Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, is using a tactic it has used before to trick customers into spending money on its products.
Google News search results from Monday night show the company using a number of ad targeting features to suggest a certain number of products as “free,” “limited,” “offer,” “premium,” “discount,” “free shipping,” “in stock,” “backordered,” and “upgrading.”
It also has a “free” banner that indicates how many products have been added to Amazon’s Prime Rewards program since June 1, 2017.
Amazon does not have a specific way to identify which products are eligible for free shipping, but it has in the past.
The banner on the left is a Google AdWords advertisement that Google has placed in its search results.
The banner on right shows the Amazon ads Google uses to suggest that certain products are “free.”
Google’s advertising has been a frequent source of controversy in the wake of a series of scandals that include the ousting of CEO Jeff Bezos.
“If you search for an item with the word ‘free,’ it will display as ‘Free Shipping,'” said the Google ad description for a “Free Shipping” item.
“This means you can purchase the item for free.
If you use our Amazon Prime Rewards offer and receive a free shipping promotion for an eligible item, you can use this promotion to earn more money.”
Amazon also has used a similar ad placement in the recent past to suggest products with the “Free” banner, but Google says the banner does not appear on its search engine results pages.
“We encourage you to read our policies for more information about the use of Amazon advertising,” the ad description reads.
“If you are unsure about how to identify an ad, you may contact Amazon directly.”
The ad descriptions are typically placed by Amazon’s ad team, but they can also be found in the company’s website and in other places online.
Google says that when it comes to its own ads, it uses only the highest quality images and that it does not use a company’s logo or other information that would identify an advertiser.