Google Without Ads

    May 14, 2007

Picked up that little hack from TheGrokDotCom, to show Google SERP’s with no ads.

It can’t be news to Google that the ads have to be more relevant to some users than the adjacent organic results, at least some of the time, or Google’s main cash cow is kaput.

Luckily for them, they’ve been thinking about it a long time.

Would I rather see something like:

Google Results - Toronto Hotels


Google Sponsored Links - Toronto Hotels

At the very least, it’s not a slam dunk either way.

You get the feeling Google has thought a fair bit about the relative attractiveness of the organic and paid listings on commercially-oriented queries.

Users, not me, not Google, have to agree, or they’d be out of business. But Google can do plenty to gently tip the balance towards the ads, to ensure that Jakob Nielsen’s "box blindness" scenario (now four years old!) doesn’t sink the company. Part of that is how do you regulate and display the ads. But surely another side of it has to do with assessing the attractiveness of how the organic SERP’s are displayed: placements, usefulness of text snippets, and yep, even what counts as "relevancy." In the most generous interpretation, Google has it neatly bifurcated so more commercially-oriented searchers get what they need, while informational searchers also get theirs.