Perhaps not read, but certainly not thrown out.

If you're searching for information on, let's say, Ferdinand Magellan, you'd probably expect that typing Magellan into the search field will bring up a few biographies. And it will. But in Google it will usually bring up a bit more as well - for example, this box, positioned on the right side of the results page:

And of course it's actually rather logical that there's a Global Positioning System device marketed under the name of Magellan. Perhaps it's even more logical that that's precisely what someone is looking for when they type Magellan into the search field of Google. After all, who needs another biography of the well known explorer? Is there still anyone surfing the net, other than elementary school children, or perhaps their teachers, who actually turn to the web to find information on Magellan?

The people from this particular GPS system chose to put their money on being the sponsored link on a search for Magellan. The people from the GPS Store probably paid more to be the sponsored link on a search for GPS:

But frankly I sort of like the approach of the Magellan people - it's commerical, but it has a sort of "shot in the dark" ring to it that preserves a bit of the long gone internet ethos.

The bottom line? It used to be that when you searched for information, you actually found information. Today you have to be an experienced web-surfer to be able to tell the diference between untainted information and the hard sell. Is there a difference? And if there is, does it matter? Who says that "untainted" is the opposite of the hard sell.

Go to: Seek and Ye Shall Buy.