Monday, December 22, 2008

Google Introduces Advertisement in its Suggest Feature

In order to improve online advertising revenue Google Suggest, the search engine's tool that is able to list the most likely user searches through a drop-down menu only given the first characters of a query, is now featuring sponsored links among its suggestions.

The ads are currently visible to a fraction of the search engine users but, when present, are displayed at the top of the suggestion list; with a blue link at the top, green URL and an additional description, their layout closely resembles that of Google AdSense. The part of the user query that matches a sponsored link title is instantaneously rendered in bold, much link in normal search results.

As many have noted, though, the ad positioning may be less than ideal for advertisers, since there is a good chance that users could inadvertly click on the sponsored link and therefore generate many false positives — a gain for Google, but a clear loss for the advertiser, which already have to cope with a percentage of false positives that Google itself estimates at around 11 percent.

In its AdSense policy, the Google team is very clear in setting up strict guidelines for webmasters so that their sites can generate qualified visitors for the growing base of advertisers using their platform. Among other things, limits are set on the number of banners to be featured in each webpage as well as on the site content.

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