<$BlogRSDUrl$> Marcus P. Zillman, M.S., A.M.H.A. Author/Speaker/Consultant
Marcus P. Zillman, M.S., A.M.H.A. Author/Speaker/Consultant
Internet Happenings, Events and Sources

Friday, October 24, 2003  

FTC Concerned About Paid-Inclusion Search Engine Programs

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is concerned that consumers may not be able to tell when search results are advertiser-sponsored, and says it wants the search engines "to be cognizant that these are issues we hope they approach and make disclosure as visible as possible, so that consumers understand what they're pulling up and that there's some advertising linked to it." Yahoo is a target of special concern because in the last year it bought three of the largest Web crawlers that operate paid-inclusion programs (Inktomi, AltaVista, and Fast's AlltheWeb). But Yahoo and the other search engines contend that since paid inclusion does not guarantee marketers placement in their indices, their services are not a wholly commercial enterprise. Gary Ruskin of Commercial Alert, a consumer nonprofit organization, says that conspicuous disclosure should more than a 5-point type "about" link in the corner of a search results page. "As search engines grow in importance, it's ever more important if search engines are being hijacked by commercial advertisers that the public know it."

posted by Marcus Zillman | 7:55 AM
subject tracers™