Google are you becoming an Ads hole?

Google's claims about keeping organic listings separate from advertising are ringing increasingly hollow. I actually think they have every right to do exactly what they appear to be doing now – mixing ads and organic listings – they just should not mislead people about this, claiming that they don't do it!

Here's a search for "dallas to SFO". The results page sports not one but TWO entire ad blocks in the white, formerly "organic listings only" section. On my 15" laptop screen about 65% of the results page shows advertising.

Amr at Yahoo pointed out recently that Google could have trouble keeping up earnings since the advertising was now very well optimized. But how about just adding a LOT more ads?

Web Results 110 of about 3,290,000 for dallas to sfo. (0.14 seconds)
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3 thoughts on “Google are you becoming an Ads hole?

  1. Was something weird going on with your computer, for that search the ads come up in the regular sponsored links section – about 5 on the side, and one on top, they were not mixed in with the organic listings; google has been doing it like this now for a long time. Where are you seeing something new?

  2. I think this feature is a few months old but no, I’m talking about what happens OUTSIDE the sponsor areas. Due to localization we might be seeing different screens but I think that’s not it.

    I noted that the search can’t have quotations or you won’t get the organic ads. Type in this: dallas to sfo

    BELOW the top blue shaded area, in what USED to be organic, you are presented with flight and shopping info. Clicking on EITHER the brand names OR the link itself you’ll be presented with sponsored material.

  3. I’m starting to “get this”. Google seems to be in the process of integrating Googlebase and other data streams into the organic results. For example type “Real Estate”, then follow up with your zip for home sales. In my search I get listings from a single company (probably one who pays Google and uploads MLS).

    My objection is not that they do this, but that they imply this is a search refinement and not a commercial thing.

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