NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Google (GOOGL) is reportedly testing "buy" buttons in search results. It's a smart move for the search leader, but does it present a real challenge to Amazon (AMZN) and other online retailers?
The addition will be an added service for Google's advertising customers and keep eyeballs on Google's search engine results pages longer, but it's not a game changer.
Google buy buttons will only be on the first two promoted search results on mobile, meaning that users actually looking for items or actively shopping will likely still go to the Amazon app or other retailers, who they know and trust. At the same time, it's a smart move for Google because it allows the company to add value for its advertising customers, who should pick up additional business with the button.
Two search results does not a comprehensive, trusted e-commerce retailer make. When it comes to online commerce, Amazon's primacy is still safe -- for now.
What Google is doing here is nothing new for digital businesses. We've seen it time and again: Once an internet platform has enough users, it attempts to aggregate different functionalities and content to keep those users from spending time on other platforms for other purposes. Most recently, see Facebook (FB) instant articles. The challenge in aggregating is maintaining that core identity that brought them users in the first place. Google is a master at this. While continually offering more valuable services over the years (like Gmail, Gchat, Google Maps and more), Google has maintained a home screen consisting of a logo, a search bar and two buttons.