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FTC advises Google, Yahoo, others to be clearer in labeling paid search results

Zach Miners | June 26, 2013
Searching online for something like "diet plans," or "Caribbean vacation," or of course "iPhone," is bound to present a slew of results, including ads. Now, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission wants search engines to display those ads more clearly.

Also, though the devices on which consumers view search results are evolving, the FTC said, the principles underlying the 2002 letter remain the same: Natural search results should be included and ranked based on relevance to a search query, not based on payment from a third party.

"To avoid the potential for deception, consumers should be able to easily distinguish a natural search result from advertising that a search engine delivers," the letter said.

"We recommend that you review this letter and make any necessary changes to conform to this guidance," the FTC said.

 

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