Google blurs line between advertising and content, again

What happened to the Sergey Brin and Larry Page infamous advertising is evil in search theory developed while idealistic Stanford students?A little evil is good for the (Google) bottom line.
Written by Donna Bogatin, Contributor

What happened to the Sergey Brin and Larry Page infamous advertising is evil in search theory developed while idealistic Stanford students?

A little evil is good for the (Google) bottom line.

Google AdSense proudly announces “A fresh, new look for AdSense ads":

Just in time for spring, we've given our standard ad units a fresh makeover. After extensive testing and research, we’ve found that the new formats are not only visually appealing to users, but they also perform even better for publishers and advertisers.

What about better “performance” for Google’s coffers?

Google’s public facing product “enhancement” pronouncements are always presented as in the public good. Who can argue if Google continues in a never ending quest to improve “performance” for publishers and advertisers.

Google’s Wall Street facing product tweaking discussions, however, present the Google bottom-line objectives. Sergey Brin, Google Q3 2006 earnings call, talking “a little bit about monetization”:

In a sense, you might imagine that the low-hanging fruit have been picked. But in fact, we have at the same time built ladders and are reaching for perhaps even larger, higher-hanging fruit.

We seem to be able to produce new ways to monetize all the time. So I don't see an obvious ceiling.

What are some of the recent ways Google has been “able to produce” to prove there is no obvious ceiling to its monetization growth?

NOT so obvious to users new ad presentation strategies in its AdSense network.

In "Is Google doing advertising evil with new model?" I analyze how Google may soon need to amend its making money without doing evil "philosophy" due to its "new pricing model," Pay Per Action (PPA) advertising.

Google on new "embedded, blended" with publisher content "recommendatory" PPA Google ads: 

Text links are hyperlinked brief text descriptions that take on the characteristics of a publisher's page. Publishers can place them in line with other text to better blend the ad and promote your product.

For example, you might see the following text link embedded in a publisher's recommendatory text: "Widgets are fun! I encourage all my friends to Buy a high-quality widget today." (Mousing over the link will display "Ads by Google" to identify these as pay-per-action ads)…just use your brand name to offer maximum flexibility to the publisher.

Contrary to long established AdSense restrictions, Google is now encouraging the “encouraging of clicks,” while keeping the “Ads by Google” disclaimer quietly (deceptively?) under users’ mice.

How about the “fresh, new look for AdSense ads”? The greater visual appeal Google touts also stems from a greater perceived blending of the Google ads with publisher content.


Gone is Google’s signature left-side, top of ads disclaimer “Ads by Google,” replaced with a bottom of ads, right-side “Ads by Google” branded logo message.

“Advertising on Google is always clearly identified as a "Sponsored Link," Google says in its “you can make money without doing evil” philosophical pronouncement.

Google, however, makes a lot of money OFF of Google.com. What about not doing advertising evil in the Google AdSense network?

ALSO: The new Google risk: Googlers and Google: Any rain on My Maps parade? and Google clients ‘frustrated’ by unprofitable AdWords buys and Google (will be) a monopoly and Does Google SEO success ’suck’?

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