Google discusses multimedia ads in Universal Search results

Google executives discussed the possibility of bundling image or video ads into Google Universal Search, during the CitiGroup Technology Conference in New York this past Thursday.

As reported by Tameka Kee at MediaPost, Google’s group business product manager Nicholas Fox says that Google has had internal discussions on how to incorporate visual advertisements in search engine results pages (SERPs) that best match search query relevancy.

According to Sundar Pinchai, Google’s director of product managment, Images and video have the potential to be more relevant than simple text ads in at least some situations, but cautions that “the images and video ads you see today on content networks are not what will work.” Incorporating these type of ads in SERPs could lead to ad blindness and hurt business in the long-term.

While Google’s comments suggest that multimedia advertising will eventually be established to some degree in universal search results, they are not something for advertisers to include in their plans for this year. Google says that any approach they undertake with incorporating multimedia ads will be slow, cautionary, and incremental.

Currently, Google allows advertisers to run both video and image ads in their Contextual network, which is separate from search. Those ads, along with text ads, have been claimed by search advertisers of having lower content relevancy than with SERPs. While Google has been making some appeasements with adjustment ad pricing and network placement control advertisers in the contextual program, advertisers already feel their multimedia creatives would be much better suited directly to search.

Will all things considered, Google is correct in determining that ad relevancy for multimedia will have to be higher when showing up on its own search pages than how they currently have them on 3rd party sites.

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