Back in 2005 Google created an enhanced strategic partnership with AOL, which caused some rumblings. Google’s blog (a post by Marissa Meyer, who was VP of Search Products & User Experience at the time) cleared up some misconceptions – including not putting banner ads on their search site. However, times are changing and Google has to look at all possibilities for continued growth. That includes banner ads.
The AOL partnership mostly brought on concern that AOL search results would get priority and bias competitors. Google posted it’s reply to most of those, including:
There will be no banner ads on the Google homepage or web search results pages. There will not be crazy, flashy, graphical doodads flying and popping up all over the Google site. Ever.
Ever is a big word. While Google is probably still not going to place “crazy, flashy, graphical doodads”, there might be some other product placement on Google search results.
Google confirmed they were testing images on top of search results. This is to make up for falling ad prices and slower desktop search results. While images on top of a page might not be called “banner ads” per se, it kinda feels like a banner ad.
Of course, Google runs tests all the time. Therefore it goes to see how people would react to an image at the top of the screen.
It’s also an ad that shows up if you are looking for air travel or information on Southwest. So if you are looking for it anyway, would an ad at the top be invasive?
Ads have been on Google for a while – in text formats to the right. It’s part of Google’s “Multi-year evolution” – adding text ads and videos to the site.
It’s all about a lack of mobile ad solution to search, since people are switching to their phones and those dedicated apps. After all, how many of us did a search for Facebook or Twitter and clicked on the link in the search results to get to the website?