If you keep seeing a bunch of ads for Nests and Google Pixel smartphones and other Google products atop your Google search results, the WSJ explains that’s because Google’s purposefully hawking those products on its own inventory.
These days, Google often pushes its growing list of hardware products, from Pixel phones to Nest smart thermostats, in the top ad spot above its search results.
– via WSJ
The Journal conducted an analysis and found that ads for products sold by Google and its sister companies appeared in the most prominent spot in 91 percent of 25,000 recent searches related to such items. In 43 percent of searches, they report, the two top ads both were for Google-related products.
Some specific examples: Google searches for “phones” almost always began with three consecutive ads for Google’s Pixel phones. And all 1,000 searches for “laptops” started with a Chromebook ad. Ninety-eight percent of searches for “watches” presented ads for Android smartwatches.
The WSJ shared its analysis with Google in mid-December, and apparently, many of the ads disappeared. For a week, before they began to reappear the week of December 22.
The innuendo? Is Google using its dominant search share to give its products an edge over competitors, who are also customers of Google?
Google says not, that when it bids on search ads in auctions, other advertisers are charged as if it wasn’t bidding. But online-marketing executives and analysts say Google’s ads can still affect the price, placement and performance of its customers’ ads, writes the Journal.
Duck Duck go, anyone?