First we had spam filters, then pop-up blockers, and recently spyware removal tools have become popular. Time to add one more to the list which has the potential to hurt the search engine marketing industry even more than a Google update, search engine sponsored listing blocking.
The InterMute, Inc. company announced today the latest version of its best selling Internet ad blocking software which gives users the option to block paid or sponsored Search Engine results, the fastest growing segment of the online advertising industry.
There may be some credence behind the need for more regulation of the search advertising industry, according to a recent study, nearly half of those surveyed among the business community state that they do not recognize the difference between paid search listings and unpaid.
While some search engines, Google for example, make an effort to differentiate its ads from its organic search results. Other search engines like MSN search do not do so good of a job, cloaking paid results with organic.
Intermute’s AdSubtract Pro with search engine advertising blocker has the potential to start a worrisome trend which could put a large dent in the search advertising industry.
Their new feature, dubbed New Search Sanity, lets the user block paid or “sponsored” listings from showing up on the most popular search engines including, Google, Yahoo, Overture, MSN, AOL, AltaVista, AllTheWeb and LookSmart. The tool even has the power to block contextual advertising, such as Google’s AdSense.
The ability to block AdSense ads will put AdSubtract Pro in the sites of webmasters, since AdSense dollars go to the owners of the sites it is advertised on.