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.