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AdWords + Video: Video Ads Come To Google Search Results
We’ve been expecting them — now they’ve arrived: video ads on Google.
Google Tests Video Ads on Search Results Pages from the New York Times has
confirmation from Google that they are out there, though I haven’t seen anyone
reporting them live and in the wild yet.
It really shouldn’t be that much of a shock for searchers. It seemed
inconceivable a few years ago that Google could "ruin" (as some might think) its
clean, fast loading page with graphic units of any type. But with
Google Universal Search
actively putting video content into regular editorial results — with virtually
no bad reaction from searchers — video ads seem acceptable.
The question is, will video ads make sense in search results? Video in search
results makes sense if someone is searching for that type of info — say "video
of marriage proposals." But do people want to see videos as ads?
Perhaps. I could see someone searching for something like "snowboarding tips"
and having a video ad coming up with those words under it. Clicking to play
could get people to engage more in the content someone has to offer.
At first, the ads won’t be noticeable as with Universal Search. You’ll
apparently see a small plus sign that lets a video be opened up. But that could
— and you’d expect should rapidly — change. From the story:
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.
The ads might look something like this:
Those are NOT REAL ACTUAL ADS! Since no one has yet spotted them, I’ve made a
guess based how Google does video elsewhere, such as here on Google News:
Those images are from Google’s blog
post last year about how video was integrated into Google News. AdWords
units with video should have that same style plus symbol.
Cost? Nothing extra, so far — at least beyond the cost-per-click that
advertisers are already playing. How to get going with them? Dunno — I’ve got a
question out to Google on it, and I suspect it’s part of a closed beta. I don’t
think it is making use of advertisers already in the
AdSense For Video
program, because those ads are not tied directly to textual ads, as is the case
described in this new program.
FYI, video ads have made it to Google’s home page before, but nothing like as
is coming now. "Google
Promotion" Now Used To Flag Google’s Bourne Ultimatum Video Ads covers how
this was done for the Bourne Ultimatum back in July, which in turn followed a
previous outing for
NBC during the 2006 Winter Olympics.
The ads, of course, are the ultimate turnaround from what Google
said back in 2005:
There will be no banner ads on the Google homepage or web search results
pages. There will not be crazy, flashy, graphical doodads flying and popping
up all over the Google site.
It’s hard not to say that video ads aren’t flashy. Heck, the Google
Personalized Home Page program actively encourages people to put flashy doodads
on Google. But as said, the changes with Universal Search make video ads on
Google more acceptable. Google
hinted they were
coming back when
Universal Search launched. Now, here they are.
Postscript: In terms of buying ads, Google tells me:
Advertisers pay on a CPC basis where any click counts. Meaning, if a user
clicks on the URL link that counts as a click or if a user clicks to play the
video (via the plus box) that also counts as a click. An advertiser only pays
for one click. The ads will run through the normal auction. Right now it’s a
closed, small test so advertisers have been selected who already have video
assets and a current search campaign.
It will look like a regular shadow sponsor link with a plus in the corner.
If you click on the plus it drops down a video player and plays the video. A
user can click through to the advertiser’s site at any time and start or stop