05 November 2006

AOL search, take 2

I wrote a post the other day about AOL search and asked whether its search results blurred the boundaries for some of the people that were using it. Edwin Aoki (who I believe works for AOL) commented:
On the recently released AOL Search (and even before, I think), all of the paid ads are listed in a light blue banner labeled "Sponsored Links".

I believe this is similar to how all of the major search engines distinguish paid placement versus organic results. Is there something in particular that you think AOL is doing that's more confusing?
Well Edwin, you be the judge - this pic shows the results of a similar search on AOL done earlier today. Clicking on the pic will let you see a larger version of the image. As you can see, the page is water white throughout and although there is a demarcation between sponsored ads and organic results it is subtle which could cause confusion. The person who made the initial search thought that they were looking at organic results which was what led me to pose the question in the first place.

Has AOL blurred the boundaries here?

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