Google turns ads into widgets

19 Sep 2007

Showcasing an interactive advertisement from Honda in conjunction with popular US rock band Fall Out Boy, Google unveiled its new advertising format today, a more interactive and content-heavy format than its traditional ads.

The main feature of Google Gadget Ads is the ability for users to click on the ad to incorporate it in their personalized Google homepage, so that along with being hosted alongside regular Google Ads, the advertisements are included in the iGoogle directory as an optional widget.

Google Gadget Ads also act as a ‘website within a website’ so that surfers don’t have to click through to view the ad but view the content fully as a mini website alongside the current page they are viewing.

Google calls this “beyond rich media advertising”, providing a mini version of the advertiser’s website in ad form.

The ads are essentially live with constantly updated interactive elements such as news updates and have a community component to them which allows users to post and share the Gadget Ads wherever they want.

These ads can be developed using Flash or HTML and can incorporate elements traditionally thought of as website constituent like images, video and live data feeds.

Large global companies including Pepsi, Intel, Honda, Sony Ericsson and Peugeot have already come on board as beta testing participants.

Google also unveiled a new version of Google reader today so that non-English speaking users will now be able to use its RSS (Really Simple Syndication) reader from today as the new version supports seven additional languages.

This development means that French, Italian, German, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean speakers will now be able to aggregate their news and blog feeds in Google Reader.

The company has also removed the ‘Labs’ label from the RSS reader, a title that it adds to applications that “are not quite ready for prime time”, or are in beta testing mode.

Other Google applications that went through ‘Labs’ process include iGoogle, Google Maps, and Google Docs & Spreadsheets.

By Marie Boran