Tag Archives: tracking

This is how Google is conditioning us to click on Ads!

Today, I felt like one of Pavlov’s dogs. It was an odd experience. It was one of the moments when the light bulb suddenly went off.

I had a package to track. As a user of Google Chrome, I simply highlighted my UPS tracking number and right clicked to do a Google search for the tracking link. For those who don’t know, Google recognizes a lot of numbers, codes, etc. Enter a tracking number from any of the major shipping companies and Google is likely to place a simple link to the tracking page for the carrier. In this case it was UPS. Google makes things easier for me by knowing. In fact, you can find a cheat sheet that includes many of the functions recognized by the Google search box.

Google is doing a better job than anyone else at determining my intent. They knew that I wanted to track a package, so when I searched on a UPS tracking number they returned a result that linked directly to the UPS tracking page. If I were to head to UPS directly, I would have had to type UPS.com into the browser, select my location/country, paste my tracking code into the box and click track. Not a big deal, but a simple copy, click, click, click from Google has become much easier, faster, and pleasing to me.

Back to the conditioning to click on ads part. When I select the tracking code and then conduct my search, I then see the following page (blacked out tracking number for privacy)

Google conditions users to click in ad space

Google conditions users to click in ad space

The result of my search displayed in the same format as a text ad from Google. This convenience search (using a UPS tracking number directly) is part of a grand plan to condition me to click in that ad space with those familiar colors and format.

Take a look at a typical search result page.  You can see that the primary difference between the convenience result (tracking link) is formatted in the same way as an ad result (below).

Google conditioning me SERP

Google conditioning me SERP

Genius, Google.  I love it and hate it at the very same time!
Link to Video: Google Conditioning Users
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