Marketers were taken aback recently when possible evidence that Google is beginning to test ads in Assistant results was posted on social media. Last Wednesday, an Android user, Gennaro Cuofano, posted a screenshot of his Assistant search results to Twitter. The screenshot showed an advertisement at the top of the search results with organic results following it.
After this screenshot caused a frenzy on the internet, Google responded by saying, “we’re always testing new ways to improve the experience on phones, but we don’t have anything specific to announce right now.” Although Google did not confirm whether or not it is currently testing the ads, Assistant advertising has been an obvious next move from Google now that more than one billion devices are equipped with Assistant technology.
If the Twitter post was indeed a test for Assistant ads, the next wave of pay-per-click and search engine optimization strategy tweaks could soon be approaching. From the screenshot, it looks as if the top ad in search results would be the ad that got the highly-visible spot in Assistant results. This means that competition to be first on search results could heighten (thus making bids more expensive) as more and more users turn to voice assistant technology.
At the rate that Assistant searches on mobile devices are growing, it will become increasingly valuable for Google to start this kind of advertising. Because of this, marketers should stay on top of these advancements to be ahead of the game if (or, more likely, when) Assistant ads do go live.