According to Search Engine Land, Google has fully rolled out a minor change to their search pages. The ads you are accustomed to seeing on the right side of the screen used to be labeled "Sponsored Links". Now Google has decided to just call them what they are: Ads. It seems that all users are seeing AdWords content listed as ads.
Some users were seeing this a few weeks ago, but now all English language domains have been changed over. Interestingly, Gmail ads are still showing as Sponsored Links. The reason for the change is unclear. It's possible Google needed to keep the ads clearly labeled to avoid confusion with the new Places integration. Do you think AdWords will be any less effective being called out as ads?
Five years after Google settled a class-action lawsuit brought against it for conniving at click fraud, the online ad heavyweight has been slapped with a similar lawsuit, this time by a Seattle locksmith that used Google's AdWords service for online advertising.
123 Lock was awakened to the possibility of it being a victim of click-fraud when there was a sudden spike in daily clicks, but the “clicks never converted into phone calls.” It says that earlier 80% of the clicks used to lead to phone inquiries.
123 Lock owner Guy Aloni says that although he tried to draw Google's attention to the issue - even suggesting that the shady clicks might be the handiwork of a competitor, he could not elicit a satisfactory response.
But it shouldn’t take long for the New York Times to get over the embarrassment of serving a malvertisement on its website, especially now that the most consummate player of the online ad game, Google, has repeated the paper’s ignominious feat.
Although the ad appeared to be linking interested users to the official Firefox site, it was actually redirecting them to an entirely different domain, firefox.mozilla-now.com, which doesn’t even belong to Mozilla. The landing page then tried to cozen prospective Firefox downloaders into paying $2.50 per month for “24/7 Expert Customer Support.” The ad was subsequently removed by Google.
"Google's advertising policy requires that the Web site address displayed in the ad must match the domain of the landing page for that ad in order to ensure that users clearly understand the destination Web site being advertised," a Google spokesman told InformationWeek. However, the spokesman did not comment on the Firefox ad. "We use a combination of manual and automated processes to detect and enforce these policies."