Google banner ads
Some rather LARGE news this month was Google testing banner ads in their search results. Yikes - that was a way to shake everyone up! Apparently 30 US advertisers are getting in on this testing (our Google contacts maintain that there is no indication yet as to when or if this will be available in the UK), which shows large banners at the top of branded search results pages:
The ads are obviously relevant as the searcher is specifically looking for the brand itself. It does push everything else quite far down the page though, and this somewhat counteracts Google’s stance of providing the most relevant and neutral results. Obviously the need is there from an advertisers’ perspective, and this is Google’s way of collecting on that.
They’re not the only ones though. In the same month Bing has launched testing on their Hero Ads, full-page ads on their branded search results.
Again, we’re left with questions, namely if this format goes widespread, will it only be available through branded searches? For the sake of user experience, and the avoidance of bidding wars, we sure hope so.