Google Adwords is currently trialling a Beta product where Adwords ads will include an email collection form (also rumoured to be called Communication extensions or Google Email subscription Ads). These, like your other extensions, will mean extra room for your ad, although in this case, not extra information. (Well, extra information for the advertiser, not the searcher!). In the case of contact form extensions it will allow searchers to ‘interact’ with the ad – offering a form for them to enter their email address, name or other information as a form of data collection. Note that it will pre-fill the email field with the Google account email the searcher is logged in with.
Note that this is not a completely new product, it was trialed a few years ago in the USA, and has been being tested as a closed beta on and off since then it seems. However, this is the first time I have seen it in Australia (albeit for a US company).
Now – I wonder why Google, who has previously said it is dodgy to just have pages for data collection, would think it is ok to have data collection on ADS when the searcher doesn’t even know anything about that website or company yet? Why Google? Why do you let advertisers get away with the evil things you say you will protect us from (the other big example – where Google passes on your logged in search queries to Google Adwords Advertisers!)
This kind of ad seems to be going through a long, slow Beta with various stages of evolution. It has been seen;
– With a drop down form, so you couldn’t immediately see the fields (2010)
– Allowing only phone number subscription (now email)
– Showing in right sidebar (not top positions)
– Top positions 1, 2 or 3.
As it is a closed Beta to which I am not privy, being in Australia, I don’t know too many of the ins and outs of it. But I do query the effectiveness of such an ad – what would be a good reason to sign up or subscribe to something when you haven’t even seen the website? Maybe if there was a good reason- e.g. “Sign up and receive 15% off”.
It would be interesting to see how more companies use this, and what their results are like.