Apple targets Windows 7ista ‘upgraders’ via Google search sponsored links

“Apple has turned to Google advertising in order to undermine Windows 7, observers note,” MacNN reports.

“When entering terms such as ‘download windows 7’ into a Google web search, one of the sponsored links shown may direct users to Apple’s Get a Mac website, which attempts to persuade PC owners to switch platforms,” MacNN reports.

“The link is displayed under the header ‘Upgrading to Windows 7,’ clearly indicating the target audience,” MacNN reports.

Full article here.


  1. Is it a bidding war for sponsored links? Or did M$ ‘encourage’ Google by other means? I really don’t like the sponsored links, but the ranking of the unsponsored links can be manipulated, too. In my opinion, it has become increasingly difficult to isolate productive links from the mass of useless or misleading ones. In addition, an increasing number of retail sites are ‘hiding’ the price of an item until you add it to a cart. This detracts greatly from the value of the product comparison sites – clearly the intent is to render such sites less effective to make it more difficult for people to comparison shop.

    The fact that Apple is savvy enough and aggressive enough to make this search site move is a good sign, IMO. Apple is playing hardball against M$ and W7, and I am enjoying every minute of it.

  2. I remember (back in the PowerPC days) when people were BEGGING Apple to advertise the message that they are better than Windows, not just attack the PC hardware makers.

    Boy, have times changed.

  3. Another article on this suggested that Apple might be paying as little as 5¢ per click. If MS upped the offer to say 10¢ or 25¢ (or more), they get their ads displayed.

    Just another way for Redmond to hemorrhage money. Gotta love it!

    On a similar note, I had read that ambulance chasing lawyers may pay $75.00 or more per click for ads that appear when you search “asbestos”, ” mesothelioma”, and whatever other scare they’re working this week. So on occasion I do a search on one of those terms, and click thru on all the sponsored lawyer ads.

    Bleed those bastards dry too!

    @ KingMel
    Google ads are a bidding war, plain and simple. You may not like it, but that’s the way it is. Google may try to keep out the worst of the misleading material, but the ads are how they pay for all their free services, software, etc.

    As for hidden prices, well nothing aggravates e-tailers more than abandoned shopping carts. They mess with you, mess with them right back.

  4. Like here on MDN if your cursor slips over a linked word it’s always an ad for an enemy of Apple’s. Except here, it’s an irritation for us, but a waste of money for the advertiser. Nobody here is switching.

  5. Some more thoughts on this….

    Google ads are also time restricted. So Apple planned this to hit early Monday morning. By the time everyone noticed, and Microsoft could respond, Apple’s campaign is over, and with very little money spent. (After all, having us Apple fanboys click thru is not productive for Apple.)

    What a way to piss in Microsoft’s coffee cup at the start of the day and of the week! They will spend the rest of the day and week reacting. It is always better to have your opponent in a reactive, rather than proactive, position. It puts them in the position of weakness.

    Also, first thing Monday morning gives the advertising and marketing writers and bloggers something to talk about. (Consider the article MDN mentioned, and others that are already up, online!) That means lots of free publicity for Apple. No one drives the free publicity machine like Apple.

    This move will live on in the lore of guerilla/viral marketing. Not that misleading ads haven’t been done before, but this may be a first for such large companies to be involved (as opposed to to two bit scammers and the like).

    Chalk another one up for Apple!

  6. I get the Mac ad when I do the search “download windows 7”. It’s the first sponsored link on the right of the page. The two sponsored links at the top of the page are from Microsoft.

  7. Here in the UK, there’s an awful lot of Windows 7 TV advertising going on just now- ads that are far superior to anything I’ve seen from the evil empire before, the collective theme being “Windows 7 was my idea”.
    They’re well made and persuasive. Apple needs to get its finger out quick to answer them.

  8. A few days ago there were a couple of articles mentioning that the whole “Windows 7 was my idea” thing is bullshit, since W7’s features were already set and its course of development planned out before it went into public beta. In othwords, the “fact” that W7 was shaped by user feedback is a hoax courtesy of Microsoft’s marketing department.

    I don’t really think Apple needs to answer it. They’ve already addressed how trustworthy MS is anyway.

  9. Why don’t you guys all get together and click on ALL the Microsoft-sponsored ads?

    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

    When the Microsoft ad budget is depleted, only the Apple ads will show. And more money for Google, less for MSFT.

    (This is how the AdSense system works).

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