Search Ads — Least Trusted?



Steve Rubel is alike a big fish swimming in the ocean siphoning millions of gallons of water each day for nutrients. For a human, he really has a great deal of processing power. If you only read one blogger (oops, lifestreamner) a day as a marketer, Steve is not a bad place to start.


Today he posted a gem ranking trusted sources of advertising. The study, a top two-box (trusted “completely” or “somewhat”) ranker from Nielsen, suggests that the least believed forms of advertising are: text ads on mobile phones (24%), online banner ads (33%), online video ads (37%) and search engine results (41%).  

Recommendations from people known (90%), consumer opinions posted online (70%) and branded websites (70%) top the chart. Traditional forms of advertising: TV, print, OOH and radio, lie midway in the high 50s and low 60 percentiles.


It makes sense that ads that are the least expensive to produce are the also the least trusted. When more people can afford to create ads they may not be held to professional and legal claim standards. Also, those ads often done in-house or by DIYers lack professionalism. 

The low score for search engine result ads, though, surprised me. I know they are paid for, but the “algorithm” is supposed to correct for relevance. Could it be that the algorithm isn’t working hard enough? I’ve run a couple of AdWords programs and have been somewhat pissed at the high “bid numbers” on certain terms. If Google is watching the bottom line, not the search relevance line, it may want to do a rethink. Peace!