Business

Google shuts down its controversial banner ad experiment

Above: Google headquarters.

Image Credit: Jordan Novet/VentureBeat

After rolling out banner ads in Search, Google’s Search head claims the company has canceled the test.

Google Search head Amit Singhal announced yesterday at Search Marketing Expo West (SMX West) in San Jose, Calif., that the firm would no longer display its controversial banner ads in search results, Marketing Land reports. SMX West is a SEO and social media marketing-themed conference sponsored by Google.

That banner ad program first debuted in October of last year, and it led to public outcry, as Google had previously promised to never include banner ads in its search results. When the ads first appeared, Google called them a “brand image experiment” and shared that it was testing them with 30 different companies.

It’s noteworthy, however, that these banner ads [below] don’t look like typical banner ads. In fact, some have argued that these display ads shouldn’t be considered banner ads at all.

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VentureBeat can confirm that banner ads for original partner companies, like SouthWest Airlines, are no longer visible in our own tests — of course, there’s still a chance that these ads are currently displayed elsewhere for other users.

This announcements comes amid a number of changes to Google’s search results, including visual tweaks such as the removal of underlines, and larger type.

Update 3:21 PM ET: Google confirms the news, and tells VentureBeat that these display ads are no longer in use.

More about the companies and people from this article:

Google's innovative search technologies connect millions of people around the world with information every day. Founded in 1998 by Stanford Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google today is a top web property in all major glob... read more »

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