Google's Advertising Policy Speaks Volumes about Its Business Philosophy
We recently noticed a statement Google posted on its web site about the difference between advertising on their web site and the search results that are displayed there. The title of the document, "Why we sell advertising, not search results," is not only an advertising-quality slogan, but it's also a powerful way to differentiate Google from its competitors.
Google has clearly never "sold out". This was important to old school Internet, who once rallied behind hyperbole like "information wants to be free." But, in the post-Dot-Com-crash environment, more and more sites are giving in to anything advertisers want, so long as the cash flow doesn't stop. Compare the Google policy to the advertising policy at Overture and see for yourself.
A very small percentage of Internet users would willingly use an Overture-based search engine, if they knew that search results were being sold like product placements in the movies. We think, however, that the vast majority of Internet users are unaware of the mercenary business practices that so many Internet search companies use today. Caveat emptor.