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According to the New York Times, Google are to begin testing video adverts on the search results page. At the landing page seminar hosted last year I was asked if I thought Google would start to show video-type adverts. My response was a “no”!

Luckily to sort of save my professional credibility I added “but I’ll probably eat my words on that one in a month or two” as I just had an inkling something was in the offing. I then begun my retreat last May following the launch of Googles universal search when I commented on the possibility, or even likelihood of video ads.

We are now almost a year on and it became increasingly obvious over that period that video and graphic ad formats will make an appearance. In fact some limited testing of a film trailer in the top sponsored links block of the page was seen last year.

However I still dont expect to see a Google page with rolling video and flashing graphics. Google have a very careful balancing act to play. On one side is monetizing their results page, on the other is not upsetting the user (or as Google always strive for is to actually add value to the user). The comments being posted on the New York Times article demonstrate how much people value a clutter free Google page.

Inevitably the adverts will require conscious action from the user, before they are activated. In the organic results videos appear as a thumbnail and will only play if you actually click on them. What I am trying hard to imagine is a Google page with 11 video thumbnails if every existing sponsored slot were taken up. Would Google have to limit the number of non-text adverts?

It will be interesting to see how advertisers (small business in particular) react to video adverts. The great joy of text ads is they are very easy to set up. Video requires work and often significant cost.

Interesting times ahead.

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