Google’s Quest to Blur the Lines Between Paid and Organic

October 13, 2010  |   Blog,News   |     |   1 Comment

In Google’s quest to maximize profits they have been blurring sponsored search and organic search. I will make this short and sweet as I have taken this for granted for some time.

Consider the following Color Bars

Exhibit A – Google


This is the color that “Sponsored Links” uses to delineate itself from organic search. If your using a LCD screen, and you probably are on your computer or IPhone, then you have notice that some colors look different at different angles. Look at the above color bar straight on. Now move your head high while looking down at the screen. The light purple bar will disappear at about 5 degrees from center making paid and organic indistinguishable from one another.

Implications

My gut feeling is that Google, in their quest to raise revenue, noticed that light purple disappears on an LCD screen unless you look at it perfectly straight on. Move your head up 3-5 degrees and poof. If this change happened around January 1,  and I am sure I will get emails and calls disputing this date, then I would be willing to bet that revenues jumped a bit January 2. Fellow SEOs, how many times have you spoke to a client that told you something like this… “I never click on the paid links I just ignore them”.  It helps if you imagine them speaking like Hunter S. Thompson.

By the way, Bing seems to be doing the same thing only not as well.

Exhibit B – Bing

Scott

1 Comment for this entry

  • Michael

    January 21st, 2011 on 5:40 am

    Great observation Scott. Of course I look at Google pages every day but the color change just never registered with me until now. When I look at Bing on my laptop the blue isn’t noticeable to me at all.









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