I just became aware of an interesting behavioral pattern of my own mind during a Google internet search – I automatically skipped the first few results, although when I returned and became aware of that, the ones I skipped all looked perfectly relevant and were not paid for, sponsored links. I think I know what’s behind that pattern. When displaying search results, Google will display paid ads first at the top of the page, but I usually skip those because I know that they are there only because someone paid for that space instead of having earned their spot like the rest of them, with quality content, the number of successful hits, and number of visitors who don’t return to other search results for that term after reading that post. Strange or not, my brain has sort of “automated” this function and I have been often skipping the first few results even when there’s very few or no sponsored links on top.
So just like I really don’t notice the annoying pop-up ads any more and only look for the “skip” or “close” button to get to the content, I seem to have sub-consciously started preferring the mid or bottom of the first page of Google results.