Google Testing Video Ads on SERPS

The New York Times is reporting that Google has started testing video ads within search result pages. The ads will be displayed only after a user clicks a small “plus sign” to expand a player which shows the commerical or movie trailer.

For online marketers, this could be the last whistle to get on the train before the video creative train pulls out of the station and leaves many behind…

Google Tests Video Ads on Search Results Pages – Bits – Technology – New York Times Blog: “On Thursday, Google started testing video ads on some pages of search results. And it is developing ad formats with images, interactive maps and other more elaborate features.”

At first, users will barely notice the change because the videos will not be immediately obvious. Ads with accompanying videos will have a small button with a plus sign. Google has increasingly used the plus icon to indicate that certain information — such as a map — can pop up on a search results page. Users that click the plus button on an ad will see a small video player that shows a commercial, movie trailer or other clip.

For now, advertisers will not pay extra to put video in the ads. They enter a price they will pay for a click in Google’s regular text-ad auction. But in the video ads, the advertiser pays when users click to see the video, even if they never click through to the advertiser’s site.

My question in all of this is how users and viewers will respond. Will this increase click-throughs (dubious measurements) or eventual conversions? I look forward to seeing how this develops.