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Google tests search video ads

News, 21 August 2015

NEW YORK: Search advertisers may no longer be limited to a few lines of text as Google is reported to be developing new ad products that will show promoted video ads in search results.

"What used to be narrowly defined as search is being turned on its head," one digital marketing executive told Digiday on condition of anonymity.

"Google is finally getting away from just having three lines of text. Video ads have taken over mobile, Facebook and YouTube, and Google is thinking about how to integrate them into search."

Google declined to comment beyond saying "We've experimented with a number of different video search formats over the years but don't have anything specific we're launching right now".

The SEM Post recently reported that both Yahoo and Bing had already added sponsored video ads to their search result pages, in the form of thumbnail images with a play symbol, and described the move "a game changer" for the two search engines.

John Cosley, marketing director in the Search Advertising Group at Microsoft, claimed Bing's Rich Ads delivered better engagement and higher conversion rates.

And Forrester analyst Jim Nail said if promoted video ads in search worked "it would be a gusher of money for Google".

One agency source pointed out that brands' own websites were becoming increasingly irrelevant as more and more video views were coming from outside platforms, like Facebook and Twitter.

"Marketers are getting less dependent on the microsite, because every feed-based website is giving the content away right there, when consumers want it," the source said.

"Google's doing the same thing bringing the content to the feed, and that's video."

Data sourced from Digiday, SEM Post; additional content by Warc staff