Friday, May 18, 2007

Google Gadget Ads. Friend or Foe?

Google revolutionized the way users looked at paid ads. The glitzy, animated ads that users used to loathe and eventually became blind to were replaced with simple, text based ads that had context and meaning. After gaining all of this good experience capital with us, Google is looking to spend a bit of it on something called “Google Gadget Ads.” These are interactive widgets that give you more than just info+link=good experience. Advertisers can make the ad interactive with a custom branded design.

This sounds like a huge win for advertisers and a potential step backward for users. Those loathsome ads of the past were designed for advertisers, not users. I will assume that Google will try to keep our best interests in place when delivering these new whiz-bang ads. Maybe the new formula will be info+moreinfo+brand+links=a new, good experience.

Here’s an example of one with navigation and YouTube video built right in:

This is to Google AdSense what BritePic is to JPEGs. Google is BETA-testing these now with iGoogle and targeting Summer for the launch of these new widgets.

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