- Yahoo’s latest video ad test is full-width autoplay ads on search engine results pages.
- The ads are only appearing on desktop searches, and Yahoo didn’t comment on the tested ad unit or whether it intends on formally rolling the product out.
- In other potentially significant Yahoo news, its board is meeting this week on the matter of possibly selling its entire Internet business and maximizing its stake in Alibaba Group Holding.
Yahoo is on a roll in annoying its users – and investors.
It recently blocked some users of Yahoo Mail who were actively running ad-blocking software out of their email accounts to an immediate backlash online. Its latest initiative is sure to aggravate users just trying to get information – it’s testing full-width autoplay video ads on search engine results pages.
The move comes at a time the Interactive Advertising Bureau and World Federation of Advertisers have both cautioned the online advertising community that user experience should trump revenue concerns. Most users most likely won’t find full-width autoplay video ads on search pages enhancing their user experience. However, there is no official confirmation that the ads will roll out formally, or even if they do, whether they would be introduced outside of desktop searches.
The autoplay ads appear on top of search results and play with the sound off. Even though the ad format is unlikely to be warmly embraced by Yahoo users, it might help staunch the negative flow of its search ad revenue which has been trending down for four straight quarters in number of ads sold and average price per ad click.
In a statement to Ad Age requesting comment on the tested video ads, a spokeswoman for Yahoo said, "We're continuously developing and testing new ways to enhance our products for advertisers, but we don't have anything to announce at this time."