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In a bid to improve the presentation and thus clickability of their ads, Google (NSDQ: GOOG) has today started testing out click-to-play video ads on some of its search results’ pages. Currently, the ads offer little more than a link and a blurb, but soon web surfers will be able to watch commercials, movie trailers and other clips at the click of an icon. According to NYT’s Bits, users will hardly notice the change since the videos will be displayed only after the user clicks a small button with a plus sign. Marissa Mayer, Google’s VP of search products and user experience, explained that on a search results page containing images in addition to text, text ads are simply not as effective. It is therefore more fitting to utilize various ad formats. She also said that the company is also developing other formats, including interactive maps, adding thumbnails of photos to video ads and combining text and image ads.
For now, the company will not charge advertisers extra for video ads, offering the same click-through-rate as text ads. The difference is that advertisers will be charged when the user views the video ad, regardless of whether or not they click to the advertiser’s site. The change gives opportunity for advertisers to focus more on expressing what their company or product is about rather than simply driving traffic to their sites. As was the case with text ads, video ads will be shown based on relevance to a search result in combination with the amount bid and how often they are clicked on.