Some Google users are getting a new home page with a longer search box this afternoon. Marissa Mayer, who oversees the company’s core product — its search engine and the user experience there — posted on the company blog that “The new, larger Google search box features larger text when you type so you can see your query more clearly. It also uses a larger text size for the suggestions below the search box, making it easier to select one of the possible refinements.” At right, the old and new home pages.
Also today, Google held a webinar in which someone (I’m not sure who yet) announced plans to introduce new ad formats. JP Morgan analyst Imran Khan wrote a summary that’s being passed around the Internet:
Google plans to introduce new ad formats. Google hasn’t made many changes to its text ad format and now sees this as a big opportunity. For example, advertisements for movies may be best in the form of trailers, and product advertisements may be best in the form of pictures and descriptions. The team is currently working on ad formats better suited to mobile, video, picture, maps and local searches.
How will you feel about video ads in your search results? Does it come down to whether or not they auto-play? I find myself alternately drawn to and put off by Bing’s play-on-rollover video clips.
It will probably come down to execution. When Google first announced its Gmail service with targeted ads alongside email texts, people who hadn’t tried it screamed about how terrible it was. Five years later, does anyone even think about the ads while using Gmail?
VB's research team is studying web-personalization... Chime in here, and we’ll share the results.