Paid, not paid – who cares any more

by Peter Young on February 16, 2010 · 2 comments

Its interesting seeing the evolution from Google to an organically heavy SERP page, to an engine driven by P & L. There seem to be an ever increasing number of search engine real estate evolving into paid results. It should therefore come as no suprise that Google Local has become the latest Google product to see paid search real estate moving into previously ‘organic’ results.

Source: Search Engine Land

The above image highlights how Google are now testing sponsored listings within the main 7-pack local results (denoted by the square yellow icon below the main result – and the sponsored disclaimer to its right). Whilst the move of integrating previously organic real estate with paid services is nothing new, this is interesting primarily due to its proximity to the organic search results – in fact its full integration with the organic results. That is something we have – as yet – seen very little of from Google.

It should be noticed, in order for the above sponsored result to display, you have to already be organically displayed so I guess one may argue this differs from a traditional paid search result by proxy – however I would suggest this may not be the end of these integrated results within the Google SERPs, and of particular interest over the coming months may be:

  • Google Products – Already we have seen the results integrated into the main paid search results – one woiuld suggest it may be only a matter of time before sponsored results are displayed within the universal search results.
  • Google News – We have seen a lot of twoing and froing this year with the whole Rupert Murdoch/Google scenario. This could be one to watch moving forward.
  • Google Cinema – Why not? The current results are very limited in terms of scope. Integrating this with a paid result may allow for greater expansion of services via these results.

One things for sure – the lines between paid and organic are already blurring – and this wont be the last of the tweaks to Google.

Other stories

Search Engine Land – Google Blurs The Line Between Paid & Unpaid Results Again

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Matt Davies February 16, 2010 at 9:35 am

Was totally expecting this to be a post about paid links. But then I guess that is Google’s stock in trade nowadays, eh?

Gordan February 17, 2010 at 3:32 pm

Interesting, this is very first time I am seeing sponsored
entry within local search. Thanks for the posting.

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