Google Blogoscoped

Friday, July 27, 2007

Another Box Labeled "Google Promotion"

Ionut Alex. Chitu sent above screenshot of a Google Products search showing what Google labels a “Google Promotion”. Inside the box, there’s an image along with the sentence “Buy with Google Checkout to keep your credit card number confidential.” (Google Checkout is Google’s PayPal-style competitor to handle online transactions, and it’s still free-to-use for sellers as Google expanded their trial round.) Another variant of the ad – which shows in products results for every keyword, like test 123, as long as there’s a result at all – reads “Buy in seconds every time you shop with your Google Checkout account.”

To reproduce the box (if it’s still live), you can go to, search for watch, and then hit the “products” tab in the results.

Now, the yellow background color is usually used in Google AdWords (and a “promotion” is indeed an ad, by many definitions). But AdWords don’t have custom mixed image/ text content as this one (though a Checkout icon is sometimes appended to other ads when they’re supporting Checkout), and they’re also not displaying for just any keyword. Just like with the recent Bourne Ultimatum promotion, we have to wonder how serious Google is about their statement, “our ads are created and managed under the exact same guidelines, principles, practices and algorithms as the ads of any other advertiser. Likewise, we use the very same tools and account interface.” 6 days ago I asked Google “Is there any position at Google where someone watches over search results integrity?” (explaining that I didn’t mean just the organic results, but all the other result types as well) but didn’t receive a reply. Update: I was involved in this discussion with a Google press support person but she went to vacation before I sent my last question, and somehow her auto-responder didn’t get through, so I didn’t re-send this to Google’s general press email.

[Thanks Ionut!]


Blog  |  Forum     more >> Archive | Feed | Google's blogs | About


This site unofficially covers Google™ and more with some rights reserved. Join our forum!