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Google expands ad empire with expandable ads

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Google is now serving expandable display ads onto partner websites in its AdSense content network. But it's taking the tasteful route. Unlike so many others, these expandable ads won't consume your browser unless you ask them to.

With a blog post late yesterday afternoon, the Mountain View Chocolate Factory introduced expandable ads that only expand if web surfers actually click on them. If you merely visit a page or mouse over an ad, expansion is avoided.

Google also limits the size of the expansion. Ads won’t grow to more than twice their width or height.

The idea is that these ads will include movie trailers, video-game clips, or photos of products for sale. At the moment, the program is only available to a limited number of beta testers.

Naturally, these expandable ads are designed to make more money for both Google and its AdSense partners. If AdSense sites choose to show expandable ads, they can be paid by the click or by the impression. But if they choose the click route, they don't get paid for the first click - the click that expands the ad. They only benefit when the web surfer clicks a second time, visiting the advertiser's landing page.

It's unclear whether Google charges for the first click. Presumably, it does not. The company did not immediately respond to a request for clarification.

This is just the latest of many Google online-ad expansions amidst a melting economy. The Chocolate Factory is now serving search ads onto its News services. And its mobile-search engine now includes full desktop ads on the Apple iPhone and the T-Mobile G1, which runs Google's Android open source stack. ®

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