Google, Bing and Yahoo warned over search result advertising

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has told two dozen search engines to clearly distinguish ads in the search results to stop consumers to deceive.
The American authority warned that there is compliance with a “drop” of talk about 2002 guidelines require that search engines paid advertising content must be clearly separate from “natural” search results.
In writing, the FTC this week to the seven General search engines and 17 specialist sites, companies were warned that the distinction between paid content and search results had become less noticeable.
The Associate Director for advertising practices, Mary Engle, wrote: “consumer usually expect that natural search results are listed and ranked on the basis of relevance to a search query, not on the basis of payment by a third party.”
She added: “to avoid the potential for deception, consumers must be able to easily distinguish a natural search result of advertising that allows for a search engine.”
The heavily trafficked search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, and AOL, were told that ads placed above natural results were sometimes not clearly marked, and Ms Engle called a survey showing that almost half of the searchers did not know this that ads are different from natural results.

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