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Affiliate Ads under Sponsored Links?

and, with thumbnail images

     
6:15 pm on Aug 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I just did a search and the top three results under sponsored links on the right side appeared to be affiliate ads. But, instead of just the regular text ads they had an 80x80 product image and then the title text for the product. All three of them linked to [a link] which is used by the Performics affiliate program. Is this something new? Anyone know the story? These new ads really stand out, especially with the thumbnail images. The regular text ads below it just got lost on the page.

[edited by: buckworks at 3:14 pm (utc) on Aug. 11, 2009]
[edit reason] No links, please. [/edit]

6:47 pm on Aug 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I'm pretty sure Google is testing out Affiliate Network placements on SERPs. I've heard they've contacted a few advertisers from Google Base to participate in another 'beta'
11:33 pm on Aug 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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what was the search term you used?
1:09 am on Aug 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I've seen it three different times, but I can't get it to duplicate again. It seems to come up randomly, but they are definitely some kind of affiliate link being driven from google base, they always include thumbnails, and they are always at the top of the results on the right side. I have screenshots, but I've already upset buckworks once in this thread.
 

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