Google users may soon see celebrity endorsements included as annotations under paid search results as part of new advertising program that the company has just started testing. Google’s Christian Oestlien revealed the test this afternoon as part of a session on Google+ and the Google +1 button at our SMX East Conference in New York City.
As you’d expect, Oestlien was very tight-lipped about the program, but he did tell the audience that there only a “handful” of advertisers in the program right now.
I’m apparently one of the users who can see the celebrity endorsements as they apply to paid ads. The screenshot above is from a Google search for kardashian collection sears, which includes an annotation that Khloe Kardashian has endorsed an ad about the Kardashian clothing line at Sears.
During his presentation, Oestlien explained that, in this example, Sears is telling Google that the Kardashian sisters have endorsed this product (line) that’s available on the Sears website. (The screenshot that Oestlien showed said the endorsement came from Kim Kardashian, not Khloe as my screenshot above shows.)
This is about all we know for now. We’ll update this post or expand our coverage of the new celebrity endorsement ad test as it becomes available.