SEO Blog raises an interesting question about Google competing with eBay. With eBay continuing to raise prices in a counter-productive attempt to increase profits, why doesn't Google create a competing auction service?
I've long assumed that this is not necessary for Google. eBay auctions seem to be increasingly geetting away from the true auction concept, selling more and more items at set prices. AdSense is a good alternative to that.
There have been a couple reports, one in the NYTimes about a year ago, saying some eBay sellers are already abandoning the site in favor of Google ads. The people quoted found it a cheaper alternative.
I used to buy parts for my classic Volvo 1800 on eBay. But the last time I checked there, a few months ago, there was nobody selling parts anymore. So I decided to do a Google search, and several ads came up from people selling parts. I clicked on one and found the part I needed. The guy selling used to sell over eBay--he had me check his reputation there. No wonder eBay is in trouble!
But it would be useful for Google to at least set up a service that would rate sellers, and an auction system would let people sell one-time items. SEO Blog suggests that Google could even run the auction service for free and support it with ads. I like that scenario.
Right now, however, I find Craig's List to be a great alternative to eBay. We'll have to keep an eye out for any Google moves in this direction.