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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Re: Google Allows Itself a Special Ad

Previously, David sent in a special ad by Google which was different from ads you can do in AdWords, which is in contrast to how Google once said their “ads are created and managed under the exact same guidelines, principles, practices and algorithms as the ads of any other advertiser” and that they “use the very same tools and account interface.” Now Google UK got back to us with the following statements:

There is a bit of misunderstanding about Merchant Search and just wanted to be clear about a few things:

*Merchant Search is an experiment whereby we are testing a new type of ad format that enables us to expose more information to users

*The AdWords blog which you link to in your blog refers to Google house ads. But, Merchant Search is not a house ad and we are not promoting our own property.

*The Merchant Search ad format does not compete in the auction and therefore does not affect other AdWords advertisers’ CPCs or Quality Score

A “house ad,” Google says, is “an ad which a media platform uses to advertise one of its own products – ie ITV using advertising space during a commercial break to advertise an ITV programme or [Google] using a space in the sponsored links to advertise GMail”. Google say that any users searching “for the term ’secured loans’ in the UK will see the Merchant Search ad unit.” They say it’s a “small test running against a very specific search term. No other search terms will bring up the ad unit. We will study the results of the test and make a decision what to do then.”

Google adds that they “approached a number of advertisers/lenders to see if they would be willing to take part in the test”. They list these advertisers as “Norton Finance, Ocean Finance, Debtbuster Loans and Chase Zengo”, among others, but say that for these, there “is no interface at the moment. This is a test so once the advertisers agree to sign up to the test, we do all the interface work at Google UK.”


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