Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Google Phases Out “Sponsored Links” Adopts New Name For Ads: “Ads”

Google Phases Out “Sponsored Links” Adopts New Name For Ads: “Ads” - eBrandz Search Marketing & Technology News

San Francisco -- Attempting to bring some innovation to its advertizing structure, Internet search engine titan Google has now finished unfolding a mostly cosmetic change but an important one nonetheless. The paid search results on are now designated as “Ads” rather than “Sponsored Links.

This does not alter anything in the way the ads are selected or displayed, but it is an interesting modification if only because the “Sponsored Links” description has been used for a very long time.

Search Engine Land's Barry Schwartz, who first discovered that most people were seeing the “Ads” label rather than “Sponsored Links” got a confirmation from Google.

“Yes, I can confirm this rollout. We are always experimenting with the look and feel of our search result pages, including the delivery of relevant advertising. This is on English language domains now and rolling out to all languages and domains,” a Google spokesperson said.

The modification, obviously, only affects English language domains, since other languages are going to have different names for the feature. Also, it is interesting to note that the change is only for ads on the main Google search engine and not for the other Google products which feature ads, meaning most of them.

Google commenced experimenting with the new name about a month ago and has been unfurling the change since. Promoted Tweets, which started showing up on Google earlier this week, were labeled as “Ads” as well.

The Google Places incorporation and various local ads contribute to the weakening of the “Sponsored Links” term. Another reason for the alteration could be that Google found that the term “Ads” performed better, in terms of user interaction and, therefore, revenue, than “Sponsored Links.”

Bing named their ads “Sponsored Sites” and Yahoo “Sponsored Results.”

However, adoption of the new term may very well have to do with the fact that Google has been diversifying its ad offerings and has not been relying on text ads as much as before.

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