It is interesting that the most ineffective ads (search links) are coveted for being so effective. But imagine if someone just asked for a car ad and then a car ad appeared; that car ad would be very effective. So really search ads probably aren't all that effective outside of the intent people infuse into the process while searching on google, yahoo, etc.
So what's the lesson we can learn from search?
- align with people's intentions
- don't interrupt what people want
- give people the ability to explore
- surrender control
- don't horde people's time; instead push them toward their interests
- simplicity often works (a simple text link)