Google, House Ads & Competing With The Hand That Feeds

Andrew Goodman has a brief complaint about doing a search on Google and finding one of the horizontal ad positions used as a house ad to promote how you can track
flights via Google itself: More at Should Google Be Competing with its Advertisers? (If
So, How Much?)

I think Google, like other search engines, definitely wants to get it in front of searchers that it offers special content or features. But using up one of the
limited ad spaces? That’s not the way to go. It upsets Andrew, for one. And heck, it upsets other advertisers, as well.

Google has its own OneBox results area that comes below ads. Keep the promotion to that, and advertisers
will stay happy, plus users won’t be confused about an ad that isn’t necessarily an ad but instead a search suggestion.

For some background on house ads at Google — and Yahoo — see a mention I did in
association with a Washington Post article on the topic back in July. I disagreed with much in that article, as my comments on explain, but the idea of not using actual
ad space for self-promotion I agreed strongly with.

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