Omid and the Ad

March 14, 2008

Digital Marketing ChannelAdvisor By ChannelAdvisor


Google VP and billionaire Omid Kordestani recently donated $3M to his alma mater to endow a professorship. Listed as one of the richest people in the world with a net worth of $2.1 billion, he can afford it. However, Kordestani’s big contribution to paid search is a little different. He is the man responsible for the text ad.

He headed up Google’s sales department in the early days, and was a key advocate for maintaining Google’s clean, text only interface. At the time, the banner ad was king. Google wanted to maintain their clean look, and chose to display paid search ads as text only. As it turns out, text ads have a higher click through and conversion rate than image ads. And users like them better because they are easy to ignore if they are not shopping, but easy to scan if they are. For retailers, it creates a level playing ground as businesses big and small can create compelling ads without an art department.

Now that Yahoo, MSN, and Ask all display paid search ads as text only, we take it for granted. But not so many years ago, it was Google’s sales department, and Omid Kordestani, who changed the way paid search ads were displayed.

written by Jason James — jason.james at