Search Engine Watch
SEO News

Go Back   Search Engine Watch Forums > General Search Issues > Search Industry Growth & Trends > Search & Legal Issues
FAQ Members List Calendar Forum Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 11-23-2004   #1
Chris Sherman
Executive Editor, SearchEngineWatch.com
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 111
Chris Sherman is a jewel in the roughChris Sherman is a jewel in the roughChris Sherman is a jewel in the roughChris Sherman is a jewel in the rough
Rating Search Engine Disclosure

How forthcoming are search engines in disclosing their paid placement and paid inclusion policies? They're better than they were a couple of years ago, but there's still room for improvement, according to a prominent watchdog group.

Consumer WebWatch, part of the same group that publishes Consumer Reports, has issued a new report evaluating the disclosure practices of 15 highly trafficked search engines. The report notes that while most search engines go beyond the FTC recommendations that were issued a couple of years ago, there are still problems--particularly when it comes to paid inclusion.

Today's SearchDay article, Search Engine Disclosure: Better, but Still Wanting, describes the general findings of the report. Interestingly, the report dings Google for having barely adequate disclosure, especially when compared to providers that use Google's AdWords as sponsored listings.

Comments welcome!

Last edited by Chris Sherman : 11-23-2004 at 09:34 AM.
Chris Sherman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2004   #2
lahf
Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 3
lahf is on a distinguished road
Explanation please

The disclosure that you refer to is confusing to me.
What exactly are you saying that they have to disclose?
Can you give an example, say it with a link, and describe your intentions concerning said link, please.

Last edited by lahf : 11-24-2004 at 08:15 AM.
lahf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2004   #3
mcanerin
 
mcanerin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 1,564
mcanerin has a reputation beyond reputemcanerin has a reputation beyond reputemcanerin has a reputation beyond reputemcanerin has a reputation beyond reputemcanerin has a reputation beyond reputemcanerin has a reputation beyond reputemcanerin has a reputation beyond reputemcanerin has a reputation beyond reputemcanerin has a reputation beyond reputemcanerin has a reputation beyond reputemcanerin has a reputation beyond repute
I don't want to put words into Chris's mouth, but my understanding is that consumers have shown a clear interest in looking at "organic" listings (ones that are there due to a particular SE's relevancey algo) as opposed to paid listings, which are basically ads.

Google is usually pretty good at it, by separating the ads from the organic listings clearly with color, notice and postion.

Other search engines are not - for some, the top 5-8 listings are actually paid, and this is not disclosed in an obvious way to consumers.

Another thing muddying up the waters is the PFI programs and trusted feeds, where you have sites showing up in the SERPS that had to pay to be there, and often actually pay per click (trusted feed comes to mind).

Technically, this is "organic" from the ranking perspective but "paid" from an inclusion perspective, causing potential disclosure issues.

Ian
__________________
International SEO
mcanerin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2004   #4
lahf
Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 3
lahf is on a distinguished road
Thanks Ian, that is clearer.
The report does muddy the water, especially when it puts google in a bad light. But then, I don't see any comparisons and also don't see the fact finding that must have gone on to deliver such an article.
what can I say. I am still left confused why this article has asked those questions that are bereft of being answered.
For instance, any chance of the report findings of the 'organisation' in paragraph 4, probably CW, but wheres the link to the info?
Disclosures - meaning legality? I don't understand why this report is banging on at google for not having a paid program, what do you think ther're associate program is? Next comes the disclosure part, although, here it is like they are talking about a license.
I think CW is shortsighted, and wonder why people are reading them if they are going to be so fickle about things.
Why would this report have been published? Did they need to fill some space? The report rubbishes itself by saying at the bottom of the report, that whatever facts it did talk about don't exist anymore, as only Yahoo have paid inclusion now! Hah!! Come on, get real. Can't you find something with a bit of relevance? Your getting paid for this aren't you??!!!
lahf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2004   #5
lahf
Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 3
lahf is on a distinguished road
Its not directed to you Ian, I didn't mean to get so enamoured.
lahf is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off