EditorialGuy - 10:58 pm on Oct 17, 2013 (gmt 0)
risk3: Or maybe it does work. Keep in mind that:
1) The "nothing but ads" scenario doesn't happen on most searches--only on some e-commerce searches.
2) For the searcher who is looking to buy something, a cluster of sponsored reviews or Product Search images with prices may be just as useful as the traditional 10 blue organic results.
It's worth noting that, in the heyday of print, people used to buy publications such as COMPUTER SHOPPER that consisted mostly of ads. Free magazines and newspapers (including controlled-circulation publications targeted to specific types of readers) are another precedent for ad-dominated SERPs. For years, surveys have shown that readers of trade and special-interest publications often read those publications "for the ads," so why should commercial SERPs be any different? Maybe searchers will get fed up with ads on SERPs, but that isn't happening yet: Google's 3Q search results show a 12 percent increase of 3Q revenues last year.