The FTC has sent out warnings to Google (GOOG +0.9%), Yahoo (YHOO +2.2%), and 22 other Web...

The FTC has sent out warnings to Google (GOOG +0.9%), Yahoo (YHOO +2.2%), and 22 other Web search firms to more clearly distinguish search ads from regular results. Among other things, the agency says the background shading for ads isn't always visible enough, particularly on mobile, and that labels indicating the presences of ads aren't always easy to spot. Google arguably does a decent job of distinguishing ads, providing yellow background shading and a headline that says "Ads" or "Ads related to..." Yahoo provides a headline, but its shading is harder to detect. Slight changes to ad presentation can have a big impact on click rates/monetization. Also: Janney has started coverage on Google with a Buy and $1,050 PT.

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Comments (1)
  • nickkoto
    , contributor
    Comments (91) | Send Message
    I just did a few searches on Google, Yahoo, and Bing, and I guess I have to agree with the FTC warnings. In particular with Yahoo and Bing, the shading is so imperceptible (it's a shade of off-white on white, maybe .01% darker) that I wouldn't have noticed unless I was looking for it. Google is a little bit better about distinguishing their ads.


    Long YHOO anyway.
    26 Jun 2013, 03:23 PM Reply Like
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