Google Officially Changes Look Of Many Ads

By Nathan Weinberg

Google has officially changed the look of AdSense ads and the most prominent type of AdWords ad, and the change isn’t going to be perfect for everyone.

First, Google has initiated the change in AdSense it has been working on for a while, removing the “Advertise on this site” link, moving “Ads by Google” to the bottom right-hand corner, and giving it a nicer graphical look. Here’s an example of the new look, via Google’s AdSense blog:

/archives/2007/04/06/new-adsense-logo.png

It appears (based on my own ads) that if your ads do not have a border, then the slightly skewed area over the “Ads by Google” logo does not appear, either. Jason wonder if this is sort of evil, since it sacrifices transparency in the name of higher ad click rates. I wonder if there actually are higher ad click rates.

Do you think you can do better than Google’s design? I’ve got an interesting opportunity for anyone with some decent knowledge of Javascript/XML and an hour or two to spare. There’s no money involved (unless it winds up making some money), but it could be a fun exercise in code hacking, and a chance to learn a little more about advertising. Send me a message if you are interested.

Also, Google has changed the background color of the ads that appear on top of its search results from blue to yellow:

/archives/2007/04/06/new-adwords-top-ad.png

The reason for the change is obvious: It blends better into the page, making it hard to distinguish between ads and search results. Is that bad? Of course it is. Google’s AdWords blog explains the change, and says that they’ve also made it so you have to click the actual link, not just the blank background area. Looks like banner blindedness probably forced the change. A lot of ThreadWatch users are not happy at the change, with some claiming their traffic is down as a result.

Google is also new sending AdSense publishers monthly optimization tips, based supposedly on analysis of their accounts. My first tip was that my banned advertiser list could be costing me money, which would be true if it didn’t only contain two URLs. I doubt the system is going to be very useful, at least based on the first tips.

Google has also started a TV ads trial, testing out a system with Echostar. The system will be based on data from set-top boxes, and only charge advertisers for the people who actually watched the entirety of an ad.

Google has recently added Google Apps referrals. Get $5 for every person you get to sign up for Google Apps, Google’s web-based business software suite.

Finally, I read about this company that can help advertisers turn a Google AdWords ad campaign into a Yahoo Panama campaign in a quick automated fashion. Sounds useful

Posted:
April 6, 2007 by Nathan Weinberg in:

Google Meets Michael Jackson

By Nathan Weinberg

Yeah, it’s probably a copyright violation on some level, but here’s a song called “Just Google”, to the tune of Michael Jackson’s Beat It:

Funny stuff.

This isn’t the first Google song. Check out “Talking About Google” and Saturday Night Live’s “Goo Goo Googling Him”.
(via Amit Agarwal)

Also, take a look at this April Fools announcement from Ask.com CEO Jim Lanzone regarding Ask’s new direction (hint: It involves Kevin Federline).

Plus, turns out there’s been a snake loose in Google’s New York offices. Don’t worry, they caught it, but it looks like the snake won’t be allowed back in.

Oddly, that’s the second time Google’s had to deal with snakes.

Google’s been uploading more videos to their YouTube account, including this of a spray can artist doing a rendition of the Googleplex:

Turns out the artist, Vulcan, decorated some Google Minis a few months ago. I want to see that.

Here’s a far-too-slick video look at Google OneBox:

Finally, in the oddness department, turns out that Google CEO Eric Schmidt may receive only a $1 salary, but his personal security cost the company $532,755. By comparison, protecting Larry Page cost only $36,795. What is Eric so afraid of? Are there really that many threats on his life? Perhaps Page learned kung fu and saved the company half a million dollars? This is very important information…