Jul 24, 2007 113 reads by Navneet Kaushal

At the Internet Strategy Conference, while Yahoo's Chief marketing Officer, Cammie Dunaway was showing ways through which Yahoo! was working with advertisers, it suddenly hit Scott Hendison that perhaps Yahoo is selling out.

For a Special K ad, seen right above the ad was written “search Results” where the words “Sponsored Results” had been removed.


“What bothers me about this, is that by removing the tinted box and leaving out the words “sponsored results“, Yahoo is effectively selling the number one search result. Clearly, it appears that Yahoo has gone out of their way to seamlessly blend an advertisement with their search results.”

Even if Yahoo! was selling out they are not the only as clearly evident through the example below is Google doing the same. However, in the case of Google, Matt Cutts says, "The links in Google’s flight OneBox were chosen for merit. They’re not paid in any way and no money changed hands. So this is completely different than Yahoo’s paid-but-unlabeled Special K promotion."

As Scott Hendison puts it so well, "Now yes the Google ad is in a different font, and it has four different links at the bottom, so it doesn’t blend seamlessly, but it still looks just like a Google One Box to me…I’m sorry, but if this is a paid advertisement, I think it should be marked as one. I don’t begrudge Google their right to make money, but if we are supposed to trust the search results, shouldn’t we know the difference between an ad and a regular search?"

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal is the founder and CEO of PageTraffic, an SEO Agency in India with offices in Chicago, Mumbai and London. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic as one of the most awarded and successful search marketing agencies.
Navneet Kaushal
Navneet Kaushal
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