Have a look at an Internet first: “computational knowledge ads” on Wolfram Alpha. (We can’t call them “search ads” if it’s not a search engine, now can we?)
Gary Price tipped us to the presence of an ad for Lenovo’s ThinkPad appearing on what appears to be mainly math-related queries. The screenshot above is from a search for “pi”. At first, the ad only appears as the small box in the right-side column; when you mouseover the ad, the larger pop-over ad appears. I should mention that the ad only appeared the first time I ran the query.
In its FAQS, Wolfram Alpha talks about accepting advertising:
Does Wolfram|Alpha accept advertising?
At present, Wolfram|Alpha is concentrating on major corporate sponsorships. In the future, there may be opportunities for more targeted advertising. Contact us for information.
It’s anyone’s guess what ads on Wolfram Alpha are selling for, but having a major sponsor within days of launch? That’s priceless.