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Google "Comparison Ad" on top of the SERPs

     
4:00 pm on Oct 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Here in the UK we have found a new Google ad with a drop-down box, right on top of the other ads, for a certain very popular comparison (am I permitted under the TOS to say which one?)which means that there are now four ads at the top, and in the SERPs only the first three are above the fold. Anyone else seeing this?
4:33 pm on Oct 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Most likely it's related to this news from last March - discussed then in our Google Business Issues forum:

Report: Google Acquires UK Price Comparison Website For $61.5 million [webmasterworld.com]
4:47 pm on Oct 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I've heard that this has already caused a 20% increase in CPCs. The writing is on the wall for price comparison sites. I wonder how many of them realise that their Adwords spend is feeding the monster which will eventually destroy them?
6:33 pm on Oct 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

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It's pretty obvious why google started waging war on affiliates a while back. They want to be the one and only affiliate in these highly profitable niches.

I can't think of any more obvious anti-trust violation. Control the main source of web traffic, and buy up all the profitable niches to directly profit from this traffic. (finance-travel etc..)

Regulators are somehow completely blind ($$$$) when it comes to google.