Bing has done something which has sent shock waves around the internet, as it is something, that is a complete no-no for search engines. They are including Ads in their organic search results! Rimm Kaufman Group reported this testing, where the search engine was placing ads right in between the organic free search results. The thing to note here is that the Ads we not below or above the search results. They were in between.
The screen shot shows how well the 'ads' have blended in organic results. The small, highly unnoticeable 'Ad' written in the far right stands a chance of not being noticed at all. Now, how fair is that? Why is Bing doing this testing, has no substantial answer till now, but they are testing for the same, and this was confirmed by many.
On being contacted, a Microsoft spokesperson said: “We’re constantly testing and experimenting on Bing, and with that, we carefully measure user engagement and reaction to these changes. We have nothing further to share at this time.”
There you have it, Bing is doing something, that has always be a taboo, for search engines. They cannot place search ads inline with organic free listings. The entire purpose of clean-healthy organic search is wasted then.
It is a question of ethics for the search engines, as they cannot put paid results unobtrusively between the organic listings. The engines have tried to start paid inclusion programs before, where the content was guaranteed to be indexed, but they had no ranking factors. In 2009, Yahoo brought out their paid inclusion program, but it was packed up after the huge controversy.
Why is Bing doing this?
Will the other search engines start this 'testing' too?
What about the ethical code here?
These questions remain unanswered.