Google’s Upcoming Circular Ad Formats Replicates Print Advertising On The Web

In the very beginning, there were only text ads. Blue links, ugly fonts, irregular font sizes lets catch the attention. That was 2001.

Then came rich media ads which are targeted to catch the attention of the user whose eyeballs are rolling like crazy. Video advertisements and Flash ads were incorporated because a particular type of audience engages with it, who on the other hand will completely ignore text advertisements.

According to some reports, Google is experimenting with new extra wide ad formats which will mimic the look and feel of newspaper circulars. You have probably seen those extra large ad blocks on deeper pages of a Sunday newspaper and Google calls this Probably the best ads are just answers. Google is in talks with advertisers such as Best Buy and Macy’s Inc; the newer circular ad format is most likely to be rolled out for a selected group of advertisers in coming weeks.

Here is how the new circular ads on Google will work. (Sorry, no screenshots yet as the circular ads are due to be revealed).

Instead of taking you to the landing page of the advertiser’s website, the circular advertisement will open up a menu, filled up with photos, videos, text and other multimedia content, as defined by the advertiser. The service will automatically craft the promotions based on factors such as query topics, recency of search query, location of search, search history amongst other factors. This is nothing but a more visually appealing system which shows relevant content to the user, depending upon his search query, location and other data Google has about him.

Lets take an example.

Suppose you are searching for Chinese restaurantsin Google and Google knows that you are quite interested in Food. So instead of showing you a plain text ad, Google might show you a circular ad which has more engaging content embedded within it. This can be the Google Maps location of a Chinese restaurant nearest to your location, a Places review from a Google Plus friend, a video of a famous Chinese dish or just plain text content. This depends on what filters have been specified by the advertiser and there is no way a user can control whether he sees just a plain text advertisement or a circular ad, which is still a work in progress.

After Google integrated the Plus one button with Adsense ads, their strategies have taken a steep turn. Ads are more social these days and instead of machine driven algorithms, Google is largely depending on human signals. The circular ads connects the dots.

This approach increases click- through rates from 15 percent to more than 50 percentsays Google.


And here is an example of a product ad, where the advertiser is bidding a high amount to buy the entire ad inventory and replace it with a video review of his product. A user can play the video directly from the advertisement and does not have to go the landing page of the advertiser. Clever!


When it comes to Internet advertising, Google has always ruled this game. From text ads to rich media, Google has just the right ad format for every advertiser who wants to drive targeted traffic to their landing pages. But don’t you think, a 50% click through rate is way too high. Imagine a scenario when 50% of your visitors click away from your site because of circular ads being displayed on the advertising space of your blog, monetized using Google Adsense. Then they have Panda Algorithmic updates which determines the quality of your site, remember?

Check out the following introductory video and head over to the new search ads page to learn more.

By the way, circular ads on Google has nothing to do with Google Plus circles. Actually, it’s good to know they are not considering pop ups or exit pop-ups.


Published by

Amit Banerjee

Amit has been writing for Techie Buzz since early 2009 and keeps a close eye on web apps, Google and all things Tech. He also writes at his own tech blog, Ampercent. Follow him on Twitter @ amit_banerjee