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Google video ads in SERPs

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Friday March 28, 2008 )

Google video ads have started to appear in SERPs (search engine results pages) under some Adwords text ads.

It looks like it’s just a test at this stage – Digital Inspiration have posted a shot of what they look like. At present, the ads are hidden unless you click the “Watch Commercial” link under the ad text.

Imagine if this was rolled out with the video in full view when a search engine results page was shown. Given Google’s bare bones type interface, they would really stand out. No doubt they’d attract a primo rate as well. From an advertiser’s point of view, this could be very attractive. As an AdSense publisher, I’m not keen on it. From a site owner and surfer’s point of view (mine); I’m not so sure about it either.

As an AdSense publisher, I certainly like making a few bucks from Google and have enjoyed the stream of income over the years. But my sites aren’t made for AdSense, I want people to actually read what’s on my pages first. I think video ads that appeared when the page loaded would have a negative effect in that respect, and whether that would be balanced out by extra AdSense earnings is another matter.

Like many webmasters, I get a lot of my traffic from Google and these ads would certainly distract some from clicking from the SERPs through to my sites. But Google doesn’t owe me anything and they don’t exist purely to send traffic to me – like me, they exist on the web to generate revenue.

As a surfer, I’ve always appreciated Google’s simple interface and I feel this would certainly detract from my experience.

.. but I’m jumping the gun I guess – a) this is a test b) the ads *don’t* appear unless the link is clicked on. I don’t consider myself an average surfer, but in it’s current form I wouldn’t go to the trouble to view the ads. If I’m going to click on something, it would be to the merchant’s site. It would be really interesting to see the clickthrough rates once the novelty factor wore off.

What are your thoughts on this format?


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