I spotted these interesting ad units on CNN a few weeks ago over Christmas holidays, and spotting a Gary Price post on the SEW blog today reminded me to post about them.
On the main page of CNN, as well as internal pages shows a leaderboard ad unit with two traditional looking ads on the right side. On the left side is a list of keyword phrases – very similar to Google AdSense Ad Link units – which can be clicked on to change the ads that are displaying. And in between the ads and the keywords is a related photo.
Here are some samples of the different themes in these enhanced ad units. There are travel, computer related, education, and finance themed units currently running (click thumbnail for full-sized image).
The ad units that Gary blogs about are units with 15 different keywords, and once a keyword is clicked, the ad unit expands in length to then show three releated ads about the chosen keyword. All the related screenshots are here or on this Yahoo! Movies page he first noticed them on.
Google has displayed ad links within an ad unit in the past, although they have been appearing with more frequency since the beginning of the year. However, when these ad links are clicked, it launches the traditional Ad Link landing page, as opposed to changing the ads within the ad unit as the ContentMatch ad units are doing.
I am hoping these ad units become available to Yahoo Publisher Network publishers, this would definitely create a buzz – not to mention a leg up on the competition – and give publishers a fantastic style of ad unit that Google does not currently offer AdSense publishers.
Forum discussion at Search Engine Watch.