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Google’s AI Search Will Show More Ads Than Expected

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Advertisers will take up premium positions on Google’s new AI search features.

That’s right — above, below and inside the AI-generated search results. Rachel Melgaard, global search director for Google, said as much during a press event Tuesday preceding the company’s Marketing Live event.

These changes are designed to give another boost to Google’s already massive search ad business, which has been facing competition from AI-powered rivals as well as a major antitrust case. In Q1 2021 alone, the company’s search business brought in over $46 billion in revenue, beating expectations.

“We’ve been testing this for some time now and found that people find these ads helpful and advertisers find them effective,” Melgaard said.

Google was always going to put ads in its AI search tool. What is new is sponsored answers within the text box. These search ads can be purchased via various ad campaigns including Google’s Performance Max tool.

For example, when you type “how do I get wrinkles out of clothes” into Google, it showed different answers like “hang your clothes in the shower…use a damp towel” along with a sponsored ad for Downy fabric spray.

Another feature showed someone uploading a photo of their couch and then searching for a storage unit that fits.

Last year Google introduced ad products powered by generative AI that could create instant copy and images. This year they updated those products to let advertisers control the colors and fonts in AI-generated ads. These updates are still free to use.

The execs did not say how many clients were using these AI tools or how many AI-created display banners were running when asked.

Source: marketingbrew