FTC warns search engines about paid ads
By Paul
Anyone who has ever searched the Net for a new Internet casino or sports book to play at will know that entering the keywords ‘casino’ and Internet will return thousands of results. You would think that the top ranked sites would be ranked in order of popularity, right? Wrong.

Many search sites offer `paid placement' ads, where companies pay a fee determined by the search engine to have their product or name displayed at the top of a search result list. Paid placement links often are listed under such headings as `Sponsored Links' or `Partners.

But consumer groups have become fed up with the increasing use of so-called “paid inclusion” ads - in which companies pay to have more of their Web pages returned in any given search.

In letters sent Friday to AltaVista, AOL Time Warner, Direct Hit Technologies, iWon, LookSmart, Microsoft and Terra Lycos, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) warned that “the intermingling of non-paid Web sites with paid-inclusion Web sites in the search database may cause consumer confusion and mislead consumers'.

So, the lesson there is, if you’re looking for a new online casino to play at, don’t use the search engines – use a respected journal such as Onlinecasinonews.com for impartial reviews.

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