Google has begun testing video ads in search results. The video ads feature movies and serve up in the knowledge box on the right side of the search results page.
The searches require specific keywords to trigger the movie trailers in the search results. For example, to trigger the video trailer for the movie "Lego Ninjago," the searcher must type the entire movie title into the search box plus the word "movie."
In another example, typing in "Justice League" also triggers a movie trailer in the search results, rather than a link to the video on YouTube.
The SEM Post, which first reported seeing the feature, suggests that the video will begin playing automatically and that there is a toggle switch to turn off autoplay. That was not the case in the tests that Search Marketing Daily ran. The videos did not automatically begin to play after being served in the search results on the desktop version of search. A click on the video was required in order for it to begin playing.
Google has been testing video ads for years. In 2011, the company tested expandable search video advertisements in search query results. The ad units were called Media Ads, a paid-search ad unit for movies that is guaranteed to appear at the top of the query results page.
Microsoft and Yahoo also have tested video ads in search results in the past. In 2015, Yahoo tested full-bleed autoplay video ads in search results that were focused on retail. For instance, a Land's End ad unit that ran during the holiday season in 2015 appeared at the top of the search results page across the entire browser window and temporarily pushed down other query results.