News flash! Google makes a lot of cash on paid search ads. Phew. I couldn’t keep that ‘news’ in any longer. We are so used to that element of Google and the online space that it is really just viewed as a fact of life and not much else thought is given to it unless you are a PPC ‘guru’ (fyi – if you actually use that terminology to describe yourself (others doing it TO you doesn’t count) just know that people laugh at you behind your back). You buy the ads, people click on them and then you try to figure out if they bought something as a result.
Based on the success of this model you would think that the ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ mentality would hold sway at a place like Google. Fortunately, it doesn’t. I say fortunately because there is not a lot business products and / or models that have maintained their leadership position by not changing and evolving (remember IBM’s Big Blue train wreck due to not paying attention?). As a result Google is making some adjustments to their paid ads presentation. The official Google blog tells us.
Text is often useful, but sometimes videos and pictures are a more effective way to receive information. For example, if you want to learn a magic trick, a video showing you how to perform the trick is likely the best result. So over the past few years, we’ve blended videos, images, maps and more into the search results on Google.com.
It also makes sense to provide you with richer types of information in the ads. If you’re looking to buy your mom a new handbag for the holidays, for instance, you might want to see pictures, prices, the addresses of boutiques in your area and a map of how to get there — all within the ad.
To provide a better search ads experience, we’ve been developing and testing a variety of new ad formats. These formats are focused on giving you the information you need, while retaining what you love about Google advertising: that the ads are relevant and useful.
Hard to argue with that thinking.
Here are the examples given on the blog for the new variety of ads you may be seeing.
Video in the ad
More Links in the ad
Maps and directions in ads
Images and pricing in ads
Chain store locations in ads
The post closes with a nice summation from Susan Wojcicki, VP, Product Management
While we experiment with new formats, we’ll remain loyal to our core principle: that getting the right ad to the right person at the right time matters. As we continue to think up innovative ways to give you the information you want, you’re likely to see even more ad formats until we pinpoint the most useful, relevant and engaging ones. We’ll keep trying new things until we discover the “perfect” ads that improve your overall search experience.
All I have to say to these ads and the thought behind it is ‘well done’. Who needs Rupert Murdoch anyway (Did I just type that? My bad.)