I myself when searching rarely click on the sponsored links, but go below them to the organic links. I've always figured the sponsored links are little more than advertisements or propaganda for the sponsor. On the other hand . . .
BP, the giant oil company that owns the collapsed rig that is spewing oil, has paid search engines like Google to prominently feature links to the company's website. And, according to one online marketing expert, lawyers and other parties with work tied to the spill will likely fight for prominent links of their own. . . .
BP has purchased the "sponsored link" for that search term, via Google's AdWords program, according to Sandra Heikkinen, a spokesperson for Google. Unlike the standard links provided by a search engine, a sponsored link is one that a search engine sells to an interested company -- the link appears above the "related searches" and the "organic" links, which are based on relevance.
[W]hile BP currently has the market cornered on web searches, other interests -- such as law firms trying to attract clients affected by the spill -- are going to increasingly attempt to fight the company for the coveted spots at the top of the page.
"Those lawyers are going to start making it awfully expensive for BP to stay at the top of the links."