For the three or four of you who have been reading this blog for the last three years, I’m sure you’ll fondly recall an early post I wrote about the possibility of Google running banner ads on their site. At that time, I wrote:

At the end of the day, Google needs to serve ads that generate the highest click through rate possible. This not only increases their revenue per visitor, but it is also a great benchmark to determine whether their users consider the ads on page to be a positive part of the user experience. If text ad click through rates decrease to the level of banner ads, it is pretty clear that users will have concluded that be it a banner ad or a text ad, it is so annoying it is not worth even acknowledging.

Today I noticed for the first time that Google had added a drop-down window that shows products related to an etailer’s search ad. I’m guessing that since I have never seen this as an option in my account, and that only a few of the very top retailers seem to be running this, that this is yet another beta. Here’s what it looks like when you do a search for “engagement rings”:

Now I know that this isn’t really a banner – there’s no animation, headline, or call to action – but this is certainly a long way from the “text only” ads that initially distinguished Google from all other Web sites. And when you add in the giant Google Checkout logos to the mix, Google’s ads are becoming more and more graphical by the day.

Frankly, I support the theory Google uses on their content network – let banners, video, and text ads all compete for the same space – the placement with the highest CPM for Google wins. Maybe this is a baby step in that direction.

1 Comment

  1. Jordan McClements October 15th, 2008

    On the other hand…You could say that Google is starting to just a wee bit to far with all the ‘in your face’ advertising.It is the exact opposite of what they used to represent…

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David Rodnitzky
David Rodnitzky is founder and CEO of 3Q Digital (formerly PPC Associates), a position he has held since the Company's inception in 2008. Prior to 3Q Digital, he held senior marketing roles at several Internet companies, including Rentals.com (2000-2001), FindLaw (2001-2004), Adteractive (2004-2006), and Mercantila (2007-2008). David currently serves on advisory boards for several companies, including Marin Software, MediaBoost, Mediacause, and a stealth travel start-up. David is a regular speaker at major digital marketing conferences and has contributed to numerous influential publications, including Venture Capital Journal, CNN Radio, Newsweek, Advertising Age, and NPR's Marketplace. David has a B.A. with honors from the University of Chicago and a J.D. with honors from the University of Iowa. In his spare time, David enjoys salmon fishing, hiking, spending time with his family, and watching the Iowa Hawkeyes, not necessarily in that order.