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The ASA judgement can be found here [nice URL!]:
The ZDNet article is at:
Is this the first time this sort of ruling has happened over here?
Ed note - follows on from this thread paid Web search results [webmasterworld.com]
[edited by: engine at 8:24 am (utc) on June 17, 2004]
After reading a recent study from Enquiro it noted most users skipped away from the broadly seperated adverts displayed across various search engines. If the ASA starts pushing this more we may not see the likes of Overture Site Match here in the UK. Although I doubt it will stop it.
This is such rubbish having a strong distinction between the two
I don't agree. Taking most other forms of mainstream media, they are divided into various areas which are, in most instances, identifiable, eg.
Commecial TV has to pay their bills so they break up their programmes by sponsor's messages. These are clearly identifiable from the station's content, the programmes.
In addition, they have other ways of doing this, such as the weatherforecast, they use sponsorship to fund that area with a sponsors logo appearing for a given time period.
Then you've got the programmes themselves. These are like the serps of a search engine. Many programmes are infiltrated by product placement (the next closest thing to SEO in this example). That's the grey-ish area that's not yet been picked up upon.
People watch Commecial TV for the programmes, not for the adverts (well, mostly).
The same goes for print media, it has adverts, editorial, and sponsored sections. If an advert is made to look like an editorial page, it must have ADVERTISEMENT clearly shown at the top to differentiate it from the editorial. The editorial is the responsibility of the publisher and the advert is the responsibility of the advertiser (obviously, the publisher has the final say if it carries an advert or not).
Why should SERPS be any different?
it is extremely expensive for a client to take the SEO route compared to PPC
It's not expensive to take SEO route as the rewards for those using it are obvious. It's true that many don't have the budget (as opposed to it being expensive) for SEO, so yes, PPC appears to be the lower cost solution. That's good for the search engines because they are gaining revenues to help fund their service. At least we will know that clicking on a listing is helping to fund, or not, and that we can make judgements about the listing before clicking.
I'm glad the ASA has taken this stance.
talk to people here about the ASA and they say .."yeah we have that too "..our ads are honest!LOL
We still have ads on TV for "bio" foods that have no "bio" in them but the makers claim that they have to get rid of the stock of printed containers that they labeled "bio" in error ..4 years ago!
We don't watch TV here for either the programmes or the ads ..less they are foreign transmissions ..
[edited by: Leosghost at 11:53 am (utc) on June 17, 2004]
He complained because his small business customers couldn't get in the top of serps because they have smaller budgets.
I disagree. You can't over bid folks like Ebay or Amazon, but in well targeted ads and good seo, any site, small or big can get ahead of the class.
One of the articles report that he will complain against several other ISP and PPC companies.