Having built an online empire around keeping the advertising simple and unobtrusive, Google is about to enter the video advert business. The announcement follows the AOL acquisition of video search engine Truveo in January and video ad sales specialist Lightningcast last week, which will merge with Advertising.com which AOL bought for $435 million two years ago. However, while the AOL strategy appears to be a straightforward matter of selling commercials into online video programming, Google is taking a much more ‘in your face’ approach. If the information that is coming back to me through usually reliable sources is accurate, Google is going to simply insert video adverts directly onto the web page. Oh tell me it isn’t so.

OK, it’s not quite as bad as it would first sound, because those same sources tell me that only a single still frame will be presented to the user who will then have to make the decision to click a play buttons to see the actual video footage. However, it’s bad enough in my never humble opinion because it’s evidence of yet another move away from the basic principle of unobtrusive advertising that has stood Google in such good stead up until now. And further evidence that the new Google, the billion dollar megacorp Google, the ‘we’ve got shareholders to worry about now’ Google is losing the plot. At a pinch I could possibly learn to live with AdSense Video Edition on web pages, after all I could ignore them just the same as I ignore most web advertising (shock, horror – Joe User tells it like it is warning). But how long before we see video ads appearing within search results, something a lot harder to ignore? My sources tell me that this isn’t on the cards for now, but reports floating around the web are quoting Google as saying it is certainly considering doing so in the future.

Of course, the big question should really be whether this will actually work or not? How many times would you be tempted to actually click to play a video advert, consciously make the decision to waster a couple of minutes of your time like this? I am guessing the question is meeting with a wall of silence, which leads me to ask how many advertisers are going to pay premium prices for such ad placement if it just doesn’t work? Using the same auction based system as currently operates; advertisers would be expected to bid for views. Google appears to be betting that television advertising models can transfer to the web in the same that television style broadcasting models can. I’m not convinced that the auction model is the way that this market wants to buy advertising. It requires a sea change in the business of video advertising, and that’s a huge outsider to succeed. Google is probably also betting that most of us won’t notice that this is yet one more nail in the coffin of the old business, the search focussed Google, the Google that gave a damn.

The truth is that Google is now nothing more, nothing less, than a multi-national advertising agency. And that’s a crying shame…

What I find interesting is that Google has a double standard. While the typical AdWords user only semi-recently received the option to use .gif ads in addition to standard text links, Flash campaigns for high profile sites have been rotated in AdSense for awhile now. And now, of course, they're adding video to the mix.

What's interesting, however, is that Google's website is still as clean as ever, and Google has released no plans of changing that. The AdSense and AdWords model was initially hyped up to be all about delivering contextual text links and only text links. It has now turned into the graphical and Flash ads that Google swore against at the beginning. Not only that, but the ads they are dumping on their publishers aren't going to make their way to the SERPS (search engine result pages) anytime soon.

Sure, a single frame only and if you click it it will play.
Sure, just like those flash ads which replaced the animated gifs a few years ago.

Won't be long (weeks I guess, months at most) before you're getting blaring sound and streaming video from ads through your browser.
Gooooooooooooooooogle might be nice enough to have some spyware detect your connection speed first and only do it when you have broadband, but that's small consolation for people who do have broadband.

Seems I might have to invest in a full Google blocker that blocks any data coming from their servers and not just cookies.

Danny, Google can afford to have a clean homepage without advertising.
They have hijacked about half of all webpages hosted elsewhere to do their advertising for them after all...

ah, read it like you were all positive and fuzzy about it :eek:

If that was the case, my first sentence wouldn't have been: What I find interesting is that Google has a double standard.

"Google is probably also betting that most of us won’t notice that this is yet one more nail in the coffin of the old business, the search focussed Google, the Google that gave a damn. "

Did they ever give a damn? Seems to me they were very cleverly preparing themselves and the world all along, playing the nice guy in order to gain a market position in which they could very well do as they pleased and flood the market with their advertising.
It's a public secret that the first several pages of search results on Google for years have existed primarilly of paid links with the odd unavoidable result thrown in that's just too good to pass up.

And now Google is starting to censor their news and search results worldwide, removing those which lead to websites that don't lean the same way politically as do the bigshots at Google themselves (who recently donated millions and millions to far left organisations).


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