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Pay-for-placement.
February 20, 2002 10:55 AM   Subscribe

Pay-for-placement. Is this the beginning of the end for Google and we know (and love) it?
posted by Fofer (17 comments total)

 
"The system lets Web sites raise their bids to increase their chances for higher placement on the section of Google's site that's devoted to sponsored links."

It sounds like this only affects the advertising, not the regular results.
posted by mrbula at 11:01 AM on February 20, 2002


Ya, this is a bunch of hoo-ha. The paid placement is for screen space already devoted to advertising. It is *not* paid placement in search results, like other engines do.

However, the advertising does clutter the screen if you use certain search words.
posted by fleener at 11:01 AM on February 20, 2002


Exactly, no news here.
posted by john at 11:02 AM on February 20, 2002


No, because it's not effecting the objective search results. The text ads (to use mhowie's phrase) are already there and have no bearing on the quality of the search results. I see this as just an easy way for Google to make more money on the text ads that they're already displaying by offering their customers the ability to bid each other up for placement. Now if they were to start intermingling the text ads into the actual search results I'd be having a fit right about now...
posted by jburka at 11:04 AM on February 20, 2002


Here's the bit that squashes this "controversy" I think:

"The system lets Web sites raise their bids to increase their chances for higher placement on the section of Google's site that's devoted to sponsored links." (emphasis added)

So, they will let advertisers pay more money to come up higher in the right hand column, WHERE THE ADS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN. They are not (as far as I can tell) allowing companies to bump up their positions in the ACTUAL SEARCH RESULTS.

What a remarkably slanted and biased news piece that is. I wonder if it has anything to do with Excite's bitterness at having been one of the big dogs, and now being a has-been compared to Google?

Man, they beat me to it.
posted by Irontom at 11:04 AM on February 20, 2002


If you care about this (non) issue, check out the same thread on slashdot.
posted by stormy at 11:05 AM on February 20, 2002


That was supposed to say "after previewing my post, they beat me to it."
posted by Irontom at 11:05 AM on February 20, 2002


While I recognize it's not as bad as Overture's mechanism, it still represents a bold move on Google's part. Hence the questioning "beginning of the end." Sorry to have the implication of cynicism, I've just seen far too many of my favorite tools go down a less-than-spiritual path in the last 24 months. Eventually, Google, Inc. will want it's profits to equal the extent of it's fandom, and push may come to shove.
posted by Fofer at 11:06 AM on February 20, 2002


Slashdot already covered this non-news more than adequately yesterday, but heaven forbid MeFiers shouldn't weigh in.
posted by donkeyschlong at 11:06 AM on February 20, 2002


http://www.google.com/press/pressrel/select.html

"Unlike cost-per-click services, the top advertisement position (located to the right of Google's search results) is not automatically granted to the advertiser willing to pay the highest price. AdWords Select ranking is determined by a combination of ad performance (click-thru rate) and how much an advertiser agrees to pay per click. This advertisement ranking method ensures that users see the most relevant ads first. Google's unbiased search results continue to be produced through a fully automated process and are unaffected by payment."
posted by fraying at 11:06 AM on February 20, 2002


However, the advertising does clutter the screen if you use certain search words.
- Yes, but at least they seem to be sticking to text based ads. No cute animated banners and they are devoted to no popups.
posted by Nauip at 11:12 AM on February 20, 2002


The only substantial difference AFAICT between the exsting Google AdWords program and the new AdWords Select program is that the former charges per-impression while the latter chargers per-clickthrough, with bidding used to determine ad rank in part. They've taken a play from the Overture (formerly GoTo) book and made it even better: clickthrough rate and bid used to determine rank, Overture uses bid only at the expense of having an editorial process to weed out bogus ads. Also unlike Overture, Google ads don't appear inline with results (no change in that). I think Google AdWords is at least partially responsible for the current hot status of text ads, but IMO text ad advocates are missing half of AdWords model -- unobtrrusive and DIY is one half, keyword specificity is the other. By adding bid/clickthrough into the mix, Google is at 150%. Everyone knows Google is killer, but now they're a killer business.
posted by mlinksva at 11:17 AM on February 20, 2002


Actually, I don't care if the ads are in a higher rank on my search results, as long as they are relevant to the search result and that Google keeps providing me with a unique search engine that's free.

I think I can stand a bit of ads in every search, if they are not pop-ups and they are not heavy. And, guess what, they are neither.
posted by rexgregbr at 11:40 AM on February 20, 2002


FWIW, the uber-terse Google doesn't have these on its output.
posted by jammer at 12:26 PM on February 20, 2002


Ok, we've determined that there is really no story here. So is it just me, or is there terrible journalism?

There are several news stories running different sites that imply loosly that Google is moving towards Overture's pay-to-play model. If you read the story carefully, the truth is in there, but they don't go to any trouble to put the truth up front. Shame on these reporters.
posted by stevengarrity at 12:47 PM on February 20, 2002


I wonder if it has anything to do with Excite's bitterness at having been one of the big dogs, and now being a has-been compared to Google?

Uh, Excite doesn't write news stories, they just carry them. This one happens to come from the Associated Press. Here's the same story on Yahoo.
posted by jjg at 1:35 PM on February 20, 2002


The end of Google?

No, it's not.
posted by punkrockrat at 2:58 PM on February 20, 2002


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