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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Search Box as Advertisement?

“At Microsoft, we work to help people and businesses throughout the world realize their full potential. This is our mission. Everything we do reflects this mission and the values that make it possible.”
Microsoft’s mission statement

There are so many ways to make sure people understand your search engine is not to be trusted. One of them is putting product placement right into the search box, as MSN UK does. When you enter the site, you’ll see the search box pre-filled with “The Apprentice BBC”. This isn’t explicitly disclosed to be an ad, but it’s hard to imagine it’s anything else but some kind of partnership in whatever shape or form.

[Thanks Ionut!]

Join the ongoing comments.

Update: Microsoft presents a different search query every day, from what we can see so far. Today, there’s “Cricket World Cup.” I think this decreases the chances this is paid, and it might be MSN just wants to show visitors the possibilities of their search box (which would be stupid, but not sneaky). In case I hear back from Microsoft I’ll add another update... [Thanks Analogpoint, James Xuan, Ionut, and Sebastian!]


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