Google First-Time 'Experiment' With Banner Ads in Search Causing a Stir
Google promised in a blog post back in 2005 never to use flashy banner ads. Now the company is apparently reviewing those words.Some Google search users are seeing something very strange when they use Google to find things lately: They're seeing banner ads displayed on the company's plain-vanilla search page where they've never seen them before. And that's causing quite a commotion online, where Google is being accused of breaking a promise it made in a 2005 blog post that said the company would never feature banner ads. "Google is testing banner ads on Web search results—reneging on a 2005 promise that 'there will be no banner ads on the Google homepage or Web search results page … Ever,'" reported an Oct. 24 story in The Guardian. "The company confirmed to The Guardian that it is testing a system with about 30 advertisers in the U.S. in which it shows banner ads for companies including Southwest Airlines on pages which include them in Web search results. The ads can take over large parts of the screen." The banners are visible only to a very small number of users in the United States and likely won't be seen by most users.
"We're currently running a very limited, U.S.-only test, in which advertisers can include an image as part of the search ads that show in response to certain branded queries," a Google spokesperson told eWEEK in an email. "Advertisers have long been able to add informative visual elements to their search ads, with features like Media Ads, Product Listing Ads and Image Extensions."