Internet users don't like paid ads along with search results

New Delhi: Internet users in India do
not like advertisements mixed with search results and found paid links
less useful in regard to the information they were looking for, a study
said Wednesday.

“Paid advertising getting interspersed with
natural search results is not quite what users want,” said the study
conducted by the CUTS Institute for Regulation & Competition (CIRC).

The study which was conducted in Delhi NCR, Mumbai and Jaipur
among 500 respondents also said that almost one-third of the respondents
surveyed clicked on the top ads, which accrue revenues for the search
engine.

Nearly half the respondents stated they would never or
hardly ever click on search results that they knew were ads. While more
than two-thirds of respondents felt that natural search results are
more useful than ads.

While a negligible one percent clicked on the side ad bar on the search results page.

The
survey also said that top ads appeared on 90 percent of search result
pages adding that more than half of the respondents were unable to
identify the top ad bar correctly.

About 31 percent of
respondents were unaware that search engines also promote their own
content alongside other websites and services. Almost half of them did
not prefer search engines doing so.

“The unattended issues
emanating from the online markets, which affect consumers and small and
medium enterprises alike, required primary research. This survey is a
product of this demand,” said Navneet Sharma, director, CUTS Institute
of Regulation and Competition.

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