Christmas shopping for the Nintendo Wii with Google

Where Oh Where is that Nintendo Wii?

Ryan Kim of the San Francisco Chronicle has just provided Tips for those on the hunt for the elusive, desirable Nintendo Wii. Apparently it’s a really tough challenge as she recounts.

Kristie Lauborough’s unsuccessful quest for the popular Nintendo Wii has been repeated throughout the land in what has become an unprecedented distinction for Nintendo. The Japanese game maker has had the hottest toy gift two holiday seasons in a row, a title that brings bragging rights, but also stokes criticism and frustration from those unable to find the console.

Many people will turn to Google in such a search and it’s instructive to see how Google tries to help. If you are someone selling Nintendo Wiis, how can you get maximum visibility in the Google search?

Google Search for Nintendo Wii

The first thing to note is that if you are relying on what is called organic SEO (Search Engine Optimization), it’s getting tougher and tougher. You can hardly complain since Google is providing free visibility. Quite naturally, Google prefers to list at the top sellers from whom it makes money. The free riders are being pushed down the page. At the top you can see two sellers who have paid to have Adwords ads appearing.

Interestingly just below them are three sellers who have not paid. They have added their products to Google Base, which is a free service. If you use the Google Shopping link or do a Product Search, then you are searching through the products in Google Base. Any seller would be well advised to check through information on Google Base and there is also a Google Base Blog.

In such searches, Google makes money by publishing Adwords ads around the Product Search results. Google is also encouraging sellers to use Google Checkout. That’s why it allows purchasers to click on that Google Checkout link to scan sellers offering that service.

For the moment Google Checkout is a loss leader for Google. It has decided to continue to offer Google Checkout free through February 1st.

Currently, Checkout doesn’t charge credit card processing fees, which means Google swallows the expense every time, a program that was supposed to end in two weeks. Looks like Google couldn’t stand the idea of sending anyone an actual bill (or more likely, they wanted to extend the program through the end of the post-holiday shopping season), so free Checkout continues, for one more month.

After February 1, 2008 Google will start charging transaction on every order that gets processed via Google Checkout. “You will still be able to earn free transaction processing if you use Google AdWords – for every $1 you spend on AdWords, you will be able to process $10 of sales through Checkout for free. For additional sales, you’ll be charged a low 2.0% plus $0.20 per transaction. Fees are the same for all payment types (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover) and there are no monthly, setup, or gateway fees.”

More details on this are available from the Google BlogNewsChannel.

Google is hoping that sellers will find this a win-win situation. Naturally Google supports those sellers through whom it can generate revenues. Even if you’re selling something as elusive as a Nintendo Wii, you need to be visible. Pay for Adwords and use Google Checkout and you get the best of both worlds. Increasingly others will find themselves squeezed out as the above key word search shows.

One thought on “Christmas shopping for the Nintendo Wii with Google”

  1. There are some really good websites out there for looking at where the Wiis are in stock! I can’t remember them right now, but they’re pretty easy to find… also on Google!

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