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Google Wallet starts 'experiment' to see if users will pay for individual web pages

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Google Wallet sign (stock)
Google Wallet sign (stock)

Google has been opening up the capabilities of Google Wallet, and now the company is using the service to see if customers will pay for a new kind of content: web pages themselves. As detailed on the Google Wallet website, the new initiative is an "experiment to see if users will be prepared to pay for individual web pages if the buying process is sufficiently easy." When using the program, content creators present readers with a free sample of their content — Google's search rankings are based on the freely-available content alone — but anything below a certain threshold is redacted. A Google Wallet banner above the blanked-out section allows users to buy access on the spot, and if they don't feel the purchase was worth it, all's not lost: there is a 30-minute grace period where readers can get an instant refund on their purchases.

Google suggests that the option is good for those looking to sell premium content, but for items priced above $1 it does point towards the digital goods for games program Google Wallet currently has in place. Google has lined up several publishing partners for the experiment, listing Peachpit, DK Publishing, and the Oxford University Press as participants. If you'd like to get more details, or see some examples of the experiment in action, you can check out Google's sign-up page.