Google: “Ads Are Just More Answers”

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When a user searches Google, the ads are just as important as the answers.At least that’s what Google says in its annual financial report filed with the SEC this afternoon.

The company lists new ad formats as one of the big things it changed in 2012:

For instance, with visual ads, not only can users find theatre times for a new movie, users can watch the trailer directly in the ad. Location-aware search ads can help users find what they are looking for more easily by putting thousands of local businesses on the map—literally. With the +1 button, people can find businesses recommended by their friends. After all, ads are just more answers to users’ queries.

Here’s what Google said back in 2004:

We don’t allow ads to be displayed on our results pages unless they are relevant where they are shown. And we firmly believe that ads can provide useful information if, and only if, they are relevant to what you wish to find–so it’s possible that certain searches won’t lead to any ads at all.

Google has always understood the importance of showing relevant ads. That’s how it turned search advertising into one of the greatest money-printing businesses the world has ever seen.

But before, Google was promising that ads wouldn’t get in the way of the main product — search. In that same philosophy statement, Google says “It’s best to do one thing really, really well. We do search.”

Now, it’s saying that ads are part of the main product.

So when Google changes its privacy policy to give more accurate information to advertisers, it’s not just helping advertisers. It’s helping you. 

Nice to know.