left with only one "real choice", IMHO.

    — *JJ Galvez*

  7. Legacy User March 6, 2008 Reply

    I have used PayPal for 5 years now & have just recently set up Google checkout on one of my WebSites. I am thoroughly impressed with the simplicity of accessing my account and with the way Google Checkout handles transactions. Kudos to Google! With Google Checkout, people now have TWO REAL CHOICES. Not to mention, Google offers less processing fees. As for feedback, my company has always offered quality products to quality consumers throughout the world. I want everyone to know the great customer service that they get from my stores.

    — *Chris*

  8. Legacy User March 6, 2008 Reply

    I use this integrated with my Yahoo store, but occasionally get customers saying they don't want anything to do with PayPal processing. I use their virtual terminal for traveling or phone sales, which is cheaper than what a merchant account charges for a machine. Drawback is that PayPal refunds on someone not with them using a credit card can take weeks.

    I don't like that I am not able to give my side of the story with a return, which is what some selling like eBay is doing. I have had some really abusive customers that I am not the only one they have abused…shouldn't I be able to warn other merchants?

    — *janet canning*

  9. Legacy User March 7, 2008 Reply

    This thread has convinced me to take another look at Google Checkout and see about having both options available. Thanks!

    — *Elizabeth*

  10. Legacy User March 8, 2008 Reply

    My Mals' E-commerce store says that it doesn't work with Google Checkout.

    If you can find a work-around that would help merchants cut the cost of using paypal or hiring a merchant terminal, I'm sure some users would be interested but Mal's is a remote-hosted closed-source shopping cart so it may not be possible.
    There's a users forum – – where any work-arounds are welcome and one or two people even sell scraps of code.

    — *John Robertson*

  11. Legacy User March 10, 2008 Reply

    Great article, Greg…and a comment for "dave" (jumping on soapbox) who wrote:

    "Plus, I don't like the fact that customers can leave feedback on you. That is just a sound board for complaints – why would any merchant want that?"

    As someone that used to own a Chocolate e-commerce website, I can tell you from experience that my customers feedback was what made my business so prosperous. I gave them great service and they raved about it every way they could. My repeat business was 98%. So, don't sell your customers short, they are the entire reason you are still in business.

    (jumping off soapbox)

    — *Mary Jo Caruso*

  12. Legacy User March 10, 2008 Reply

    Google Checkout works great with SmartCart:

    The setup was simple – no programming needed. You can sell digital downloads through SmartCart and have the payments processed with Google. Its also very easy to issue refunds or partial credits or orders that are processed through Google Checkout.

    — *Angela*

  13. Legacy User May 13, 2008 Reply

    I am trying to decide on either Paypal or Google Checkout for my SAT Semin ar customers who wish to pay on-line. My prices fluctuate according to discounts for A's and B's or for group sign-ups or for Boot Camps and Seminars. I would need several buttons. I appreciate any feedback that can help me in my decision. Thank you in advance.

    — *Richard Schmidt*