Beginning of the end for unregulated Internet search?
WASHINGTON (AP) –Internet search engines that take money from Web sites in exchange for prominent placement should make that practice clearer to Web users, federal regulators said Friday.
Many search engine Web sites, including AltaVista, LookSmart and AOL Search, give preferred placement to paid advertisers. The Federal Trade Commission said that prime space can confuse Web users who are looking for the best response to their search, rather than ads for sites that paid up front.
The commission’s decision came in response to a complaint from consumer advocacy group Commercial Alert, which is backed by activist Ralph Nader.