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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Google Plans to Put Video Ads Into Search Results

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Google_meatAt CitiGroup's Technology Summit in New York this week, Google's Business Product Manager for Ads Quality Nicholas Fox said the company will be moving ahead with integration of video and image ads within sponsored search results. Does that mean you will soon be seeing TV commercials at the top of Google search results page? Maybe.

"It's a topic that's come up in a lot of internal discussions," said Fox during a Q&A session about Google's search usage and trends.

We want to do the best job of conveying information to the user. In many cases that's a text ad. In some cases it may not be a text ad. It may be an image, it may be a video, it may be something else. The risk, though, is that we don't want to show things that are garish or flashy, or other things that might cause users to become blind to the ads.

Fox elaborated by giving what he claimed was one of the best use case examples:

You could think of a local butcher. Maybe a 10-word text ad explaining that local butcher's business probably is not going to be enticing and get the user to click on the ad. But if you could have a video of the butcher explaining his business and showing all this fresh meat...then maybe the user would get much more value out of that. And the advertiser would also get more value as well.

Fresh meat, huh? Google, of course, has already made steps in this direction with universal search, blending listings from its images, news and video search engines among those it gathers from crawling web pages. In the case of universal search, however, the images and video it supplies are search results, not ads. The trick for the company, as Fox notes, will be finding a way to capitalize on the information element of such ads... like those glistening tenderloin cuts... without alienating users.

"I think you might see things along those lines," Fox continued. "My expectation is that we'll do some more thinking around this area and potentially some experiments. Expect a scenario where we'll move extremely cautiously, though."

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