Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Amazon Is Stuffing Its Search Results Pages With Ads

Rani Molla (via John Gruber):

Amazon-sponsored product ads have been around since 2012. But lately, as the company has invested in growing its advertising business, they’ve become more aggressive.

See, for example, our search below for “cereal.”

The first three results, which take up the whole screen above the fold — everything visible before you scroll — are sponsored placements that appear as search results: Ads for Kellogg’s Special K, Quaker Life and Cap’n Crunch. (It’s similarly dramatic on mobile, where it takes up the entire first screen.) This is followed by a section featuring Amazon’s own brand, 365 Everyday Value, which was part of its Whole Foods acquisition.


Nearly 8 percent of views on Amazon product pages came from sponsored links in May, more than double what it was a year earlier, according to data from analytics firm Jumpshot, which collects URL data from a panel of 100 million people.

Molla’s example doesn’t show any ads on Walmart’s site, but Walmart does indeed show sponsored products when you search. Instead of all appearing at the top, they are mixed in with the other results.

Previously: Early App Store Search Ads Fail.

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