Google Launches Paid Inclusion Search Ads

Google is changing the look-and-feel and the label they put on an ad product they used to call “comparison ads.” Now Google would like us to consider them a “third kind of thing” — not quite organic results, and not quite ads. From Search Engine Land:

Google has had what it has called ‘comparison ads’ for some time, but these comparison units are getting a new look in Google’s search results beginning today. Google hopes the change will better explain to searchers that comparison listings come from companies it has a commercial relationship with. It also highlights how three Google search products now seem to largely operate on a paid inclusion basis. Google was once a vocal opponent to paid inclusion programs…. In the new format, the background color that’s used for Google’s traditional AdWords units is gone. The comparison units also carry a ‘Sponsored’ disclaimer rather than an ‘Ads’ one, as with AdWords ads. This seems part of Google’s positioning the new units as something different than ads.

Hmmm. Slippery slope?!

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