• unprogram

    FTC doesn’t seem to care. Main stream media isn’t picking it up. Google disagreed with you on the definition of ‘paid inclusion’.

    There are two possibilities. Either nobody gets what you are saying  ( or ) you need to take another look at your position.

    I believe you need to take another look at your position. It is very simple really – you need to take a look at two factors – a) What implicit or explicit customer expectations are being violated? (not pundits expectations – but real customer expectations) b) How much competition the regulated body has in the market.

    If Google is inserting its own entries in the SERPs without proper disclosure – it is a problem.

    If Nextag operates its entire website on paid model – not a problem.

  • http://twitter.com/uwe Uwe Tippmann

    sounds like a conspiracy theory – but hey, same here in Germany – Google funded (4.5 million Euro) the first official German internet institute in Berlin – to start projects called “regulation watch” http://www.hiig.de/en/research/internet-policy-governance/regulation-watch/ – hooray :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.rekuc David Rekuc

    The issue isn’t that nextag is entirely paid, its that they don’t disclose it.  There’s nothing on their site that tells the consumer they’re looking at ads.  Very much a problem.

    I don’t care what your share of the market is, if you’re using deceptive techniques to list ads, you should be reviewed.

    Personally, I’m extremely happy that Danny covers this topic and I have a source of information that isn’t provided with an existing agenda.  Changing his position so that people sit up and pay attention is nothing short of foolish.

    EDIT: The fact that these agencies/companies are reluctant to reply most likely means he’s asking the right questions.

  • http://searchengineland.com/ Danny Sullivan

    Yep, it could totally be that I’m off-base and my position is wrong.

    Let’s summarize that position again.

    A US regulatory body issued guidelines to search engines about disclosure. Those guidelines are clearly not being followed by some search engines, while they are being redefined by others.
    Let me translate that into something else.

    A US regulatory body issued guidelines to food manufacturers about labeling. Those guidelines are clearly not being followed by some manufacturers, while they are being redefined by others.

    Both seem important stories to me, if a regulatory body’s guidelines are being ignored.

  • unprogram

    Lets say Nextag (or other CSEs such as PriceGrabber, BizRate etc.,) were to disclose somewhere that all their listings are paid – where do you suggest that it is done? It would be silly to mark all their content ‘sponsored’ in the way Google does – because there is no content that is not sponsored. So it makes sense they disclose it on a separate webpage or in the footer. What difference do you think such disclosure would make in the behavior of the users who are landing on these CSE pages? Zero. What loss the CSEs would incur if they disclose it somewhere on the website? Zero.

    I rest my case. It is a non-issue – that is why nobody cares.

  • http://searchengineland.com/ Danny Sullivan

    I’d suggest it be done according to what the FTC asks search engines to do. Right now, there is nothing “clear and conspicuously” disclosing that all the result are paid. That’s what the FTC wants.

    There’s nothing like that on the home page. Not on the search results page. Not on the help page. Nothing. See also:


    The case remains that there are disclosure guidelines that the FTC issued for search engines to follow — all of them, not just Google. 

    When the CEO of Nextag is comfortable slamming Google over transparency, in hopes of FTC action,  when not even following the transparency guidelines of the FTC itself, that pretty much says the industry doesn’t give a darn about those guidelines. That’s not exactly encouraging for the FTC.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_J6AB7B7E2MLHHWGL4SWKY5UEFM bizhacks.com

    I would like to see the FTC and DOJ checking on how is google managing click fraud, how do they come up with “fraud click refunds”, how do they claim minimum bid price that never seems to exist, how do they been using so much personal data to profit via third parties or direct and that they announced that they will just  start charging for clicks, how do they ask merchants to accept to disclose very sensitive data about merchant sales forcing them to break their own privacy and terms of use policy, how can they decide what can be posted or not in the shopping engine ( aka google vs fire arms, which can be also just accessories or maintenance items, vs. medicines which are not really medicines ) how can they decide what people can see, read or learn? how come they don’t allow people to see who clicks or how often a “given alias” clicks so  that sellers can block that alias, how come google suggests the sharing of personal data with so many services, how come google buys so many companies just for the patents to then kill them and secure their leadership ( known as monopoly in my town ) how come google is allowed to place ppc links in the very top of mobile displays which very likely can be clicked by accident? how can google decide in a trusted store program based on service of course, when they have the very worst service in the world? how can someone play judge and be the crook? That is just a bit of what the FTC and DOJ can be looking at.

  • Lloyd Duhaime