My thoughts on recent Google tips

I wanted to talk about Blake Ross’ post entitled “Trust is hard to gain, easy to lose”. I agree with much of what he says. There’s a continuum to showing tips. Toward the “hawk” side of the spectrum is the notion that a company can show whatever reasonable content they want on their own web site. Toward the other side of the spectrum is the desire to show the best services, whether they are competitors or not. Historically, Google has been much further toward the “dove” side than most other companies.

I personally fall somewhere in the middle. If a Google searcher types in [picture] or [hard drive images], offering a tip to use Google Image Search makes sense to me because it tells a user that they should try image searches instead. Image search tips have been running for quite a while and users generally haven’t objected.

But everyone will have different opinions about what is fine or problematic. Here’s why these recent Google tips went over the line for me personally: they’re often poorly targeted or irrelevant. I’ll mention a few searches I’ve done in the last few days where I got annoyed:

In each of the previous cases, I was not in the market for a blog or calendar or photo sharing service. Furthermore, the triggers appear to match on substrings: if I type in “blogoscoped”, I’m looking for Philipp, not to create a blog. The poor targeting alone is enough reason to turn off these tips (if I had my way).

Here’s some Q&A:

Q: But if Google thinks its (say) Calendar is the best, isn’t it okay to give that as a tip?
A: In my personal opinion, not if the tip triggers for too many irrelevant queries.

Q: Is it fair that people hold Google to a higher bar than anyone else in the search industry?
A: Whether it’s fair or not, it’s a fact that people expect more from Google than other companies. People compare other search engines to Google, but people compare Google to perfection. We have such passionate users that they’ll complain loudly if they think Google is ever straying from the right path. If you’re a Googler, it may feel frustrating. Instead, I’d choose to be grateful, because that passionate feedback keeps our heads on straight. When our users yell at Google, they care and want us to do the right thing (for their idea of what the right thing is). What other company gets that kind of feedback? Besides, if Yahoo or Microsoft jumped off a building, would you jump off too? :) So yes, if the decision were up to me, I’d remove these tips or scale them way back by making sure that they are very relevant and targeted.

Update: Blake noticed that recent searches don’t return tips. So a search that has the substring “calendar” in it doesn’t return a tip for Google Calendar:

No more tip for a phpcalendar query

Over on Blake’s blog, I added this comment: “There’s a binary push going on and the tips are removed in that binary push. It will take a few days before the binary makes it out to every data center. Blake, thanks for your feedback on this issue.”

60 Responses to My thoughts on recent Google tips (Leave a comment)

  1. Thanks for weighing in, Matt. This point is right on:

    > We have such passionate users that they’ll complain loudly if they think Google is ever straying from the right path.

    Many people seem to think I’m jumping on the “Google is evil” bandwagon or blowing this out of proportion. On the contrary, it’s precisely *because* Google has so impressed me throughout the years that even the slightest hint of deviation matters to me.

  2. I know Google often tries something out to see whether it’ll work. If it doesn’t work then it’s dropped. It’s the “move fast, fail often, learn, understand and try something new” approach.

    I could well imagine Google would try these tips and then remove or cut them back naturally.

    I sense there’s a hiccup now. If Google does scale the tips back then people may wrongly conclude that by shouting or throwing a strop that they get their way. And that’s a shame.

  3. Matt, I think you have just killed their future. I dont thik they will be here for long!

  4. I think that people have problems with it since it takes precedence over paid ads for similar products.

    Someone looking for a calendar will see the Google “tip” which is really an ad first and may not even notice the paid adverts on the page.

    Other than that I don’t have much of an opinion, it’s your page, put what you will on it.

  5. Chris_D

    Hey Matt – respect.
    Most people who find themselves in a hole their employer has dug, tend to just keep digging. Good on you for throwing away the shovel and climbing out of the hole.

  6. miguel

    Google didn’t beat Yahoo because the tech was better, it was because the ads were less intrusive. Google can easily lose It’s way if it doesn’t keep that in mind. It’s easy for an advertising company to advertise too much, it makes them more money in the short term. But people hate advertising and will quickly abandon you over it.

    ‘Don’t be evil’ wasn’t the real promise that users thought they were getting, it was:
    1. We won’t shove ads in your face too much
    2. Our results are honest and we won’t trick you
    Don’t break those implied promises. It’s not a matter of it being ‘fair’, it’s just what got you to the top and it is what will keep you there.

    Don’t kill the golden goose!

  7. I vote for a checkbox that would allow a user to turn this feature on or off. There are times that it would be nice to see the tips, but not very often because you are right – they rarely coincide with the searcher’s intent, and they are more likely to cause a user to switch search engines than to actually use these items.

  8. To be honest, I’m almost surprised it took this long to see these tips to appear. Why?

    Because it increases the value of AdWords and decreases the value of SEO and obtaining that top spot for a search term.

    Obviously, Google would want people to be forced down a spectrum of:
    1) AdWords advertisers who get the top spot on the SERPs page.
    2) Followed by Google’s own product
    3) Giving a high valued link away for “free” through SEO tactics, good content, etc.

    I’m just glad Google hasn’t gone “evil” and created a: “2b) Followed by sites that run AdSense ads so that ads will be presented to more users”. To me, that would be the next step – setting the value or authoritative source value higher for sites already approved for the AdSense campaign.

  9. I understand your point but see no reason not to raise awareness of other features of Google, even if it’s contextually inappropriate, it’s just branding.

    An example would be: “Tip: try Google Blog Search to see what people are saying on this topic” and I’d stick that on almost every result where another tip didn’t show, or maybe even at the bottom of each search.

    BTW, I know a good recruiter if you need one next week ;)

  10. Dave (Original)

    Personally, I think suggestion, tips etc are always good so long as the user remains in full control and can *opt* to try the suggestion or tip.

    To me it makes perfect sense. With so many users using Google you will NEVER find a ‘one-size-fits-all”. Choice is good :)

  11. It’s kind of hard to argue with the self promotion since putting a link to blog search in google news was enough to make it more popular than technorati.

    wait did I almost defend something google did … better check for pod people in the basement ;-)

  12. Hey Matt,

    Quality is very important – I’m with you 100% on that. But it amazes me how people make mountains over anthills.

    I’ve always been a ‘half-full’ kind of guy, and when I realize that 98% percent of things that Google does are right (at least from my perspective), a tiny link appearing on the Google results page that may or may not be 100% relevant really isn’t that major of a concern of mine.

    C’mon! People whack out over the most trivial stuff.

    I mean, I may be too easy-going, but at 40, I only have 6 gray hairs, and they’re barely visible.

    Life is good, and so is the stuff you guys continue to churn out! :)

    Thanks for your hard work.


  13. As Ross stated so well, there is no perceived problem at all with Google using the method of promotion it has created for the task – AdWords.

    Where there is a problem is where these ads/tips do not use that accepted avenue.

  14. The algorithmic solutions to the expressed frustrations will probably be the relevant integration of:

    1- Click Popularity

    2- Personalization

  15. Search Engine Web may actually have a point (I cant believe I said that). But, to take it a bit further, actually the combination of link Click Popularity and Personalization will make this an irrevelant concern. For instance, I never click on the tips. That’s just me… never done it. Wouldn’t care if I never saw another one. But, others obviously dont feel that way. If the ‘upfront algos’ could tell who might want to see these tips, the concern becomes mute.

    Now, if you apply this principle (Click Popularity + Personalization) to ‘backend algos’, it would help the user’s serps. For instance, let’s say I want to buy my wife a pearl necklace. Will I have to sort adult oriented results to find what I want? If google looks at my search history, it would notice I never search for adult sites and filter out these results. But this can be carried even further. Why not compare my search history (and clicks) to other users search history and clicks? When someone who matches a similar profile is found associate these together. So, the next time I search for ______, (even though it is the first time) the serps will show results that someone else (with a similar search and click history) found useful FIRST. While it may mean you ‘pigeon hole’ your users (although they may never know), it would mean better personal serps.

    This may be a stretch for google now, but this principle could easily be applied in small scale now. For instance, I also tend to also do a google search for websites I know, but dont exactly remember the url. I tend to want to use spacial memory for this. I type my search, click, and hit the third result (spacial memory) since that is where it was last time. But of course the serps always change. But with personalized search, I turn off the spacial memory and look for the light grey text that shows where I have been. But why can’t the search I want be moved to #1 for ME. The algo should be able to guess this, even now.

    Yes, Click Popularity + Personalization will help google serve better results — and results that will continue to vary more and more depending on the person searching.

  16. Your point is well-taken, Blake (and sorry it took me a few hours to approve your comment). I appreciate you telling us when you think Google isn’t getting it right.

  17. I think Blake makes a pretty valid point that it sort of muddles the so called concept of the ‘democratic’ nature of google’s search.

    But, it is obvious from looking at the tips, that they are not part of the search.

    He uses the classic Microsoft Windows example, but again, google search is not a software which you can purchase at best buy or amazon. It is a service available free of cost.

    So considering that, I think google can put whatever they feel is best on their site. After all, it’s their site.

  18. Do you honestly see those adverts and tips? I consider my internet IQ to be above average. No…I am not a web developer, nor am I trying to sell anything.
    My first dedicated search engine was Alta Vista till I discovered Google. I chose Google because of it’s accuracy and visual simplicity. My search results are accurate because I know what I am looking for and utilize many boolean requests. I hardly notice what is displayed on the side of my browser.
    In fact I didn’t have clue that Google had implemented and sort of “tips,” until another blogger made me aware of them.
    I still trust Google. I am possess great awareness and I will certainly switch if a better resource becomes available; or if Google abandons their core values…”Do no evil.”

  19. I don’t often disagree with you on something Matt, but I do on this, and here’s why:

    1) The tips, while above the fold, don’t obscure the results in any way, shape or form.

    2) There’s nothing that really draws attention to them (no bold or different colour text, no different colour pastelly background, none of that).

    3) I learned how to speed read when I was 17. (It’s the only thing I remember from my notemaking class in high school.) So my eyes are trained to find what it is I’m looking for and read through the crap. Now I realize that doesn’t apply to all people (moreso one and two).

    4) You’ve made the mistake that intelligent, tech-savvy, experienced people make: you’re thinking like an intelligent, tech-savvy, experienced person, as would most of us who read this blog. The problem is that most people who use the Intarweb are not experienced; a large number of these people aren’t tech-savvy; and a large number of them aren’t intelligent people who can figure things out on their own. I would personally suggest that the majority of people fall into at least one of these three groups.

    For these people, I think you’d have to leave it in there. A toggle would be nice, but I wouldn’t say it’s a necessary feature by any stretch.

    Besides, “upselling” features and ideas via the Tips section isn’t anywhere near as bad as the constant upselling that goes on everywhere else these days. Anyone else gone to the movie theatre and bought a swimming pool full of watered-down Pepsi for $7.96 lately?

  20. watever

    Do we have 2 love you just because we have MSFT or YHOO ??

  21. Welcoming this feedback and having this discussion is the right path to take I think. I started at Yahoo! in 2000. One of the reasons I wanted to work there so much was that they were a company I believed in, much like people believe in Google today. One of the things that impressed me most was that at the bottom of your search results you could click a link that would automatically perform your search on other engines around the web (Altavista, lycos, excite, etc.). That really said to me that this is a company interested in getting people the best information on the web.

    After the stock dropped, little things like that slowly went away and (at least in the areas of the company I worked in) expressing that you thought that was the wrong way to go was not a good idea. People would look at you like you were a foolish child with no understanding of how the world worked. The then CEO Tim Koogle (I know, weird foreshadowing on the last name there) made the mission statment: “To make Yahoo! the only place that anyone in the world would have to go to find and get connected to anything or anybody.” and the attitiude became more and more, how do we keep them in the Yahoo! network.

    I see why this decision was made but I think a much more sustainable approch to changes like this is to be open to turning it off if the results arent as good or better.

    It appears Google is willing to do this which is why they are slowly seducing a die hard Yahoo!.

    (note: I have since left Y!)

  22. Hi!

    If Google said :

    It’s important to note, however, that our ads are created and managed under the exact same guidelines, principles, practices and algorithms as the ads of any other advertiser. Likewise, we use the very same tools and account interface.

    than that should be not so important 2 weeks later? Google hides their system after slogans we should trust and points ever and ever on their guidelines. I think that this example shows us that Googles strategie are not so continuous as they want to fool so.

    This is named “american rulez”. This means to make rules for every one; but if your own rules curtails you, you only have to say: that in this case our exception counts and we are be allowed to makes this (only for us) because we have the power!

    Greetings Karl Heinz

  23. In as similar vein it would be interesting to hear your take on Google dropping the SOAP API.

  24. I think in Turkey lots of people have a Google passionate, as I am in Japan, I read about Yahoo and IBM Japan’s project on search engine technologies. Interestingly comments were like

    “Google is the best, they will suck as they did in the past”

    I am really so surprised when I saw these comments because Google does not have the same market share in Japan. (In Turkey I think it has 90 percent or so).

    I am not googler but I love lots of Google tools.

    Thanks for the google team.

  25. Hello Matt,
    I am Emilian, webmaster of
    My site was very good, for me, in google search results until thursday, december 28. Since then my site receive with over 90% less visitors than before. I didn’t made nothing different with my site for few months. I only posted new content on it.
    My site had in my title tags “girl” or “girls” words and today after I read this post: , I renamed all my pages.
    I had a section with car babes. I deleted all links to them even if there were no porn content.

    Please tell me what is wrong with my site.
    Thank you and
    Happy New Year!

  26. I find Google’s tips less intrusive compared to Ask’s and Yahoo’s Shortcuts. But still, I prefer Google’s handling of maps and stock symbols

  27. I think the new promotions are an incredibly slippery slope and absolutely impact my perception of Google search (and by extension the company) because they are forcing their core product to serve another master (i.e. “network promotions”).

    The promotion of Google Calendar on a search for “30Boxes Calendar” is outrageous

    If a 3rd party advertiser did the same (via adwords) we (30Boxes) would cry foul over trademark issues.

    Oh, and PCWorld just named 30Boxes the top online calendar over Google in their upcoming February issue. ;-)

  28. Jonas

    Miguel said:
    >Google didn’t beat Yahoo because the tech was better, it was because the ads >were less intrusive. Google can easily

    Personaly, I switched to Google because Altavista was getting worse each day, or maybe it never was good.

    My default search engine was Altavista. When I didn’t find a site in Altavista, I would try the same query on Google, and what I was looking was there. So, one day, Google got to be my default engine.

    Now, see the irony, google is getting each day worse. At least, to me. Google is my default search engine, but when I don’t find something there, I try the same query on Yahoo and on LIve. What I am looking for is the first item in yahoo results.

    Maybe history can be a very motivating fator to Google improve.

  29. One thing Google might try in orde to mitigate complaints that its tips (undoubtedly useful to many folks) are biased in favor of its own services is to have something like the Top 3 services, in terms of popularity, get listed along with Google’s equivalaent service, whenever Google Search generates a tip.

    I never noticed the tips until I read this story on The Inquirer. I didn’t for a moment get the impression that the tip (that came up when I searched for “blog”) was anything but a bit of self-promotion by Google, but I can see why ‘Net n00bs might.

    So, all in all, it might be best for Google to use perfection as the standard to which it compares itself. At least nobody can fault one for that. Realistically, one can’t fault a search engine provider much for mentioning their own products of potential interest, but not as standard search results, when one enters a broad query that relates to one of them. For giggles and grins, search for “buggy bloatware” on both and and see which results are most relevant. I think Google is doing okay…but I’m biased as I was intentionally trying to create a meme (or something like that).

  30. I don’t see where this is so different from what wikipedia is doing. Building up a huge user base under the guise of helping everyone out, then slinging products and services at them (that new search idea, wikia, ). I say this is just the new way of doing business, building trust, then exploiting it. However, google has been very good comparatively.

  31. emarts

    I Think that Google is Microsoft 2.0

  32. Hmm… well ultimately in the long run this has the potential to be bad for Google. For starters, people will start ignoring that “tip” line – I’m already starting to do that. But it could go further and erode confidence in the objective nature of the google search. It’s a fine line and they haven’t crossed it yet, but search is what made the company. they should avoid doing anything that makes us question its utility, even slightly.

  33. Jarid

    It seems to me there’s an easy “geek” answer to this: metrics.

    The Blogger Product Managers obviously want to generate as much awareness for their product as possible. To me, there’s nothing wrong with that, as long as it’s targetted. But as everyone has pointed out, they’re getting a bit carried away lately.

    So, Google already knows which tips are being triggered for too many irrelevant queries. Like any good compaign manager, all they need to do is look at the click-through rates and conversion rates for their keywords. How many people that searched for [blogoscoped] clicked on it; how many converted? I’m pretty confident in guessing the percentage is awfully low on both accounts.

    So, kill the ones that are not performing and everyone is happy. :)

  34. The difficulty here is that defining what’s best for the user is nearly impossible. Much like there’s a continuum inside Google–users, too, will also disagree about how often they want tips.

    Google could solve part of this problem by letting the users make the decision about how often they want tips. If you’re logged in or using personalized search they should add an option for how often you want tips. It should default to somewhere in the middle. Even for those people who aren’t logged in when they search (the majority of users) they could just let you save the option temporarily in cookies like they do with their Safe Search options.

  35. I agree with Brian M suggesting a checkbox to allow users to disable the ‘feature’.

    I guess one of my main questions would be: Why are these ‘tips’ still being displayed if I am logged into my Google Account and a feature that I already use gets suggested?
    For example:
    I am logged into my Google Account and perform a search for “photo sharing” and Picasa Web Albums is ‘suggested’ by Google – I do, however, already have an active Picasa Album under that account – obviously actively using the service.
    Seems pretty useless and annoying to me – definitely not improving my user experience…

  36. Hello,

    My guess is that Blake got a bit over the top with his post about gaining and losing trust. The problem he raises is somewhat too simplistic: “These ‘tips’, then, can only be a tacit admission of failure: either (…), or (…)”. Those tips should be judged as mere tips, i.e. hints, recommendations, not obligations or absolute statements. Google is entitled to give their own products (Picasa, Video, Blogger etc.) the amount of trust needed to be presented as tips, for the simple fact that Google created them; that is why they have value for them.

    Now, whether some of their services are more or less appropriate for some search results is a subjective matter. Things get popular by being used, and they are used after being known. Promotion (self-) is a way of making them known and thus more available.

    And eventually, taking this issue to the extreme, whether good or bad, if we keep our objectivity, those tips cannot influence one’s opinion about the search engine and its other products so that it changes to a 180-degree extent.

    Adrian Nita

  37. Do you know that Google maps still has a lower penetration than Mapquest or Streetmap or Multimap or whatever lame duck. At least it did when I heard about this last.

    Although I agree with you that the aggressive self-marketing of other products “tips” can be annoying, especially if you see them again and again and again. But why should Google not self-publicize its other offerings in a less obtrusive way? Would be glad to hear your suggestions in your internal year end review ;-)

  38. PoliticalCorrection

    Blake Ross is nice and it is good to see that leading people of Firefox start to speak. This is rare.

    It is sad to see the quality of google going down and more and more problems regarding the search results coming up since google became a public company. Ads, search-results with adsense-focused sites (or ebay- || amazon -resellers) on page 1. Now “tips” for own products without showing alternatives on the same level … this will please shareholders for a few more years but I do not see the roots of google anymore. This is the problem of being a public company which does not sell a real product. The mood seems to change and it will be interesting to see how google becomes more and more commercial to please its shareholders.

  39. I have to agree. Contextual tips are good, but only if they are very good targeted.

    Few examples in your article Matt are good reason to restrict all tips a bit or turn them off for a while.

    On the other side, I don’t see anything wrong about textual tips alone. There isn’t bad to show few images on “elephant” query or display results when you “search” query like: 2006 + 1

  40. Kirby

    “Whether it’s fair or not, it’s a fact that people expect more from Google than other companies. People compare other search engines to Google, but people compare Google to perfection.”

    You missed Guy Kawasaki’s PubCon keynote on having a mantra. It was excellent and it applies here. When a company has a mantra that is “Do No Evil”, then they cant bemoan the placement of the bar. Google got people to buy the PR, now it has to continually live up to it. Anything less is considered “evil”. Fair? Doesnt matter. No one demands as much from Yahoo, ASK or MSN because far less is expected and far less was promised.

  41. I’d just like to say ‘thank you’ to Google:

    It’s time to show some gratitude.


  42. Fazayal

    Really Google has done a good job behalf of the webmasters and people searching information over the net. It ahs focused on silplicity and user freidnliness. It make the thing easy.

    And at last word…i would like to say Google is expanding its area of function and grabiung whole world. people got addict of this….

    Cheers :D ~/

  43. Interesting post. Exactly what I have been writing about recently. I think Google does a good job by introducing other search options, when for instance searching for recipes takes you to base – or searching for a directions takes you to maps. However, as Matt points out, there seems to be a lot of “fluff” especially with Blogger tips. Needs some tweaking to keep people on course!

  44. My thoughts about this issue. I can understand that monopolic practices are no good for consumers. But, I think this all happens because we’re talking about Google. Yes, promotion of it’s own products is a common practice in business. A good “launch marketing tool” and most of all if you consider the fact that they are excellent products. So, I see no bad intentions. It seems that Google is sufferin’ the same as Microsoft :-) No one wants you to be so big. That’s something usual. Everybody wants to see the big one falling. May be, isn’t it? You can do business and can be honest too. And if you’re in business, you have to make money, and then you put interest on it.
    No matter what they said in the past. I told my first wife I loved her several times….not anymore, but it was true.

  45. Michelle

    I remember as if it was yesterday the day I discovered Google. What a blessed day that was! Finally a search that threw ALL relevant results, with no porn to sieve through and no advertising attacks left and right! A simple white page with a friendly pleasant logo, down to earth, and extremely efficient. By far one of my best experiences on the internet. It was magic!

    From the webmaster point of view it was a delight to suddenly find the webpages created for a certain purpose, listed on Google on their own. They spoke for themselves and spoke loudly. I was happy as a clam that finally a search engine picked up the pages that were relevant on a certain topic not because someone payed to be listed, but simply because it was relevant to that specific search. The information was finally found. That was what made the results on searches so successful. It didn’t matter if the page was from a corporation that had spent a lot on their website or its advertising. It didn’t matter if the site was completely amateur and low budget hidden in some far away corner of the internet with a lousy domain name. What mattered was, that it most likely contained the information searched for or something relevant to it. Priceless!

    Sadly the magic is gone and more often than I would like, I have to go search somewhere else because the results are just not good enough. And sadly, the websites that are so relevant in different topics, made with great efforts by individuals or webmasters and companies (some of them jewels on the rough, and some polished to perfection), now get ignored.

    I think it is wonderful to create more services. Specially if the services are as good as the initial one. Gmail, for example (I have sworn by it and hope will for a long time to come). I don’t think letting us know they exist is a sin and am sure once it is out there, if it is excellent it will get noticed (at least by the many or few of us who swear Google is the absolute best because nobody has surpassed it yet…we will notice and we will get the word out there like we did before).

    I found your blog tonight by chance and it is one happy night for me.

    Thank you.

  46. Anonymous Jeo

    I vote down the “click popularity + personalization” idea. Search results should not vary much on different PCs, locations, etc. Sometimes you do a Google search to get to a page you discovered but can’t remember the URL; this becomes difficult if results are very dynamic and are “personalized”. Also, good search results tend to be good for everyone, for some strange reason, people agree on that. So improving search results for everyone is the way to go.

  47. Is it fair that people hold Google to a higher bar than anyone else in the search industry?

    It’s a compliment.

  48. Bijou

    I think google should live up the idea what they think is the best,
    it is very true that Google heed on someone’s tips to remove the tips.

  49. Martin

    If I read you correctly, your only issue with the tips was their poor relevancy. And this I agree to. I hope they will be reintroduced once the trigger routine has been refined.

  50. If Microsoft jumped off a building, I think I just might have to go out and buy a bottle of champagne.

    And some Linux.

  51. I agree with Martin. If it screwed up the relevancy, fine. But how can the creator of Firefox (think SPREAD FIREFOX) start complaining about SUGGESTIONS?

    The irony of it all is outstanding. So are the contradictions.

  52. Sadly the magic is gone and more often than I would like, I have to go search somewhere else because the results are just not good enough. And sadly, the websites that are so relevant in different topics, made with great efforts by individuals or webmasters and companies (some of them jewels on the rough, and some polished to perfection), now get ignored.

  53. Your point is well-taken, Blake (and sorry it took me a few hours to approve your comment). I appreciate you telling us when you think Google isn’t getting it right.

  54. As Ross stated so well, there is no perceived problem at all with Google using the method of promotion it has created for the task – AdWords.

    Where there is a problem is where these ads/tips do not use that accepted avenue.

  55. Thanks Matt…..

    You Helping Me A Lot….. I Don’t Know How You Collect Info Very Easily….

    You Really Awesome….

  56. The thought of Google moving away from what made them successful is a bizarre one. We all accept that paid ads make the world go round and provide the cash for the organics to be listed too…. if the paid ads become more widespread and intrusive then traffic will desert in their millions to an offering with what google currently gives.

  57. As Ross stated so well, there is no perceived problem at all with Google using the method of promotion it has created for the task – AdWords.

    Where there is a problem is where these ads/tips do not use that accepted avenue.

  58. If I read you correctly, your only issue with the tips was their poor relevancy. And this I agree to. I hope they will be reintroduced once the trigger routine has been refined.

  59. Personally, I think suggestion, tips etc are always good so long as the user remains in full control and can *opt* to try the suggestion or tip.

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