(The digg/slashdot/techmeme wave is subsiding, so I’m re-posting this now.)
Did you spot the sponsored link? Look at result #5. See the “Sponsored by: www.walmart.com/”? That’s right, result #5 in the search results is an ad. 🙂
Strangely enough, just a few days ago I did the query [wii] recently on Pronto, the new shopping search engine from IAC. When I did that search, I got two sponsored results, but look at the third result:
The description looks like it’s for a game, but the picture looked like it was for a book. So I clicked on that result, and got a mishmash of products:
If you did a search for [wii] on a search engine, would you prefer to get a) ads mingled in with the results, or b) have the first result be strappy shoes, stained glass, and books? 🙂 Joking aside, it makes the point that search is hard, and doing it well is a challenge for any company.