Google is experimenting with massive banner ads for brand searches

By on October 24, 2013, 7:30 AM

Marissa Mayer penned a blog post more than seven years ago as Google’s vice president of search products and user experience, promising the company would never implement banner advertisements on the Google homepage or as part of search results.

It would now seem that the search giant is going back on their word as the company is testing massive banner advertisements in search results for specific brands. The ads, which resemble a cover photo like you’d find on a Facebook profile, were first discovered by digital marketing company Synrgy and have since been confirmed by a Google spokesperson.

Google said they are running a very limited test in the US with just five percent of search queries and roughly 30 advertisers including Crate & Barrel, Southwest Airlines and Virgin America. I searched for these brands from my own computer but was unable to see any queries with full-sized banner ads.

As The Verge correctly points out, the ads may likely drive more traffic than a traditional text-based search ad (and command more money from the advertiser) but they do so at the expense of related search results – pushing them much further down the page than they otherwise would be without the giant banner advertisement.

How do you feel about Google experimenting with such ads and the very real possibility that they could become a mainstay? Do you think it would nudge you toward using a different browser or is it not really that big of a deal to you? Let us know in the comments below!




User Comments: 15

Got something to say? Post a comment
cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

That will be when I start actively promoting AdBlockPlus to everyone I know.

I just started using AdBlockPlus myself a month or two back. I can honestly say I have enjoyed my experience. I don't mind ads to a point. When ads start taking up half my screen, I will either avoid the web-page or find ways to remove the ad.

t3chn0vamp said:

I got no worries till the development of AdBlock is in place.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

I've been using AdBlock for a long time now and I'm a strong advocate of it but I'm sure one day Google will find a way around that too.

t3chn0vamp said:

I've been using AdBlock for a long time now and I'm a strong advocate of it but I'm sure one day Google will find a way around that too.

What do you think? Adblock developers will sit and watch that happen !

Levi Sterling Levi Sterling said:

If it were say, Banner ads for specific searches as in the photo above, and not just anyone could have ads that were unrelated to your search, I wouldnt care. also, having adblock helps me not care

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

I've been using AdBlock for a long time now and I'm a strong advocate of it but I'm sure one day Google will find a way around that too.

What do you think? Adblock developers will sit and watch that happen !

They will when Google makes them an offer they can't refuse (or understand)

t3chn0vamp said:

I've been using AdBlock for a long time now and I'm a strong advocate of it but I'm sure one day Google will find a way around that too.

What do you think? Adblock developers will sit and watch that happen !

They will when Google makes them an offer they can't refuse (or understand)

haha well said. I wish that day would never come.

gamoniac said:

Not a Google fan any more but I think Google is entitled to finding ways to make profit for their shareholders. There is no free lunch and I think ads on a web site is totally legit and much less intrusive than TV commercials. I can't stand pop-ups, although they are kind of things in the past and are not the topic here.

MID.AS MID.AS said:

Hmmm... not sure all advertiser's are going to like/want this!

The full-width "banner" across the top almost implies that the entire page (I.e. everything below it) relates to that company - and advertisers have no control over the other search results that may appear on the same page as their "branding" - this could be a bit of a PR minefield for some companies if objectionable search results appear on their "branded" pages!

PC EliTiST PC EliTiST said:

I've been using AdBlock for a long time now and I'm a strong advocate of it but I'm sure one day Google will find a way around that too.

What do you think? Adblock developers will sit and watch that happen !

They will when Google makes them an offer they can't refuse (or understand)

AdBlock Plus has been sold out already... Partially at least. The "Acceptable ads" project I'm pretty sure started by Google's initiative.

lmike6453 said:

I'd recommend to check out Ad Muncher, from the makers of TOR browser...nothing can compare to it IMO

t3chn0vamp said:

AdBlock Plus has been sold out already... Partially at least. The "Acceptable ads" project I'm pretty sure started by Google's initiative.

Yeah, AdBlock plus is sold, but there is another extension with name AdBlock. Its available for Chrome and Safari. It has a hand in its icon. It is still in its original state and blocks all the advertisements.

Guest said:

Brand specific banner ads might improve the browser experience. As long as it is used for searches for the specific words of the brand. Realistically, it isn't as if the user was looking for a web page other than southwest's.

DuhWookie DuhWookie said:

This will definitely go forward

yorro said:

Brand specific banner ads might improve the browser experience. As long as it is used for searches for the specific words of the brand. Realistically, it isn't as if the user was looking for a web page other than southwest's.

Totally.

Why hate an ad related to your search? as long as it isn't intrusive, then it might be an improvement as long as it is properly executed.

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.