Google has managed to squeeze a magical extra £200m out of its internet advertising trade over recent years, not through forcing yet more ads out there onto the margins of the internet, but by simply changing the shade of blue used by default to illustrate its text link adverts.
According to Google's UK MD Dan Cobley, Google ran a series of what it calls one per cent tests to find the optimum link colour. Serving one per cent of users ads in one shade of blue and another one per cent a different hue, and including 40 different shades in the test, the company eventually came up with the most attractive shade of blue -- which has since earned the business an additional £200m in revenue per year thanks to boosting clicks from internet users.
So it worked out a way to better trick your mum into clicking on the adverts. That's what Google's empire is built upon. [Guardian]