Dec 16, 2008

Google Suggest, now with ads?

Google seems to be experimenting with ads in their search box, which will pop up as soon as you start entering a query. According to this SearchEngineLand article, the ads seem to be in test phase, and may not be implemented at all. They may be just testing the waters to see how users react, but this is surely an indication of how much pressure even Google seems to be facing in the current economic downturn. For a company which has kept its homepage free of any paid ads, integrating commercials right into the heart of its product is a big step.

Judging by the number of people who come to this blog, searching for ways to turn off the Google Suggest feature in the search engine's homepage, it may not be their most popular feature.

It will be interesting to see how the users react if they do indeed start ads in the search box. Maybe people will just grin and bear it, realizing that good things do come at a price, or maybe we will see some migration to Yahoo and Live search engines, which have been dwindling in market shares with every passing month. Google may have just given users an excuse to try them out after all.