Google announced this morning that it has begun tests of a new service, Google Trusted Stores. The program will monitor and verify that an online store's performance, trustworthiness and customer satisfaction all meet certain standards. The company will even offer free insurance for up to $1000 in online purchases from stores deemed Trusted by Google.
People have long said that it's in Google's best interest to support performance improvements to the Web, because the better surfing works, the more ads users will see. So too, though, does Google have an interest in improving the reliability of the purchasing experiences that users have when they click through any ads online. The more people trust online stores, the more they will click on online ads. That makes me think that this experimental new service could prove very big for Google and for the rest of the Internet.
The video above had leaked online a month ago, but no further information had been available until the official announcement today.
Google's trusted brand, extensive reach and offerings throughout the supply chain all combine to make this a significant effort. It's also further indication of the company's long-term goal of offering analytics far beyond old-fashioned website visitor numbers.
Just as Google Offers aims to drive traffic, Google Places offers reviews for offline real-world stores and AdSense delivers traffic, now Google Trusted Stores aims to provide reputation insurance that will supercharge online stores.
On the other end of the purchasing cycle, Google just released real-time Google Web Analytics and is making major investments in Google Wallet for offline purchasing. Put it all together and it looks like an end-to-end, cradle-to-grave, high-touch platform that could enable all the better the company's stated goal of being able to offer up recommendations for web and other content before users even know they want to ask for it.
It makes sense and is incredibly ambitious. We'll see how many of those different programs the company can pull off.