Google Experimenting with Display Ads in Gmail

Don't go hitting the panic button if you suddenly notice ads in your Gmail account, you're not the victim of a virus or any other malware looking to wreak havoc on your system. So what's going on? Apparently Google got the bright (and potentially lucrative) idea of testing out display ads in Gmail user accounts.

"We're always trying out new ad formats and placements in Gmail, and we recently started experimenting with image ads on messages with heavy image content," a Google spokesperson confirmed to Mashable via email.

Image Credit: Search Engline Land (Greg Sterling)

According to Mashable, Google began running the ads on Friday, January 21, and as far as we know, they're still being served up. Not surprisingly, it appears Google is tapping into email keyboards to deliver related image ads depending on the contents of the email. In speaking with Google's Rob Shilkin, The New York Times says an email about a vacation to Mexico, for example, might prompt image ads for flights or hotels.