Do you see something strange in this screenshot of Google’s homepage today? No, not Bert and Ernie (it’s Sesame Street’s 40th birthday). It’s that ad for the Verizon Droid right there under the search box (today is also Droid Day). Although, the juxtaposition does make it seem like Bert and Ernie are trying to get you to buy a Droid.
Google’s homepage is normally an ad-free zone. No more than 28 words are allowed on it, and Google is always trying to find ways to make it even sparer.
But the company does make exceptions now and then to promote a partner’s product, such as it did with Firefox back in the day, and with the launches of Chrome and the very first Android phone from T-Mobile a year ago. And at least this Droid ad does not break the 28-word rule. The page weighs in at 27 words.
The ad goes to this Google landing page, which then links to Verizon’s Droid page. I guess they want to lose some folks along the way. Still, I’d love to see the clickthrough rates on that promotion.