Google has begun testing video ads on its search results pages, according to a report in the New York Times. Marissa Mayer, Google's vice president of search products and user experience, told the Times that just as video ads are not effective on pages of text-based search results, text ads are not effective on search results with more multimedia elements, like Google's universal search results.
“With universal search, something is getting shaken up a bit on the bottom part of the page,” Mayer said. “The ads on the top part of the page should match.”
Initially, video ads will not be apparent to searchers until they take action. Text ads with accompanying videos will be marked with a plus sign. Clicking on that plus sign will expand the video ad, just as clicking on the plus sign in some local results expands to include a map.
Observant search marketers will not be surprised, as Mayer alluded to this in May when Google launched universal search. At that time, Mayer responded to a question about the potential effect on ads with, "This opens the door for introducing richer media into the search results pages."