Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The end of text ads?

A few days ago Google's stock hit a bit of a speed bump as investors worried over comScore data suggesting that the click-through rate on its paid search ads is decelerating. This could be one of several things: a slowing economy, a crack-down on click fraud, or the beginnings of ad fatigue.

I'm sure the reduced click-through rate was caused by a combination of the three things above, but I would worry most about ad fatigue if I worked at Google. The all-mighty Google text ad has not actually changed that much over the years in placement or in style. And, while these ads are clearly effective, I'm sure users are starting to tune them out.

What can Google do to innovate in this area? With few changes in several years, it does feel like it's time for a make-over of the text ad. What would you do?
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