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Is Google now an advertising company – officially?

10 Jan 2011

Google have quietly slipped in a bit of a change without anyone noticing.  Since Google Adwords launched 10 years ago, they’ve always been referred to as sponsored links on Google itself.  The term became like wallpaper, it was always there and you never noticed it anymore.  So imagine my surprise the other day to find that the term sponsored links had been replaced with the word “Ads”.

I don’t know when this happened, all I know is that Google did it on the quiet without telling anyone, as far as I know.  The difference between paid search and advertising has always been a very thin line and, as far as Google is concerned, it looks like the line just got even more blurred, or perhaps rubbed out all together.

But why now?  Perhaps it’s the emergence of ATO (Ad Text Optimization) which demands direct response copywriting techniques, and the fact that the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) are now monitoring Google Adwords.

Whatever the reasons, it’s further evidence that Google Adwords has matured as a mainstream advertising medium.  And it’s not just the advertisers who are taking it seriously by feeding its growth by pumping millions of more pounds into it every day, but it seems the advertising community at large is waking up to its growing influence as well.  Paid Search is dead, long live Paid Search Advertising.