Google Tests Gadget Ads

    May 7, 2007

Google is testing a program to put ads in Google Gadgets on websites. The Gadget would basically be a non-traditional ad unit, one with interactive parts as opposed to a pitch and a link.

Advertisers would bid on getting in the Gadget ad much like they do for any Google ad, by click or by thousand impressions. Google unveiled these ads (which have been rumored and spotted for a little while) at an auto industry marketing summit, but they will be available in all categories when the program launches this summer.

The Gadget ads, as HTML containers that can have Flash, video, real-time information and even the ability to purchase from inside the Gadget, are obviously very attractive for advertisers. However, due to the nature of these ads, and the possibility of annoying punch-the-monkey games and irrelevant interactive content (which is more damaging to sites than an easilly ignored non-interactive ad), Google should consider releasing these ads like their referral ads program, with all ads being opt-in and chosen by websites.

I don’t want advertisers sticking pointless stuff on my site to distract and piss off you guys, but some sort of unit that adds information to the site, like current stock prices, while offering you the chance to sign up and trade those stocks, that is something very useful for everybody. I’d want to choose that, I don’t want it to be the exception.
(via Niall Kennedy > Steve Rubel)

Michael Arrington has an article about companies already in this space.