Google selling video ads

Google Inc., the Internet search engine that made its fortune from selling small text ads beside search results, is branching out into video to attract larger clients.

Video ads will appear on Web sites that subscribe to Google’s AdSense advertising program. Advertisers can pay based on how many people see the ad, or how many users actually click through to the target Web site, said Gokul Rajaram, a Google product manager.

With video ads, Google is targeting clients that have traditionally turned to Yahoo! Inc. and Microsoft Corp. to promote their brands on the Web. The market for online video ads in the U.S. will almost triple to $640 million in 2007, according to researcher EMarketer Inc. Yahoo, the most-visited U.S. Web site, and Microsoft’s MSN already sell video ads on their sites.

“This is an area where Yahoo has had a tremendous advantage over Google,” said Greg Sterling, an analyst at Sterling Market Intelligence, a researcher in Oakland, California. “This development gives brand advertisers something relatively unique on Google.”

Google, the leader in Internet search, tested video ads with companies including Detroit-based General Motors Corp. and New York-based Viacom Inc.’s Paramount Pictures, and will make them available to all advertisers later this week, Rajaram said.

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