Google is adding new promotional formats to online search, YouTube and its increasingly popular Discover service. The features, unveiled at a conference on Tuesday, could ease investor concern that the internet giant is running out of new places to run ads.
Alphabet Inc.’s Google dominates online advertising, raking in $116 billion in sales last year. But an unusual slowdown last quarter dented its stock. Some of the worry is that Amazon.com Inc. and Facebook Inc.’s Instagram service are becoming the go-to spots for marketers hunting for online shoppers.
Google’s response is to provide more ways for retailers to spend, and more ways for shoppers to buy. The company said Tuesday it will soon offer targeted ads for retail products on Gmail, Google Images, the YouTube mobile app and its voice-based digital assistant, among other services.
The company will also start serving ads on its personalized news feed—a revamped version of search called Discover. In September, Google said 800 million people use Discover each month. The company didn’t provide newer figures on Tuesday nor share how often ads will run there.
Google is also remaking its shopping service to try to keep pace with Amazon. A new website will display personalized results and offer a digital shopping cart. Eventually, Google will launch a standalone shopping app, Oliver Heckmann, a company vice president, said in an interview.
One promising revenue stream could come from these shopping features showing up on YouTube. Google plans to offer YouTube viewers a way to buy products during a clip, while still tuning in. Google will take a commission on sales and split the money with YouTube stars. "We are still thinking through the business model for that," Heckmann said.