- Few Southeast students face suspension, expulsion for sexual assaults, campus paper finds (4/25/17)6
- Perryville family organizing bone-marrow drive Friday for ailing 6-year-old boy (4/26/17)
- Woman battered after smashing boyfriend's meth pipe against wall, police say (4/25/17)1
- Temptations bassist dies after Cape Girardeau show (4/26/17)2
- Event includes the first public tour of 200-year-old Elmwood Manor (4/23/17)3
- BBB warns Jackson man's online business might not be legit (4/24/17)
- Pilot House goes smoke-free (4/23/17)10
- State Supreme Court rules against congressman's mother in dog-kennel defamation case (4/27/17)1
- Strattman to step down as principal at St. Mary (4/28/17)1
- Cape couple turns their home into cozy, comfortable music venue (4/24/17)
FTC wants clearer search engines
SAN FRANCISCO -- Virtually all the major search engines separate their results into paid and unpaid categories, though the dividing lines are frequently fuzzy.
The Federal Trade Commission wants the search engines to make the distinctions much clearer. Although regulators didn't mention it by name, Google could serve as a role model for complying with the guidelines.
When The Associated Press typed the query "travel San Francisco" into Google in tests conducted Wednesday and Thursday, the results were sorted into two easily understood categories.
Referrals to concierge.com and orbitz.com were identified as "sponsored links" in light green and yellow boxes at the top of the page. On the right, other shaded boxes of "sponsored links" pointed the way to travelworm.com and expedia.com.
Google's objective search results are displayed against plain white background and can be seen without having to scroll down the page. So, too, with alltheweb.com and lycos.com, although for these sites, the "sponsored links" aren't offset by a different color.
The same search at AltaVista on Wednesday produced a list of sites grouped under "products and services" that dominated the results page. No plainly visible disclaimer told users that these products and services really represented advertisers that paid to be ranked above other sites.