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Google Trys Out Display Ads In Gmail

David Gilbert

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Google Trys Out Display Ads In Gmail

Not content with posting fourth quarter :earnings of almost $8.5 billion last week, Google has now confirmed that it will be trying to squeeze a few more advertising dollars out of us by putting display ads next to our emails.

Reports began circulating last week that users of Google's very popular email client, Gmail began seeing display ads on the right-hand pane of their email service. Heretofore this column had been reserved for text-only ads but now Google has confirmed that it is trialing display ads similar to the one seen below.

Text links are of course a lot easier to ignore despite the links containing ads for words or terms found within the body of our emails. While we have yet to see display ads in our emails, we imagine it will be a bit more distracting email experience. Asked by the guys over at Search Engine Land about the new initiative, Google had the following statement to make: "We're always trying out new ad formats and placements in Gmail, and we recently started experimenting with image ads on messages with heavy image content."

While this appears to be a limited trial at the moment, we do hope it doesn’t work out as we don’t want these picture adverts to spoil what is otherwise a pretty good email experience.

public:tr:7b1de5e41d7fc0165c52

January 31, 2011, 2:47 pm

Although Gmail is free, and an excellent email client, bombarding us with even more ads will sooner or later tire us out.

Stewart Clark

January 31, 2011, 3:35 pm

Does not bother me as I do not use the web to view emails. I redirect all of my email adresses through gmail and then send to outlook. In other words I only use gmail as a free spam filter, which it is very good at.

Sam Wright

January 31, 2011, 3:37 pm

I doubt it'll be an issue. We can read trustedreviews just fine despite the banner ads. People fret overly when it comes to ads. They may complain, but after a day they'll get used to it.

PGrGr

January 31, 2011, 3:48 pm

Gmail is free. And it's excellent. Google have every right to put ads on there. That's the deal. You don't have to click on the ads. You don't even have to read them.





Seriously, are people actually concerned about this?!

Jmac

January 31, 2011, 3:51 pm

Google is generally pretty sensitive when it comes to ad placement, so I doubt this will be too bad. So long as they keep to a side bar, avoid garish flashy animations and don't start covering the rest of the UI with ads or appending ads to e-mails I send, and so long as they never, ever use those horrid inline ads inside e-mails, I'm cool with it.

DrDark

January 31, 2011, 4:05 pm

That will annoy me yes. Doubt it'll stop me using gmail though.





@Sam Wright, @Bluepork: Yes, WE manage to read TR just fine (although they are rather annoying :P), however if you consider people who haven't used the internet all their lives, I'm sure they find all these flashing banner ads very distressing. One of the reasons I still read magazines to this day is because they're not flashing and moving about all the time.

Michael G

January 31, 2011, 4:23 pm

Advertising definitely puts me off. TR's ads are OK but when I load a page and one of those background adverts appears, that seriously grinds my gears. I'm absolutely sick of seeing them, 3 skyscrapers, one square and two banner ads is enough for one page, chuck in a background ad as well and it's just too much. Sorry TR but I just reload the page...

Geoff Richards

January 31, 2011, 4:42 pm

Good to see a healthy debate about how free services like Gmail are supported via advertising. I'm not here to comment on display ads in Gmail, but as Publishing Manager here on TrustedReviews I am always more than happy to clarify what we are doing.





@Michael G, and others, thanks for the feedback and we have certainly listened. The new 2011 redesign of TrustedReviews is just around the corner and should address concerns about the number of ads per page. We hope you will like it, and there will be plenty of opportunity for you guys to provide feedback on the new design. We will post more detail on the new site in due course - I can't release any more info today. Sorry!





Getting back to Free vs Advertising, of course, providing almost three thousand detailed reviews and latest news stories each year is an expensive exercise. As we offer this buying advice free to everyone, everywhere, the commercial reality is that we need to support this content with advertising. I know you guys understand that, and everyone agrees there should be a balance. If we upset that balance it is right for you to let us know - my email is on the Contact Page.





Let's try to keep this page for discussion about the GMail news story please.

Epic

January 31, 2011, 5:21 pm

Smart move tying it to emails that already have heavy image content.





What bothers me most about ad rich sites is the additional time it takes pages to load because of slow ad servers - especially on slower or mobile connections. TR is pretty bad in this respect especially with whoever serves up their ads here in Holland. This is much more likely to drive me to use ad blockers or give up on a site.

jingyeow

January 31, 2011, 5:23 pm

The one type of ad I actually like are those full background ads. I think there was a canon one recently. They don't feel intrusive.

rav

January 31, 2011, 7:02 pm

Fingers crossed they don't invade the Android Gmail app.





I don't mind static ads but the ones that expand themselves and start playing music and video automatic just drive me crazy.

Kaurisol

January 31, 2011, 7:07 pm

Like @Stewart Clark, I don't tend to read my emails through a web UI, but download them to Outlook and my phone so that I can use whichever device is handier/more convenient at the time and using the web mail server as a spam filter (primarily hotmail in my case, as I have all my accounts linked).





I do find that the ads when I do have to use the web interface annoying however..... but not enough to stop using the service.

Gk.pm

January 31, 2011, 8:07 pm

As long as they keep the IMAP interface free of ads I don't really mind. But it is annoying, I mean I'm fine with TR having ads, after all they do a lot a publishing and generate original content.





Google on the other hand is effectively putting ads on OUR stuff and produces nothing except easier access.





Gmail on its own already gives Google a wealth of information about almost anything and anyone in the world, imagine being able to data mine all the world's email, it's insane. Why can't they just be happy with having that, use it to improve their very profitable search ads and leave gmail alone...

Martin Daler

January 31, 2011, 9:58 pm

"While this appears to be a limited trial at the moment, we do hope it doesn&#8217t work out as we don&#8217t want these picture adverts to spoil what is otherwise a pretty good email experience." Ha! I hope that sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. Substitute "TR" for the word "email", please!


@drdark, @rav: spot on, don't mind ads, hate them walking around the screen. I use Adblock Plus. Sometimes I switch it off, mostly I forget it's off, until I visit TR, when I am forcibly reminded. That's how it is, I'm not just being argumentative here - nothing seems to stay still on the screen on TR until I re-enable Adblock Plus. I don't mind seeing ads, I don't want to watch them!

PGrGr

February 1, 2011, 2:49 pm

> Gmail on its own already gives Google a wealth of information about almost anything and anyone in the world, imagine being able to data mine all the world's email, it's insane. Why can't they just be happy with having that, use it to improve their very profitable search ads and leave gmail alone...





Because, GK,pm, Google are a commercial entity which exists primarily to make money, not, as they might have you believe, to make your life easier! Companies always look for ways to improve their revenues and profits. If this works, then of course they would do it.

coalmoore

February 1, 2011, 5:16 pm

Simple really, if you don't wish to view the things, just use Adblock.

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