SEM Heating Up II

Not a lot of time to blog today, but Google has fired the latest shot in the quickly developing search engine marketing space by adding the capability for advertisers to distribute video ads throughout its content network.

Marketers will be able to distribute video ads by bidding on ad space in the same way that AdWords currently operates. Ads will first appear throughout the the AdSense network as opposed to Google’s own search results. When and if the latter occurs, it will be a big development that will change the face of Google’s search engine results pages.

It will also help Google bring in additional business, including national advertisers that value the emotional impact and awareness that video ads produce. This will be important for Google to protect its leading SEM market share, on which Microsoft and Yahoo! are clearly attempting to gain ground.

Local and SME marketers could also play a large part when video production technologies become easier and cheaper for them to use. In this way, companies like Spot Runner could help Google bring more small businesses into the world of video advertising (this should signal alarm bells that partnering or acquisition activity could happen soon — something about which we and many others have speculated in the past).

We’ll examine more implications of the move in this week’s Local Media Journal. In the meantime, here is coverage from Red Herring, The New York Times, Search Engine Journal and John Battelle.

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