A few weeks ago, Google announced that it was also going to be playing around with banner ads to liven up its search engine. Not long after that, Microsoft said it was also going to update its Bing search engine, but with “hero” ads instead of banners. No matter the size of the ads, the bigger question is: will big ads work or will they just annoy people?
Banner Ads vs. Hero Ads
So what exactly is the difference between banner ads and hero ads? Well “banner ads” are pretty explanatory – they’re ads that act like banners and take up (nearly) the top half of your search results screen. Google is testing these ads in about 5% of its queries.; the ads show users a wide graphic or image and then underneath it, the company information you’d regularly see in the search result.
A “hero” ad, on the other hand, is a full-page ad that takes up your entire screen. In Bing’s ad tests, its users see a large graphic or image that takes up 3/4 of the screen with a company information menu on the right last 1/4 of the page. The users in Bing’s test group are a selection of those who use Windows 8.1 to search.
Pros and Cons
The idea of big search engine ads seems like it would be pretty successful for the companies involved (right now Walt Disney World, Radio Shack, The Home Depot, and more for Bing; Crate & Barrel, Virgin America, Southwest Airlines, and more for Google). In theory, who wouldn’t want to learn more about a company that catches your eye?
But, what about the companies listed below the ads? With such a dominating ad by a larger company, smaller companies may not be seen and may ultimately be disregarded, despite their search engine optimization efforts.
What do you think? Will they work?
To see an example of what each ad looks like, head to this article by Search Engine Land’s Ginny Marvin.