A Closer Look at Google's Advertisement Labels - Benjamin Edelman

Google's new layout comingles algorithmic and sponsored results in left-side listings, placing a map of algorithmic results at far right, where advertisements usually appear.

Google also uses inconsistent advertisement labels on a single web page. Google now labels top-of-page and side-of-page advertisements as “Ads,” yet Google's paid pushpins are instead labeled “sponsored.” A user who sees both “ad” and “sponsored” listings would struggle to figure out whether the terms are interchangeable; even someone who believes “sponsored” results are “ads” may have second thoughts upon seeing Google use both terms on a single page.