Yahoo! Search Marketing has announced the addition of video ads, image ads and custom links within search ads on their search results pages. The service, called Rich Ads, is currently available to a few of their advertisers.
Rich Ads on Yahoo! Search results pages are being tested by a handful of advertisers since the end of 2008, and so far the results are encouraging. In fact, Yahoo! claims their advertisers have reported a rise of 25% in the click through rates for these ads. Not only that, the brand exposure and conversion rates have also reportedly increased significantly.
This new service allows the advertiser to add video, images, custom links and custom search boxes within their ads. These ads are placed in a separate box than the regular “Sponsored Results” and are labeled as “Promotional Results“, as shown below:
Advertisers will also now be able to customise the ad to suit their needs. It will also be possible for them to decide the day, time and other demographics, for when the ad should appear, as is seen with TV and radio ads.
Google tested video ads in search results last year, but they have not gone mainstream with the feature. Yahoo! seems to be following in Google’s footsteps, but seems determined to beat them to the punch in delivering a rich media ad solution first.
Ads with the video and images embedded within the search results would certainly increase the impact that the ad has on the user. Yahoo!’s Rich Ads also allow the creation of deep links to the relevant pages and they can also contain boxes to enter data or select from lists of products, allowing customers to search for the product without having to navigate away from the page. Brand logos can also be incorporated into the ads.
While these features help advertisers and agencies to increase brand recognition and advertiser conversion rates, making them attractive to advertisers, it is not doubtful that they will make Yahoo! any dearer to end users. The company is desperately trying to lure advertisers, and could be shooting itself in the foot by alienating end users in the process.
Michael Walrath, Yahoo!’s senior vice president advertising marketplaces group says, “As the economy continues to put pressure on advertising budgets, marketers are looking for increased accountability for every dollar they spend. Yahoo!’s new targeting products significantly improve the ability for search and display advertisers to reach their target audience providing increased efficiency and accountability.”
Don’t they ever learn? Google had it right to start with – forget advertisers – concentrate on getting users and the advertisers will automatically follow.