Oh, woe is us. Users of Gmail's web client are reporting a most unwelcome new visitor to their communication service: display ads. The right-most column that Google reserves for ads has heretofore been populated only by easy-to-ignore text links, but as of the past few of days, image-based advertising has also been sneaking out to unsuspecting emailers. The guys over at Search Engine Land have done a bit of digging and received the following statement from Google:
"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."
This little trial does seem to be taking place on a very limited basis, which is why there's been no outrage since it began last Friday. Let's just hope that the Google Display Network that's responsible for these pictomercials thinks better of it and leaves our Gmails alone. We'd hate to have to leave the beautiful web for some impersonal mail-serving app.

[Thanks, Greg]

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Google testing display ads in Gmail, our patience