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Google Launches Instant Previews for Ads

12:20 pm on Apr 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Last November, Instant Previews made their debut on Google’s search results pages. Today, Google is taking this concept one step further by introducing Instant Previews for Ads as well. Thanks to this new feature, you can now get a preview of the site that hides behind text ads on Google Search without having to click on the link and without leaving the search results page.

For advertisers, who generally pay Google per click on a text link, this should be a welcome new feature, as it will allow potential customers to see a preview of the site’s landing page without having to click on an ad (and hence costing the advertiser money). Advertisers won’t have to pay for clicks on the Instant Preview button.

Judging from today’s announcement, these previews will currently remain limited to ads on Google’s own search results pages and will not appear on third-party sites that use Google AdSense. [newsgrange.com...]
12:43 pm on Apr 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Another feature only a very small minority of people will use.
12:03 am on Apr 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Bad for publisher AdSense.
9:21 am on Apr 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Eventually these previews will be available on sites that use adsense and that will be the end of a lot of sites that depend on adsense revenue. For webmasters who depend on adsense to put dinner on the table, now is the time to look for alternate source of income.
7:31 pm on Apr 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

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OK - so I'm not a fan of this overall because as an advertiser I like to have control.

However, if you're a publisher - why is this so bad? Do you think this is going to vastly lower CTRs, or that people won't go to a site because they realize they will just see ads, or?
5:53 pm on Apr 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Likely effects IMO:

1) lower CTR
2) higher conversions as a percentage of clicks
3) some benefit to brand from people who preview but do not click
4) higher CPC

As a publisher, assuming that this is extended to publisher adsense, I think 1) and 4) should balance.

It will make the system work better as it will make life slightly harder for publishers with sites with poorly matched ads, and for advertisers who place misleading ads.
6:09 pm on Apr 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

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If this makes it to publisher sites, it may end up leading to increased income. It could lead to curious and prospective clickers evaluating the preview for a group of links, then clicking the most relevant. He may not have otherwise clicked on ads at all but now wants to see previews. Time will tell the story if it makes it to publisher sites.
4:19 pm on May 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Would it be possible to have a stats 'impression' column on Instant Previews for Ads?

That way you can at least have an estimate of the actual loss - those who only chose a sneak peek rather than visiting the site.