It is undeniable that the creation and ongoing development of the internet and digitalcommunication technologies over the past few decades has changed many aspects of the massmedia landscape. This is especially true of advertising content, which is featured prominently inmost forms of mass media, and plays a significant role in financing the operations of mediaoutlets
(Belch & Belch, 2009). Advertising can be defined as “any paid form of non
-personalcommunication about an organization, product, service, or idea by an identified sponsor (Belch
& Belch, 2009, p. 18).” At present, advertising on the internet remains somewhat limited in
terms of reach and audience size when compared to traditional media like print or television,and is especially limited when attempting to reach certain demographics (Belch & Belch, 2009).Still, online advertising efforts have grown dramatically in recent years and are likely tocontinue growing well into the foreseeable future as digital communication technologiescontinue to develop, giving advertisers new and improved ways of not only reaching theirtarget demographics, but also researching, tracking, and interacting with their audiences. Themost common locations for the placement of online advertising include search engines,websites, and social media.The majority of online advertising takes place on search engines. In fact, search engineads account for over forty percent of all internet advertisement spending (Belch & Belch, 2009).Search engines are websites which allow users to seek out text-based or multimedia content bysearching for certain words or phrases. These sites receive an enormous amount of user traffic.For example, in October of 2009, over fourteen billion searches were conducted by users in theUnited States alone (Stokes, 2010). Google is the best known and most widely used searchengine, with over sixty-five percent of all web searches world-wide originating from their site.