“There will be no banner ads on the Google homepage of web search results pages”, vowed by then Google executive Marissa Mayer in 2005. What do we take from this? Simply that times change.
Google has now confirmed that it is testing out putting large banner ads atop search results for brand names. The move has been seen by many as breaking an old promise, “there will not be crazy, flashy, graphical doodads flying and popping up all over the Google site. Ever” (Mayer, 2005). It seems now there will be, and quite frequently.
Google have since explained that the experiment is part of an ongoing evolution that has seen maps, pictures, telephone numbers and other “extensions” woven into advertising on search results pages.