“When you search for a product on Amazon, you may not realize that most of what you see at first is advertising,” reports the Washington Post’s technology columnist, introducing some eye-opening interactive graphics. (Alternate URL here.)
The Post’s graphics show that Amazon’s first six search results — basically everything on their first screen — were all ads.
Scrolling to the second screen, we finally start to see non-ads. These are the first products that were actually chosen because they’ve got the best combination of price and quality. But the real results don’t last long.
Scroll to the next screen, and it’s all ads again. Here’s a set of listings labeled “Highly rated,” but don’t be fooled…. These are also just ads. [Later the article points out that while customers can’t specifically buy their way into the highly-rated section, it’s still just “often stacked with sponsored listings that don’t have terrible customer