A reader was kind enough to point out to me that I was not entirely right when reporting recently about ‘Ads’ being displayed within the Google Suggestions. The list of suggestions in question looked like this:
Ionut however pointed out to me today that the screenshot shown above just contains a ‘website suggestion’, as ads inside of Google suggest are -same as for the search results- clearly labelled:
I apologize for this mistake, but can’t help to mention that I showed the upper screenshot also during the course of my presentation at the KnowRight2010 conference yesterday and nobody in the audience (researchers & IT-lawyers) questioned my statement that it was very hard to tell if the suggestion is an ‘ad’ or a ‘search results’.
After Ionuts comment I took a look into the Google Support pages where it is stated that:
“If a link is to a site in our adversiter network, it will appear in a colored box labeled ‘Sponsored Link.’“
Summing the whole thing up I have to admit that I was mistaken, but I wonder if this mistake could have been avoided by introducing pages suggestions together with ads inside the suggestions at the same time. Seeing both, it becomes clear what is what, seeing only the web page suggestion one might wrongly assume that the owner of the suggested website may have paid to get his web-page being suggested.