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A new Google policy statement

"Why we sell advertising, not search results."

     
5:38 am on Mar 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

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This now appears on the Google front page:

[google.com...]

(A non-subtle url if there ever was one.) ;)

6:03 am on Mar 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

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a strange way to go about it, not pulling any punches are they?
6:32 am on Mar 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Take a screen shot and keep it. Hopefully, it will never come in handy.

Cudo's Google, that is excellent. Above and beyond for an se to make such a statement. Thanks.

7:43 am on Mar 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

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>>a strange way to go about it, not pulling any punches are they?<<

The statement is entirely consistent with Google's behavior. Google ads and the search results have in fact always been easy to distinguish. It seems to me they might be reacting to several of the threads here suggesting that they were letting the new ads affect their results, as well as to some clumsy reporting. Rumors can be powerful, and Google grew via word of mouth.

>>Take a screen shot and keep it. Hopefully, it will never come in handy.<<

No one can speak to what will happen after an IPO, of course... we can only hope there... but I have great faith in Google. I think we're lucky to have them. I just wish they had some competition.

8:00 am on Mar 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

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The statement was needed.. and yes on the front page.. because unbiased relevant results are google's brand - bar none..

It was very nicely written. concise and leaving no room for subjectivity in interpretation.

It enhances their brand, and shows considerable courage and belief in their brand to publish it. They are setting high standards and put themselves in the firing line if they maintain it. The same reasoning was behind the pop-up-ad campaign. When there is a "perception" that something below the belt is happening, expecially in this dark world where you never REALLY know who is doing what to whom this directness is refreshing.

In comparison, when MSN was criticized for serving commercially-driven resuts their reply was arrogant, failed to address the point, disrespectful to their customers and so subjective it was useless ..

"...We give the customer what they want..."

Yeh yeh..

Great stuff Google.

8:39 am on Mar 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Well, I think they're doing just a little spoofing...

Google >>Every ad on Google is clearly marked as a "Sponsored Link"

"Clearly" marked using some of the least powerful fonts on the page.

Google >>and is set apart from the actual search results

They sure are ... the big ads are set apart with placement at the top of the page and in bold fonts, highlighted with a shaded background.

9:01 am on Mar 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Very nice indeed... and with the BBC announcement it's turning out to a good week for search integrity.

Mayor does have a point though - Google are fairly close to the edge and have to be careful not to go any closer. I guess their statement makes it very clear that they have not intention of doing so. Yet another feather for Google!

11:26 am on Mar 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Congratulations to Google for picking up the slack where other SEs have stopped short.
2:22 pm on Mar 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I love the link text on the home page:

"Why we sell advertising, not search results."

Succinct, and very clear.

2:25 pm on Mar 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

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As Napoleon said, I think this is their response to the BBC's article regarding Google selling out...

French Connexion

2:30 pm on Mar 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Time for clarification!
The used model can be pushed further, I mean Google can put a first page full of Sponsored links and just sponsored links,
the statment is valid.
Google can also accelerate the indexation of partners or give them advice 3for free" on how to get to the fisrt position, the statment is still valid. anyway I am client and still happy with the service.
I use Google for my search and still happy with the results. no one today is providing such service. GO GO
2:40 pm on Mar 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

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A search engine with relevant search results and a business plan.

What a concept!

5:20 pm on Mar 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I'm sure this will become a case study in the B-schools. All you new and future MBAs take heed.
5:22 pm on Mar 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I believe that google will last forever and keep their following if they keep the results without tainting them with paid search results.
5:27 pm on Mar 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Everybody is linking to that page too...check out the PR.

Erm.

5:36 pm on Mar 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I'm sure Google has savvy PR [pun] people on staff and they made significant strides in educating the users (and got tons of free press, as a cynical sidebar) with their anti-popup campaign. Last week, there was even more press about those cheesy, cute-sy graphics on their front page. Even if they are PR boneheads, they couldn't have failed to grasp that they were being tarred by the negative press that dirty SERPs have been getting lately. Take a look at the title of the Washington Post article making the rounds out there now; Web searchers get what advertisers pay for [iht.com] -Google's just parrying the jabs ...and the lawsuits. Smart move.
6:20 pm on Mar 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

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mayor, I don't see that claim by google that advertisements are clearly marked and set apart from search engine results is a hoax.

It seems to me that any company that needs to attach redundant text would choose to do so in the least offensive manner. After all they could have buried a notice in their terms of service that said something like all things above the horizontal rule are ads.

I also think that advertisements on top makes good business sense. If you bought the ad space wouldn't you want to be sure that your ad were at least seen?

7:39 pm on Mar 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

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The Google toolbar took them to the next stage. They were at a relative stall for a long time until they came out with that. So easy to install - even my boss, who has six toes on each hand, needed only to mouse click away to install it himself. I've heard guestimates how many toolbars Google installed - and the numbers are staggering.
7:44 pm on Mar 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

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> I've heard guestimates how many toolbars Google installed

I saw the number as reported by google... not as staggering as you might think; 2.3 million downloads worldwide. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to have a direct connection to over 2 million searchers, but as far as total web populations go that's pretty small.

Lisa_Lia

7:54 pm on Mar 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Well said Robert_Charlton.
I think Google is doing an excellent job! But think what the market would be like if we had two honest SE out there. Wow, that would be cool. Google.com & Google2.com. Now we just have to wait for Google2.com to show up... I wonder who they will be. Perhaps they will geeks from another university like Harvard or MIT.
9:05 pm on Mar 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Go Google! Google has become just about the only search engine. I hope it remains successful as is. What a concept - success through honesty.

I don't have any problem telling a sponsored link from the search results. I think that it's very clear and I don't begrudge them a dime of advertising money as long as they keep the search results pure.

9:12 pm on Mar 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

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>I don't begrudge them a dime of advertising money as long as they keep the search results pure

Well put. Ditto.

9:50 pm on Mar 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

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And the advertisements well marked. Hopefully, that will remain after a [url=google ipo [webmasterworld.com]]google ipo[/url]
7:16 pm on Mar 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

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To me the Google statement is simplicity itself. The shame is that so many other search engines forgot their core mission so thoroughly in their need for monetization.

Imagine other areas of commerce abandoning their core mission. We would have food companies that sell beautiful and tantilizing items with no nutrition! (Ooops, we got that)

7:27 pm on Mar 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

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The business world is littered with the wreckage of companies that did not take care of their core business. Some search engines are amid this mess, and others will be joining them in time.
10:34 pm on Mar 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Google are doing well, IMHO, even when there are a lot of adds ( [google.com...] ) it still looks ok, no flashing graphics thank goodness! Those adds look fairly separate, to me.