Google Tests Videos In Search Ads

In a bid to win over entertainment advertising dollars, Google (NSDQ: GOOG) is testing out videos in paid search ads. AdAge’s Michael Learmonth reports that Electronic Arts (NSDQ: ERTS) has purchased the specialized ads to push its ‘Need for Speed’ video game, while film studio Miramax has used them to promote ‘Extract.’ (In the ‘Extract’ case, a plus symbol shows up below the standard text ad, which readers can click on to see a trailer. See screenshot to the left).

Searchviews actually reported on the new ad format earlier this summer, noting that it would be most useful for brand advertising, as opposed to generating site traffic. Google gets paid if a user watches a clip for more than 10 seconds or clicks on the link.

It’s the latest sign that Google is moving away from only offering standard search text ads to advertisers. In June, the company began testing a format that allowed product sellers to include an image in their text ads (Advertisers also only pay when someone buys a product from their site, instead of when someone clicks on an ad). Learmonth writes that entertainment companies are not big search advertisers, so there may be a sizable revenue opportunity here for Google.