Google Adds Image Ads

from the there-goes-that-plan... dept

One of the things that people always like about Google’s advertising was that they stuck by their plan to do only non-intrusive, non-annoying, non-flashy text ads that got to the point. Well, it looks like they’ve had enough of that. Search Engine Journal notes that Google is now adding traditional image ads to their ad inventory. For now, it appears that these won’t be used on search results, but only on content pages with Google contextual advertising. This suggests that the standard Google ad box has become so universal that (as expected) most people have learned to ignore it completely, so it was time for Google to try something different (which, strangely enough, seems a lot like what others have been offering for ages).

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Comments on “Google Adds Image Ads”

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Google Fanboy says:

Google will not last

The beauty of Google is that they put the world’s information at my fingertips, they make money doing it, and they don’t annoy the daylights out of me.

I tell people at work all the time that I owe Google money. Whenever I need an answer to a SQL Server question, I go to Google, and within seconds I have my answer.

Long gone are the days of pouring over manuals, trying to find the little snippet of code, or the correct syntax…

I also have given up searching for information on Microsoft’s own sites. Google has a much better index of the MSDN than even Microsoft itself.

I am very saddened to think that Google is only after our money, and will resort to annoying banner ads to get it.

Paul R says:

Re: Google will not last

All other things being equal, a web site owner is going to prefer an ad network that can offer the possibility to choose between text and banner ads. Even though Google isn’t doing banner ads on their own site, it’s good that they will let web publishers show banner ads if they want. They’re not forcing any site owner to run banner ads, just giving more options–which is a good thing. The FAQ on Google’s page says “You can choose to run image ads in addition to text ads, or you can show text ads alone.”
My motto is never to argue against more choices or more data. You can always ignore the choices or data, but it’s good to have the ability to take advantages of new choices/data if you want to.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Not the reason

It doesn’t have to do with ad fatigue. In fact, if anything our text ad ROI and click-through has been on the rise over the past few months. So long as the targetting is on, it’s been great. (Whether Google always targets well enough is another story altogether.)

Mike, Google wants to attract the biggest advertisers who (stupidly or not) continue to buy BIG runs of banner ads across a lot of properties at once.

Google allows 4 standard sizes but NO rich media or animation of any kind.

The thinking is its a compromise – standard banners are running about 0.44% according to DoubleClick this quarter. With Google’s targetting, the “Google banners” are bound to run significantly higher than that. With any luck, that will catch the eye of the Big Advertisers looking over their campaigns, and they’re likely to throw more money Google’s way, and maybe even try out some AdWords… where my guess is they’re bound to get an even better ROI.

On the other end of things: Talking to several other publishers on some forums, no one is crazy about the idea, as the text ads wildly outperform the banner ad standards. But then the banners AREN’T targetted… so most are willing to test it out on a low-performing channel.

I don’t think a non-flashy image will add to the annoyance factor. But my gut still says that the text ads will perform better. Only our trials will tell for sure.

Tony Lawrence (user link) says:

Re: Often NOT annoying

I have a large web site with many thousands of individual pages. While sometimes the Google ads that appear are just junk, often they are very strongly related to the page content and may very well be of interest to people reading the page. I know that *I* often am made aware of interesting products/services because of these ads.

It’s also interesting that when the ads “miss”, they may still be related to what the reader was actually looking for – if a search engine misinterprets the content of one of my pages and you visit it, while the page may be disappointing in terms of what you wanted, the ads may be exactly what you wanted.

Context based advertising is not a bad thing.

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