With @andersoncooper in New Orleans, LA "keeping them honest" it appears as though nobody is at the wheel at CNN.com. CNN recently started including ads on their world famous, PageRank 10 homepage but, all seems to have run amok. I wonder what Anderson or Ford Motor Company for that matter, would say about fully clickable sidebars, possible cloaking and hidden links? I'd suggest avoiding all three...
|CNN ad with fully clickable sidebars|
Fully clickable sidebars like CNN's help artificially inflate ad revenues and other metrics by increasing the number of accidental clicks.
|CNN ad as seen by users|
As you can see there is a large Ford ad covering most of the page.
|Google's cache of CNN homepage shows no ad.|
As you can see there is no Ford ad.
According to Google, cloaking is "serving different content to search engines than to users." Other sites serve ads in similar ways so, it will be interesting to see what if anything happens in this case.
UPDATE: Since my post CNN has fixed their site, removed the fully clickable sidebars and resolved possible cloaking issues or at least for now. That is what I call keeping them honest!