Google Gives Marketers More Places to Put Ads

Danny Sullivan on Search Marketing

By Published on .

The ads are coming! The ads are coming!

It's an invasion of ads on Google. They're showing up in places where the search engine has never had them before, with formats we've never seen. What's going on? The economic times are getting tougher, so Google's doing its own form of "Drill, baby, drill" and tapping into reservoirs it has left untouched until now.

Google's just revived a new format for online merchants. The "show products" enhancement for AdWords was initially tested a year ago. It's a little plus symbol under the regular ad text that says "Show products from ..." followed by the merchant's name. Click that box and product listings appear, complete with images, pushing other results down.

Danny Sullivan
Photo: Jason Meyer
Danny Sullivan has been covering the search-marketing industry for more than a decade and is editor in chief of
Meanwhile, did you catch that banner ad on Google? Yes, an honest-to-goodness banner ad. The folks over at Reprise Media spotted it showing up after doing a Google Image search. There it was, a banner ad sitting at the bottom of the page. Soon after, people started noticing that Google Image Search also started showing more AdWords listings, something it had never done before. The listings had images next to the ad copy. Google has said the ads are part of testing it is doing.

Meanwhile, another test has gone mainstream: "Promoted Videos" on YouTube. Think of them as AdWords for YouTube. They run alongside regular video search results and allow publishers to promote their content. Similar to AdWords, they are bought on a cost-per-click basis.

YouTube also launched click-to-buy links below some videos. The links allow people to buy songs, books, movies and other products related to the videos they're viewing. That generates some revenue for Google. It also helps with the copyright-infringement issue. Content producers that "claim" their content when it's been uploaded by others are invited to leave the material up with these types of links and share in the revenue. And yes, publishers are doing this.

Over at Google Maps, more ads. Some maps now show a text ad directly underneath the map area. When I did a search for "Newport Beach," I got a pitch for hotels in the area.

So far, Google News remains ad-free. But perhaps that will change too. Of course, that doesn't mean it's anything goes at Google. I think the company still will show care in where and how it allows ads. But these new areas will mean new opportunities for advertisers.
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