That is great news for organic search. Since Google changed its’ ad layout to blend better with the organic results, there was a significant change reported in the paid ad click through rate. Hopefully clearly showing that they are ads will restore more clicks to the unpaid results. Chalk one up for the FTC on this one.

  • http://trung.tran.com.au/ Trung Tran

    I don’t see a mention of ad placement. I have seen results with 0, 1 or 3 sponsored ads above the organic listings which can also be misleading for users. Will there be a ruling on the number of ads shown here?

  • ScottyMack

    As far as paid inclusion goes, the places that I see where it needs to be MUCH more evident are places like Twitter and Facebook pages. I guarantee you that the average user doesn’t recognize the difference when those ads are mashed in with tweets, for instance.

  • ScottyMack

    I highly doubt it. That would be like telling a television station how many ads they were allowed to show during commercial breaks and what the duration of each of those ads needed to be.

  • Sam Mazaheri

    I’m curious how existing Google SERPs will change

  • Ben

    I agree with you on the Facebook and Twitter part. I hate seeing the Promoted Tweets, which I usually dismiss. Facebook just recently removed the Sponsored Stories on the main site, but I still get ads to download apps on my phone in the middle of my feed. However, the FTC is just targeting platforms that the main function of is searching, which is something I usually do not do on Facebook or Twitter.

  • Colin Guidi

    Yea, something like that won’t be possible since sometimes Google/Bing+Yahoo! don’t have 3 ads to always show for a given query. Some queries result in no ads as you’ve noted.

    Can’t make a blanketed rule for something like that, unfortunately.

  • http://www.michaelcropper.co.uk/ Michael Cropper

    It is going to be interesting to see if anything is actually changed as a result of this. After all, Google could simply turn around and say that they believe their ads do differentiate themselves from the organic listings with the background colour (which is been getting lighter and lighter over the years…).

    Also, I believe the ‘travelindustry group’ that Engle mentioned is Fair Search (http://www.fairsearch.org/about-fairsearch/)

  • http://searchengineland.com/ Danny Sullivan

    I’d be surprised if it was Fairsearch. The vertical search engines that make up the bulk of its membership often have the biggest issues with the FTC rules.

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