Google's New Search Ads: Ignore This!


While they’ve been selectively displaying them for a little while now, Google today took the time to talk about and show off its new search ads. The general gist? Bigger, bigger, click me, bigger. Or, in Google’s own words, “Text is often useful, but sometimes videos and pictures are a more effective way to receive information.

That can be true, I suppose, but each of these additions also make the ads units significantly bigger, and as such, much more in-your-face. More often than not, that doesn’t equal a better experience for the user. Of course, Google’s unstated hope is that you’ll be more likely to click on these bigger ads, especially now that many contain visuals.

Naturally, Google says these types of ads are an extension of what they are trying to do with Google itself, which is offer up more rich search results. Over the past several weeks, visitors in the U.S. may have noticed search ads featuring videos, additional links below the main link, Google Map information, and comparison ads.

A new one being added today shows thumbnails of various items, along with their prices, for comparison shopping. I believe Google has finally cracked the code for getting my mother to click on their ads non-stop. Well played, Google.

And what fortuitous timing, right before Black Friday.

For many of the ads with larger visuals (such as the movies and the maps), you can collapse them. Still, I’m worried that these ads will eventually keep growing and shove actual search results farther and farther down the page.