Stop the presses. Google has an ad on its homepage.


Google Nexus 7 Ad

Having the cleanest homepage on the internet has often been attributed to much of Google’s early success. Before they were the search engine, they competed against Yahoo, Microsoft Live, Alta Vista, and other portal sites that had ads, news, and just about everything else that one could fit onto a single website. Google’s was clean back then and remains clean today.

Every now and then, they do some promotions. Today, they used the most visited page on the internet to display a simple message:

“The playground is open. The new $199 tablet from Google.”

The ad linked to a page that offered a special and showed a video that we highlighted for its cleverness late last month.

The video is below. It should be noted that Google’s style of non-advertising has been both successful as well as criticized in the past. Supporters say that the cleanliness of the homepage made the company successful. Detractors say that the days of wasting the most valuable space on the internet are over and Google can afford to use the space.

I look at it somewhere in the middle; placing ads so sparingly dramatically increase the chances that they’ll get clicked, making it an excellent strategic boost that should only be used for extremely important initiatives. With the Christmas season starting soon, getting the buzz built around the Nexus 7 seems like a big-enough reason to invoke the space.

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