The origin of Google's 'Sponsored Links'

Chris Caceres · July 30, 2009 · Short URL:

From the AlwaysOn Summit at Stanford, Marissa Mayer of Google shares an old company story

Marissa Mayer, VP of Search Products and User Experience at Google, sat on a panel at the AlwaysOn Summit over at Stanford University yesterday.  The theme of the panel was centered on the growing pains of innovation - how does a company grow while keeping its innovative edge? 

She cited a real life case based on her experience at Google.  Mayer explained that in the early days of Google, when it was still ad-free, users would email the company begging them to never put advertisements on the site - at the time, users were afraid of the annoying pop-ups we've all become too familiar with.  

But it was without a doubt that Google needed to make some money - otherwise the company which we benefit from today in our everyday lives - would probably gone belly up.




Eventually, Google figured out a way to show ads that complemented the search results. and become something Google users actually like.  According to Mayer these relevant ads produce, "greater user happiness."  

Check out the video clip to hear Marissa share the interesting story.

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