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Sponsored Listings Are Paid Listings

Hello. I hope your holiday was an exciting one.

Mine definitely was. My girlfriend and I celebrated my birthday (don’t ask how old I am) at the Moaning Caverns in Vallecito, California. We rappelled down into the caverns about 165 feet. (It felt more like 1,065 feet). I was doing okay until my feet started to slip and my body came crashing into the rocks. It was at this point that I decided I wanted to get off.

Afterwards, standing on solid ground, I felt much better. Would I do it again? Eh. I’ll get back to you on that one.

Sponsored Listings Means Paid Listings

Scaling down the caverns with only one piece of rope holding you up was scary.

What’s even more scary is that internet users still don’t know the difference between paid listings and natural search results. Maybe it’s because some search engines still fail to disclose the difference between the two.

I can understand the confusion. Paid listings, or pay for placement listings, are called “Sponsored Listings”. This subtle, yet deceitful wording makes it seem like they’re not ads, but somehow approved by the search engines.

Where Are The Sponsored Listings?

These “Sponsored Listings”, or paid ads, are usually located at the top and/or on the right hand column of your search results. They also may be segmented by a blue or different colored background.

MSN, Yahoo and Google seem to provide some good distinction between the two. Ask Jeeves and Alta Vista do not provide good enough distinction in my opinion. Alta Vista shows sponsored listings in light gray – very difficult to distinguish.

Personally, I do not click on the Sponsored Listings. I know they’re ads, they paid for placement and the end result (after I click) will be another ad or website trying to sell me something. I hate being sold to.

P.S. After more research, I found that when searchers DO know the difference between paid and natural results, they’re less likely to click on the Sponsored Listings. Go figure.

Enjoy the short week.

Featured Image by Evan Kirby on Unsplash

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