Google changes Sponsored links to Ads

By on November 8, 2010, 2:59 PM
Google has changed its naming for the text advertising that appears next to search results from "Sponsored links" to "Ads." Google starting testing out the new AdWords listings label last month and has just starting to roll out the change now, according to Search Engine Land..

The move is certainly a positive one as it means Google is being more transparent about its ads. That being said, the search giant is only making the change now because it is already dominating the search engine industry. Google purposefully used the less clear label earlier when its brand was much more fragile and the company didn't want to be associated with advertising on the frontend, even though that's what was driving its backend. For what it's worth, Bing currently calls the advertising section "Sponsored sites" while Yahoo uses the phrase "Sponsored results." The two may have to respond to Google's change at some point in the future.

PR business aside, it's possible that Google found the new label is better for click rates. It could also signal a strategy shift for the search giant: could the company be thinking of including advertising that isn't just links? Maybe image, video, or even map-based ads are on the drawing board.

"We are always experimenting with the look and feel of our search result pages, including the delivery of relevant advertising," the company said in a statement. "This is on English language domains now and rolling out to all languages and domains." The old label is still on all of Google's other properties.

User Comments: 15

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sMILEY4ever said:

I think this is wrong. Sponsored links was the correct term.

Jesse Jesse said:

sMILEY4ever said:

I think this is wrong. Sponsored links was the correct term.

What? Why? It's like the difference between calling a car used and pre-owned. They were just trying to pretty it up so they wouldn't catch as much flak for it.

Those links are definitely ads. They are a paid placement of a companies link.

Xclusiveitalian Xclusiveitalian said:

As long as its not a giant image that pops up and tracks across my screen and requires me to click the little x only to open the link, i don't care.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I don't think all advertising over the web is bad, I just wonder how they can balance the line between relevancy and privacy. I would not mind getting ads (if I had to get any) for the type of stuff I actually buy, but outside of individual vendors doing this, there is probably no way for them to roll out such targeted advertising on random web sites.

dlen said:

I think sponsored links was better name for this service. Now people may skip it completely since they will think that is juz an advertisement and not a part of search results.

bam13 said:

same sh!t, different name...

Guest said:

how does this deserve its own news?

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I'd call these ads and the links that appear on top of the search to be sponsored links. Not that semantics make a huge difference.

Recipe7 Recipe7 said:

Ads sounds so... annoying. Sponsored links sounds like something that a charity for ill children would do.

Demons said:

Does it really matter what you call it? I'm a big fan of google but I don't know that it much matters what they call the paid links. Ads or sponsored links are really all the same thing. If its better for them to call them ads then so be it! I never click on them anyway.

Guest said:

I actually like it. I use Adsense and, like they said, it should make the ads blend in better with the site.

AnonymousSurfer AnonymousSurfer said:

I don't think it will make much of a difference but... Sponsored links does sound nicer.

slh28 slh28, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Who cares... they're mostly just spam anyway

Puiu Puiu said:

I don't care. ads will always be ads no matter how they call them.

Guest said:

I don't really care. I think it'll make my Adsense look less conspicuous.

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