Thursday at the Citigroup Technology Conference in New York, Google Director of Product Management Sundar Pichai and Group Business Product Manager Nicholas Fox spoke about the possibility of image or video in the universal search interface—in the sponsored listings.
From MediaPost’s coverage:
Fox says integrating video or image ads into sponsored search results is an option that has come up in internal discussions, since search ads are there to give users information that is most relevant to their query. “In many cases that’s a text ad,” Fox says. “In some cases, it may be an image, a video, or something else. But the risk is not showing something garish or flashy, because users would become blind to the ads and it would hurt the business long-term.”
Fox says Google will only proceed “cautiously and slowly” with this option to avoid this burnout and ad blindness from users. Pichai acknowledged that “the images and video ads you see today on content networks are not what will work. They won’t carry over well.” (So hopefully there won’t be any of those gnome-zapping ads.)
Universal search itself is evolving, said Pichai: “Universal Search is still in a nascent stage,” and that Google still has many queries that return the standard “ten blue text links,” ask Ask’s Michael Ferguson described it.