Posted February 15, 2008 10:28 am by with 10 comments

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There’s really no other way to dress this up. Google’s decision to test video ads as part of its normal search results is based on nothing other than greed. Period.

That said, can anyone say they wouldn’t do the same? After all, Google is dominant, has no real competitors, and is under pressure from Wall Street to explore new ways to maintain its revenue growth.

That’s why Google’s Marissa Mayer lets the NYT know about the upcoming test of video ads in the main search results.

At first, users will barely notice the change because the videos will not be immediately obvious. Ads with accompanying videos will have a small button with a plus sign. Google has increasingly used the plus icon to indicate that certain information — such as a map — can pop up on a search results page. Users that click the plus button on an ad will see a small video player that shows a commercial, movie trailer or other clip.

Ms. Mayer said, however, that the company would explore adding small thumbnail photos to the video ads as well. And a spokesman said the company is considering testing other formats that may include ads with images. But it is taking a delicate approach.

You bet it’s "delicate!"

Google will find itself walking the fine line between "monetizing its success" and "getting too greedy and alienating its users." It’s a very fine line – one that the likes of Alta Vista and Excite over-stepped and ended up withering in the shadow of a search engine that had a clean interface.

History has a habit of repeating itself. 😉

  • From the way it’s being described it doesn’t strike me as degrading the results page for now, but who knows where it will go. I can’t say I blame Google for wanting to add video ads and something tells me if they add them in slow enough the majority either won’t notice or won’t mind.

  • I don’t see a problem whilst users have the choice to hit the plus sign or not. However, if it starts to impede your search experience, then you may decide to look at another engine, so there may be a self-regulating effect.

    Who can blame Google for monetizing their success – why shouldn’t they? I would if I had the traffic – lol

  • It doesn’t seem like the added videos will be too intrusive at first and some people may like the ability to watch commercials as they surf the net??

    However, if they’re not too intrusive they could go unnoticed and produce little results for advertisers. In addition, I don’t think the majority of people know that the results above and on the right are advertisements – these videos could easily ruin AdWords for everyone

    I agree that it’s a fine line and that Google should be careful of upsetting the many users that hate advertisements interrupting their search for information.

    Any information on what this does to AdSense?

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  • Yeah, who won’t notice the videos that popup instead tothe plain text we’re used to? Sounds pretty seamless to me.

  • I cant honestly say that i noticed the video ads, so they have obviously not detracted from my search experience in general. But i will pay more attention next time.

  • They won’t do this too much because video is too heavy.

  • Google like all other companies monopolizing the market right infront of our noses,
    Just nobody is noticing it .

    and now google videoad is the whole new beginning!

  • I haven’t really noticed these ads. When I did I simply ignored them as I do with any other ad!

    They have not made my searching experience any worse!

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