Scroogle You


I’ve always been a fan of all things Google , but a while back I noticed things aren’t what they used to be.

When you’re looking at Google search results you need to be aware that all is not as it seems. It’s possible to Google something and the first items are only ads related to the search rather than “pure” search results.

Over the past 6 months Microsoft has waged a campaign informing us about the evils of Google search, but you may have missed that information. Today the bloggers are weighing the effects of Microsoft’s ads and wondering, Will they continue, Were they effective, Who is most evil?

Personally I don’t find Google any more intrusive or sinister than Microsoft and Bing. With computing today, it’s about getting your share of the people pie and putting cash in Ye’ol Company Account. I think both Google and Microsoft are doing that very well.

If there is a lesson to learn here it’s one of “User Beware”. Today’s computing can be like taking a walk on the dark side of town. Be sure to read everything that is being shown to you.

When I type PC Matic into my Google Search, the first two items to show up are not PC Matic. In fact they are not even search results. They are Ads. Notice the the Highlighted area around the ads is very faint and as you would expect, Google is hoping you won’t notice.

PC Matic search

I spend a lot of time in our Customer Service area helping our PC Matic users with their computer issues. It is surprising how many have inadvertently downloaded something totally unrelated to PC Matic and PC Pitstop because of these ads.

Old eyes can be easily fooled. KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN, and let me know what you think.


The Inquirer



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17 thoughts on “Scroogle You”

  1. I use, a search engine. The top and bottom of the page has entries marked “sponsored sites” and the middle has sites marked as “Search results”. I don’t even look at the first entries on the page unless I want to see a sponsored site.

  2. I use Bing rather than Google most of the time. Google is an advertising company. That’s where they make their money if I understand correctly. They want to know as much as they can about you so they can target their advertising to your interests. Maybe Bing is just as intrusive, but I’m a little more comfortable using a product from a software company like Microsoft than an advertising company like Google. Anyone can feel tree to correct me if I have all tis wrong.

  3. Wow. has it been that long? Seems everyone has already forgotten the bad old days. Makes me feel ancient to hear “WAH GOOGLE HAS ADS” Think back, way back before google. Anyone remember the “search engine” that was dominate back then? No? No one remembers AOL? And no one recalls how certain other search engines would not even give you any relevant searchs for at least one page? They didnt even have the word sponsered ad. it was all they had. Just hand picked misinformation.

  4. Don't know if this is being scroogled or not but ever since I uploaded the latest Google web I keep getting this message when I try to open something: YOUR PROFILE COULD NOT BE OPENED CORRECTLY SOME FEATURES MAY BE UNAVAILABLE. PLEASE CHECK THAT THE PROFILE EXISTS AND YOU HAVE PERMISSION TO READ AND WRITE ITS CONTENTS. Any comments on how to correct this would be greatly appreicated.;.

  5. Still depend on Google to answer most questions. Concerned when Google first introduced personally-directed adverts, but have not found it a problem in practice and occasionally – very occasionally – useful. Checked just now and see the first few answers are headed “Ads related to ‘search term'” and then, a little lower down, “Searches related to: ‘search term'” and further down “Web Results”. Seems OK to me.

  6. This was one of the least informative articles I’ve read on the subject, but I think some of the replies are a bit overblown. Yes, for years the first couple of listings on a Google search have been ads, and yes there is extraneous advertising all over the page, but I find most of the rest of the answers relevant and pretty much in the order of usefulness.
    The problem I’ve had recently is that on OTHER websites, the sidebar ads immediately feature any product I’ve just looked up. For the next month! But I recently found there is a way to turn that off! You still get ads, but not the same thing over and over.
    Sorry but I’m not sure how I got to the place to change the settings, but I know 1 ad that annoyed me had a little x button and I clicked it. And that led me eventually to a page where I could turn off any kind of personalized advertising I didn’t want. I turned off all of them. Occasionally I still get 1 but most of the ads are random now.

  7. Well, google alone isn’t an exception in the above queue, be it search engines or social media websites (Facebook worth mentioning it’s weigh though)they all have a strategy whereby they can reach you in ways more than what you can probably chew out.

    Web must be kidding!

    “A secret shared is a secret no longer”

  8. All I can say is that Google has had the funny slightly different color ad section for the past 4 (maybe 5?) years… If some are just now noticing it, all I can say is "wow"! Then another thing that some might want to pay attention to are the ads to the right of their search results. In case you hadn't realized, many of these large companies are using data-mining technology to collect 'relevant' personal (but 'non-personally identifiable'… ummm… huh?) data about your searches and surfing habits.

    Been thinking about going camping and looked for a good tent for the trip? Try it if you have not searched for anything like that – then watch to see if within days (sometimes hours) there aref any sponsored content ads with all sorts of camping gear and destinations and travel packages start that showing up while you surf or search.

    For more really interesting details, if you use FF for a browser, go to Mozilla and look up the Collusion add-on. 3rd party tracking at it's finest. Don't worry, no personally identifiable information is getting stored on the web… it's all on your computer! Then download your ad blocker plug in and notice the differences. People really need to understand that privacy as we knew it just 20 years ago is gone and this is the new paradigm.

    Welcome to the new world. Ray Bradbury was frighteningly correct with the society he created in 'Fahrenheit 451'…

  9. Told my husband the other day, “sometimes you can’t find anything that is relevant on a google search”. Google used to be fantastic, almost intuitive, now, it is almost worthless.

  10. Your a hypocrite as here you are warning us about Google and Microsoft and how they choose to run their advertising campagnes yet you use your own product as an example search and you have advertising all over this page. Get real man people are people and they will never read anymore than they have to. He who lives in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

  11. Searches nowadays do not bring up the relevant search. Some may even give you older pages from years past and I am in no mood to go through millions of pages to find something more up to date. How these older pages are on top of newer searches baffles me. What does 2009 for example have to do with 2013? I am sure that some of the questions and answers are the same and are there but maybe way down somewhere. Is it not time for search engines stop having a million pages because realisticly who is going to be able to look at that many, hmmm. A lot of search pages have the same pages on page 1 and 2 and etc which still leaves you have to search many pages and I am sure people are like me they just give up or re-word to try and get better results, guess what you don’t it is the same even if you re-word the question. Something has to change.

  12. Susan Marie Schmitt

    Honestly this issue happens with all search engines that I have used of late. It does get tiresome having to wade thru barely matched or doesn't match offerings of your search. I don't think there is a search engine out there that doesn't give you junk. Thanks for the heads up though.

  13. I used to save time using google b/c I got better information faster. Now I have to wade through so much that I am looking for a different search. has gotten horrible with the “which box do I click to get what I want” garbage as well. I used to refer people there but now I find myself spending too much time getting rid of what they d/l’d vs what they wanted that I don’t anymore.

  14. Mary Lynn Kraft

    Thanks for this article. I guess I am so good at screening extraneous things out of my searching that I really never noticed the ads. I will be more aware from now on.

  15. I’ve noticed that happening a lot on searches on Goggle. It is something that everyone needs to be aware of. Thanks for the info.

    1. @Agnes Smith: It’s not only Google that does this, even Bing and Yahoo! do this. I just ignore the first two or so results when I see the barely-there background or the word “ads” You have to be careful where you click; at least take the moment it takes to either ignore or look for the words that tell it’s an Ad.

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