Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

Apple pays Google for Windows 7 hits

November 2, 2009: 7:10 AM ET

Cheeky Get-a-Mac ads are not the only way Steve Jobs is going after Microsoft

Apple sponsored ad

Image: Google

If you ran a Google search for "download windows 7" early Monday, you got about 137 million results -- plus something you probably weren't looking for. There, at or near the very top, was a sponsored link suggesting "There's never been a better time to switch to a Mac."

A four-line ad was spotted over the weekend by the Next Web's Alex Wilhelm, who suspected that Apple (AAPL) was paying exorbitant prices for the space.

In fact, this form of guerrilla marketing is surprisingly inexpensive. The cost per click for either "windows 7 download" or "download windows 7," according to Google's (GOOG) Keyword Tool, is 5 cents.

[UPDATE: The Apple-sponsored link disappeared mid-morning Monday, but it was back early Tuesday.]

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[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

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Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for

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