Former Googler, Murat Yatagan, shared on Twitter a document I don’t think I’ve seen before and I think most the readers here will get a kick out of. Basically the document explains why Google sells advertisements and not the search results.
It isa named Why we sell advertising, not search results and the URL is google.com/about/honestresults.
Here is a copy of the text:
In a world where everything seems to be for sale, why can’t advertisers buy better position in our search results?
The answer is simple. We believe you should be able to trust what you find using Google. From the beginning, our approach to search has been to provide the most relevant answers and results to our users.
Google search results take into account who links to a web page as well as how relevant the content on that page is to your search. Our results reflect what the online community believes is important, not what we or our partners think you ought to see.
And while we believe relevant ads can be as useful as actual search results, we don’t want anyone to be confused about which is which.
Every ad on Google is clearly marked and set apart from the actual search results. While advertisers can pay more to be displayed higher in the advertising area, no one can buy better placement in the search results themselves. Moreover, ads are only displayed if they’re relevant to the search terms you entered. That means you only see ads that are actually useful.
Some online services don’t believe the distinction between search results and advertising is all that important.
Of course, many SEOs and advertisers who are skeptical about this have tons of examples to point to about confusing the user about what is an ad and what is not. Now, Google labels the ads with green labels. In the past, they were shaded a different color. In any event, with four ads at the top, it is hard to get to the organic results anymore.
Have fun with this.
Forum discussion at Twitter.
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Author: firstname.lastname@example.org (Barry Schwartz)