Google has confirmed it's testing giant banner ads at the top of search results--just like the banner adverts that you're used to seeing (or avoiding) on many websites.
The problem is, Google said it was never going to do this. In a 2005 blog post written by none other than Marissa Mayer, Google promised "there will be no banner ads on the Google homepage or Web search results pages,” and also said there wouldn't be "crazy, flashy, graphical doodads" on the site to distract users. And then there's the keyword: "Ever."
So what gives? Has Google broken its own promises, and its own "don't be evil" motto? Kind of. The company is desperately looking for more online advertising revenues as the market it helped create matures quickly. Recently it's even started looking at risky tricks like using its own users' faces in ads. Will banner ads stop you from using Google? Not likely, at least not yet. But it may make you dislike using Google a little.
[Image: Flickr user Peter Kaminski]