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April 18, 2007

Yahoo PayPal Checkout

It's so sad to live in a divided world where companies try to be better than their rivals by imitating everything the rival does. Yahoo's lack of creativity is proven by the latest partnership with PayPal to counter Google Checkout, which gained some traction thanks to Google's aggressive promotions.

"With the Yahoo! PayPal Checkout Program, a blue shopping cart icon appears next to your ad in Yahoo! search results. This can help your ad stand out, and let customers know you offer PayPal Express Checkout, from the brand known for security."

PayPal offers free processing until the end of the year, like Google. But there's more:

"The ability to quickly locate PayPal merchants will save you some time because the PayPal checkout system remembers all of your personal information, providing you (and me) with the convenience of a single username and password, as well as a consolidated look at your transaction history so you can view all of your purchases and track each items' shipping progress."

This seems pretty familiar, isn't it? Here's a fragment from a Google post written after Google Checkout's launch, in June last year:

"One cool feature of Google Checkout is that you can buy from stores with a single Google login – no more entering the same info each time you buy, and no more having to remember different usernames and passwords for each store. To help you find places to shop, you'll see a little icon on the ads of stores offering Google Checkout. It's an easy way to identify fast, secure places to shop when you search. And after you've placed your order, Google Checkout provides a purchase history where you can track your orders and shipping information in one place."

This is only about ads, Google and Yahoo have many common advertisers and there are some merchants who use both PayPal and Google Checkout. Google forgot about users' choices to promote Google Checkout, while Yahoo is always on Google's footsteps and replicates every new feature or product.


  1. How is PayPal the copycat here? It's been around a LOT longer than Google Checkout, and is a lot more widely used. I think it's smart of Yahoo to link up with them, and as someone who's used both payment services, I'd be inclined to stick with PayPal.

  2. Have they even condsidered that perhaps this isn't the direction to take a search company? Granted it's been good for Google, I can't say it's improved my searching. There's a whole field of innovation wanting exploration and for some reason only one leader (who is actually looking more and more like other familiar corporate behemoths).

    I suppose we'll have to wait for the next couple of college kids with ideas to come along.

  3. Paypal offers a very good service... it's the google of digital payment systems...

    while yahoo may be for sure a copycat company under certain scopes, i think their move it's better then google checkout.

    That's why I personally disagree with the tones used in this specific blog post while still appreciating the blog itself overall content.

  4. Yahoo copied everything: the reasons to use their service, the free processing until the end of the year, the icons etc.

    Here's their differentiation:

    << How does PayPal Express Checkout compare to Google Checkout?

    Unlike Google Checkout, where buyers complete their transaction on Google’s web site and return to Google’s site to track orders they place with merchants, PayPal Express Checkout returns buyers to your site to complete their transaction, enabling you to maintain a direct relationship with your customers. This means that with PayPal Express Checkout you have the opportunity to up-sell buyers on other products after the transaction, and you have more opportunities to market to customers after their initial purchase to drive repeat purchases and loyalty.

    Also, PayPal has 133 million accounts. You can tap into this user base when you place PayPal on your checkout page as a way to pay. PayPal has been shown to increase sales by an average of 14% for merchants who offer PayPal. (Source: Q1 2006 PayPal phone survey of small and medium-sized businesses doing a minimum of $120,000 in annual sales online.) >>

  5. I think that you are biased against Yahoo.

    Its called competition, not "copycating". A couple of "examples": Google got their main revenue stream by "copycating" Overture's scheme of sponsored ads. Google followed PayPal's lead when they introduced checkout. Google Groups copycats Yahoo Groups...

    It seems that you are to centered on Google to grasp a broader perspective. Hope your not advocating a work of patents for everything...

    Google is not so innovative as you think. Most of their innovation is through buying startup companies... sometimes just to "stop" them.

  6. To be fair, they have pretty much copied everything from Google Checkout, even those little shopping trolley icons... and the name.

    PayPal is better than Google Checkout though.

  7. All you guys suck!(except the last one) Cant you see plaigerism when it stands in front of you, then smacks you in the face and then just in case you hadn't noticed, urinates in your mouth. While it may have been wise to team up with paypal, they could havejust left paypal icons or even made a checkout service but not rebrand Google checkout as there own.

  8. Ionut, don't worry about the preventious users' comments on your over-bashing of Yahoo. Your observation in this post is perfectly well-founded and completely true. Yahoo DOES seem to copy Google very often, something which I myself have also noticed. It seems pretty pathetic that Yahoo seems not to understand the word "innovation" and only COPY, COPY, COPY!

    To be fair, Google has also copied Yahoo in the past, but nowhere near the extent that Yahoo has.

  9. How do you feel about Google's latest "copycat" move, Google StumbleUpon.. err Google Recommendations ?

    Be alert and see how Google is going to copycat Yahoo's Flickr in their Picasa Web...

    Competition, not copycating.
    In an open world, end users win.

  10. Google Recommendations is not that new and it's certainly not a StumbleUpon copycat.

    "StumbleUpon uses ratings to form collaborative opinions on website quality. When you stumble, you will only see pages which friends and like-minded stumblers have recommended." (about stumbleupon)

    Google recommends sites by looking at your previous search activity. You don't have to rate any site, add friends, select favorite topics etc. It's more like an extension of your searches.

  11. Google Bookmarks is just a copycat of Yahoo!'s Bookmarks and also Yahoo!'s

    If you adopt a broader view, you'll see that the world is not so black&white (i.e. google innovates, others copycat).

  12. Personally I am happy that there is a checkout option now available where I don't have to worry about my account being frozen or put on hold simply because the "processor" doesn't like that I logged in from a differnt computer, IP or browser. Yea, Paypal is like that, ( do research or checkout I am much more inclined now to buy from the web esp from people offering google checkout because I will never do business with paypal ever again. 2 years and 2 months to get back my $4,256 they put on "hold for 6 months" because I bought en ebook from some bogus seller.. HORRIBLE. If Google is up front and not about games, I'm all in and don't give a rats @$$ about who copied who. When I'm surfin and spending my very hard earned money, It's all about ME and MY security! :)

  13. CAUTION with Yahoo PayPal Checkout Program!

    In the terms and conditions, you agree to data share with Yahoo ALL your PayPal sales transactions whether from a Yahoo click or not!!! I for one do not want Yahoo knowing every sales trnsaction I have on PayPal.


    Data Sharing.
    As part of this program, PayPal shares with Yahoo! some information about your PayPal transactions. By participating in this program, you consent to PayPal sharing with Yahoo! the following information in connection with your PayPal sales transactions: that you are the seller, the date and time of the sale, description of the item sold, the authorized transaction amount, and the URL of the last page on your web site that the purchaser visited prior to making the purchase on PayPal. This information is subject to the Yahoo! Advertiser Master Terms and Conditions.


  14. "It's so sad to live in a divided world where companies try to be better than their rivals by imitating everything the rival does. Yahoo's lack of creativity is proven by the latest partnership with PayPal to counter Google Checkout, which gained some traction thanks to Google's aggressive promotions."

    Dude Google is Giant, Yahoo need friend to compete Google


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