Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Amazon Amazon

Did you know that when you google Amazon...well is the first hit, unsurprisingly. But above that you will likely see an ad.  For Amazon.  Leading to the same place.

This is also true for many (but not all) of the other commercial entities I tried out. Somehow I never noticed this before now, most likely because when do I ever look at those ads in the first place?

Theories as to why they're paying for this ad?


  1. One would guess this has to do with the way AdWords works. I haven't used it in a while, but as I recall you just put in your keywords to match and don't have the ability to specify if you want that used when people search for that term vs when it's present on a page. If so, it's pretty likely that Amazon wants to be linked if an email or blog post mentions it, and the fact that Google also shows the ad on your search results is just an undesirable side effect of that.

  2. david, thanks for your comment. That makes sense.

  3. David's comment sounds most likely, but in the interest of piling on another explanation (one that is far less true)... Possibly, wanted to advertise to people who were interested in The Amazon (as in the rainforest).

  4. *correction: "Possibly, Amazon wanted"

  5. Yeah Tony, so I don't know how it works for most people psychologically, maybe some people are actually more likely to see the Amazon ad than the Amazon first listed search result. Personally, apparently I would never see the ad whereas I would definitely see the first search result.

    I didn't consider before David's comment that they might be auctioning off the rights to certain keywords *across* platforms, like gmail and google searches combined. But it could be interesting to think about when that sort of bundling would be optimal. Bundling, and auctions.