Smoked out, Google went on to redirect that traffic to the general Google Accounts page, but not before a screen shot all but confirmed that Google is nearing the beta rollout of its online financial payment service.
This move has been rumored for months now. Google has even gone on record over the summer to explain that the eventual offering is not aiming to compete with eBay's
Then again, how things start and how they wind up years later is often beyond anyone's control. If Google's work on Purchases has the same level of excellence that the search king has shown in everything from Google Earth, Google Local, or the flagship search engine, how can Google Purchases not catch on -- and cash in -- on the mainstream masses?
And why would Google dedicate resources to creating a worthy virtual transaction service that it couldn't easily port into a consumer-to-consumer platform? If Google's advertising model relies on the volume and quality of eyeballs, how can it not want to be a more sticky component to users looking to exchange money online? Even if Google believes that this isn't the direction that Purchases will be taking, I'll "Google Purchase" you a virtual buck in a few years if this isn't the logical hitching post for what this upcoming service will evolve into.
It won't be easy, though. Rolling out an online payment service has been hard unless your name is PayPal. Yahoo!
There is something to see here, though. One just needs to look harder, and further out.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a satisfied eBay user -- with the 151 positive feedback recs to show for it. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. The Fool has a disclosure policy. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.