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From here to eternity. Google reneges on more promises, WILL run banner ads after all.

The "Don't be Evil" one is at it again. This time it has broken its solemn promise never to bombard hapless Google users with banner ads running ostentatiously and annoyingly across the top of its search results web pages.

Back in 2004, Melissa Mayer, now buzzing about as queen bee at Yahoo and then the up-and-coming "Head of Search" at Google made much of the company's pledge never to allow "those crazy, flashy, graphical doodads flying and popping up all over the Google site. Ever." She added, "Out pledge is that there will be no banner ads on the Google homepage of web results pages. Ever". In the case of the Cookie Monster "ever" is a matter of eight years.

Google hasn't exactly been keen to publicise the fact that it is backtracking cynically on a solemn promise but a whistleblower (now probably on the way to claim political asylum in North Korea with the Google Thought Police in close pursuit) told the AFP news agency that a move to run banner ads at the top of Google search pages has been agreed by senior executives.

Smoked out by the AFP news agency, a mouthpiece of the "Don't be Evil" one reluctantly admitted that such a plan exists and is being prototyped. The spokesperson (anonymous, natch. After all there's one rule for Google and another for the rest of us where privacy and confidentiality is concerned) confirmed that the company is "running a very limited, US-only test" of banner advertising on its web pages." It seems the new regime allows advertisers to "include an image as part of the search ads that show in response to certain branded queries".

In other words banner ads will be on their way to you soon, like it or not... and most people don't.

The initial "limited test" is with 30 companies, but, like measles and herpes it will spread and spread.

So, another broken promise from company that spouts sweetness and light but has a very, very dark underbelly. Promises mean nothing, neither do tax regimes. When you are as big and seemingly all-powerful as Google, monies earned in sovereign tax areas are simply sucked up and shunted-off to tax havens and hidden from all meaningful oversight.

More is never enough for this company. But Google users may have had enough and will churn elsewhere to source their web information. One can but hope.

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