Posted September 7, 2007 12:12 pm by with 13 comments

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on FacebookBuffer this page

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.

  • image ads and video ads are easy taken as site content by users. that’s good news for our site masters.

  • I think video ads will convert highly on all sites because people love videos and searching for them eagerly! Thanks for the news…

  • As a national local video ad production company we (GlobeShooter) are pleased to here that search (Google) is now tip-toeing into the local video ad game. CitySearch, YellowPages and SuperPages have been leading the way thus far. Entertaining and informative ads covert highly and are a breath of fresh air to users who, in numerous studies prove, are either sick or just totally blind to text and flashy banner ads.

  • If Google will slow down with Video Ads than others will beet them soon. I belive there is few advertising companies using Video Ads already.

  • I find video ads to very invasive and cannot think of a time I clicked on one. Especially the ones that automatically play when you load a page.

  • homer

    Yeah, I’d tend to agree with Brian here. Only my opinion and probably goes for most that use the net on the job. I’d definitely block these. It would be different if you had to hover over the ad with your mouse or something. Just blaring a video in someones face is a bit intrusive.
    Remember the animated banner ads of a few years ago? They were all the rage, lasso the bull and all that. Might fly for a while but people will grow very tired of it real quick.
    I wouldn’t have it a my sites, that’s all I know, but then again I don’t make my living off of Google ads.

  • I guess the only time video ads are very effective is when they are content targeted. I also find video ads a bit annoying and never click on them. But imagine watching some video about a cool new gadget and then seeing an ad about that gadget. Now that would convert!

  • buy and sell – “But imagine watching some video about a cool new gadget and then seeing an ad about that gadget.”

    These two video units you refer to would be one and the same! Video as information redefines what we consider a video ad to be. Google became the Online advertising giant based on this notion – that well placed ads serve contextual as extensions to pre-exisiting intensions.

    Google won’t let you be frivolously spammed. Instead, I imagine, they’ll carefully deliver well produced and appropriate ad content at you.

    This is the future of video advertising, not as in YouTube’s case, obnoxious graphic overlays. Google are arriving to this slowly, I think acquiring YouTube may have clouded their, usually impeccable, judgement and slowed their game. Now they need to make this YouTube thing work.

  • I think this is the next generation of advertising on the web, but it will be a short lived mechanism I think. Something else will replace it shortly afterwards.

  • Goole has changer format of its flash widget API adding those video ads. This hurts some third-party developers much heavily than the fact of adverts in videos.

  • Next thing you know they’ll start charging for 1st ranks. Ads are like Google’s hen that lays golden eggs. Let’s just hope they don’t get too greedy and kill it just to see if there’s more gold inside.

  • I expected the flash based ads on the bottom of the YouTube videos to be more intrusive when people first started complaining. I know that doesn’t apply to the SERPs per se, but if Google could pull off something similar here without really upsetting the balance of the page — I would be impressed.

  • I imagine that the video/image ads will have a much higher price tag due to the amount of page real estate that they would take up. I wonder if we will see the number of results returned by Google to increase from the ten we see now to give them more ad space in the future.