Could video be the next money maker for Google?

Reports have surfaced that Google is quietly testing sponsored video in search results. It’s a move that has serious potential for Google’s paid service.

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Numerous sources, including Digiday, have reported that Google has been testing promoted video ads in search results. The search engine is reportedly in discussions with the ad industry about the concept, with the view to rolling out video ads as part of Google Adwords.

It is a concept that has massive potential for Google’s Adwords revenue, but why is Google going down the video route?

Facebook and Twitter are already in on the act

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Sponsored video is already rolling out across Facebook and Twitter, with promising results so far. Video views in Facebook have grown 75% since 2014, and the number of videos appearing in newsfeeds has increased 3.6 times year-on-year. Visual content also generates stronger engagement levels.

Twitter has publically spoken about how much importance it is hanging on video as it looks to grow users and ad revenue, and it too is focusing on sponsored video as a way of serving the needs of both advertisers and audiences.

Google is competing with these platforms for that ad spend, so see this potential development as a direct response to the growth of social media advertising.

Rival search engines are doing it too

google adwords

The leading search company isn’t alone in its interest in promoted videos in results. Yahoo is developing its own version, whist Bing is claiming success with what it terms “Rich Ads.”

“Rich Ads are truly effective because they allow advertisers to engage better with potential customers on the search engine results page, provide enriching video content allowing them to extend their brand or campaign assets and offers a higher conversion rate,” claimed John Cosley, marketing director in the Search Advertising Group at Microsoft, in an emailed statement to Digiday.

“We’re in the process of refining Rich Ads and working to create a better video experience, especially for mobile, and are excited to bring a new medium to our customers.”

So when can I launch my video ads?

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We have some way to go before you can start launching your video into the world through paid search. So far the only reports available are of a testing phase and “preliminary discussions” which, unsurprisingly, Google is remaining very tight-lipped about.

However, it’s clear to see the financial potential for Google with such a venture. Advertisers love video content, users tend to engage with video content much more willingly, and visually one would expect that a video thumbnail at the head of the search results would appear much more prominently to the user. Keep an eye on this development.

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