Google Brings “Commercials” to the Web with Video Ads

    July 17, 2006

If you’re a Google Adsense Publisher or participate in Google’s Adwords program, by now you’ve heard the news that they’re now offering “video ads.” That’s right! Now you have the option of text, image and video ad formats.

These are “moving pictures,” just like those you view on your old fashioned television set. Web-based video has definitely risen in popularity recently, most likely due to the fact that more households now have a high speed connection.

Unlike TV commercials where you’re forced to watch, Google video ads do not play auto- matically when a website loads. The viewer must choose to click on the play button in order for the video to begin. The videos are contained in a box and volume, pause and forward controls are available to the user at all times.

Playing the video itself is not considered a clickthru; the user has to click on the video during playback or click on the url that is displayed at the bottom of the video box to actually visit the advertiser’s site. So if you would like to watch a video that’s displayed on your site, you can without having to worry about being accused of clicking on your own links to inflate your earnings.

Video lengths can vary, but can be no longer then two minutes. If you’re worried about them slowing down your website, don’t. All video is hosted by Google’s server.

If you’re an Adsense Publisher and want video ads to appear on your website there are a few things you’ll need to to do to increase your odds they’ll be displayed. You’ll need to opt into image ads and use one of the following size ad formats:

300X250 Med Rectangle
336X280 Large Rectangle
250X250 Square

If you don’t want video ads to show up on your website, you’ll need to opt out of image ads or don’t use any of the above ad sizes on your site.

Your Adsense earnings will vary depending on if the videos are CPC (cost per click) or CPM (cost per thousand), which is chosen in advance by the publishers when setting up their campaigns. Publishers displaying “Site Targeted Ads” are paid on a CPM basis. If the videos are contextually displayed, you’ll be paid for actual click thrus to the adver- tisers’ sites.

Google Adwords users may run video ads on Google’s “Partner Sites,” which are the only places they are displayed at this time. You’ll need to set your campaign to show your ads on Google’s “Content Sites.”

When creating your video, keep in mind the two minute maximum length rule and the format must be AVI, ASF, Quicktime, Windows Media or MPEG.

You’ll also have to choose between site targeted or contextually targeted when setting up your campaign. If you choose site targeted you’ll actually select the websites where you want your video ads to be displayed. With contextual settings your videos will be matched up with related content sites.

Remember, Google requires that videos be “family safe” and may not contain any of the following:

* Any Material for those 18 and over * Mature Themes * Crude or Indecent Language

For a complete list of editorial guidelines see

Like it or hate it, you won’t be seeing video going away anytime in the near future. Any type of advertising that engages more of the viewers’ senses is bound to benefit from a higher clickthru rate, which is good for the advertisers as well as Adsense Publishers. It can also have a major impact in reinforcing a company’s brand image.

The real question is, can MSN and Yahoo Publisher be far behind in adding video to their advertising options?

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