We'll call it … Google NonSenseTM

Its domination of the $8 billion global search advertising business secure for the moment, Google is now vying for a portion of the brand advertising business as well. This morning, the company began offering members of its AdSense network the option of displaying targeted video ads. The spots, which can be up to two minutes in length, are user initiated, highly targetable and available to any AdSense publishers who currently accept image ads. “A large percentage of video ads will come from small advertisers,” Gokul Rajaram, a director of product management at Google, told The New York Times. “A small resort owner in Maui probably already has video of their great beachfront property. Now they can put it in an ad and reach a qualified set of users.” Interestingly, the ads won’t appear alongside Google’s search results — apparently Google doesn’t want to clutter its own sites with ad units that might devalue the user experience.

Ultimately, Google hopes these new ad units will convince brand marketers to spend more of their TV ad dollars online. Broadcast and cable TV advertising in the U.S. will be worth approximately $38 billion this year, according to Universal McCann, and Google would love to take a portion of that. But will media buyers who control that money send it Google’s way when the company’s refusing to run video advertising on Google.com or the other sites it runs? Some observers are skeptical. “Perhaps their early testing showed that consumers don’t want to click on these nearly as often as significantly less intrusive text ads,” TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington wrote. “Or perhaps Google just doesn’t want to sully its super-clean site with this stuff. Either way, without Google search, advertisers will be significantly less interested in the product.”


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  • Ed

    It’s probably best for Google to clean up their list of content sites.

    There are just too many “shell” sites that are basically worthless to someone looking for stuff since they just, uhm offer another dizzying array of AdSense links – obviously trying to make money.

    Unless advertisers, whether it be video our current keyword buyers, are provided quality content sites, Google has to be really careful that their brand is not eroded along with the perceived value of their “medium”.

    Sorry, but a “network” made up of shell sites don’t even come close to late night advertorials…

  • Love the title.