The other day at SEL I posted that Marissa Mayer suggested new ad formats, including display, would potentially be coming to Google.com SERPs at some point. Here’s her quote:
Well we don’t have anything to announce on that today. I do think this opens the door for the introduction of richer media into the search results page. We are now going to understand how users interact with that. And as Alan always likes to say search is about finding the best answer, not just the best URL or the best textual snippet.
For us ads are answers as well. Searching ads is just as hard as searching the Web, as searching images. And so I was hoping that we could bring some of these same advances in terms of the richness of media to ads.
I was speaking to Kevin on about Ad Exchanges yesterday and I brought up Mayer’s remark. He pointed me to the final paragraph in his piece in which the following appears:
Google released the upgrade to help users find the most relevant information without having to think about and then use its separate specialized search services, such as image or news search.
The move is likely a prelude to Google introducing new types of advertising, such as video ads, on the search results page, which to date has carried text ads. “Ultimately we’d like to deploy these richer formats in ads,” said Marissa Mayer, vice president for search products and user experience, though she declined to specify when that might happen.
I was quite tentative and cautious in drawing conclusions from Mayer’s comments, but Mills and Delaney spoke to Mayer after the Universal Search briefing and independently confirmed what she meant. So, in many respects, this is the biggest “news” to come out of the Searchology day at Google, even though it was not directly part of any of the announcements.