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Google's DoubleClick gets in on the ad widget act

DoubleClick to serve up widget ads that Web surfers can grab and embed into their own sites in a viral marketing scheme.

Google says "gadgets" and DoubleClick says "widgets."

Semantics is probably the last thing on Google's mind right now as it starts integrating DoubleClick and its online ad technologies into its business. But it's something they'll have to figure out, nonetheless.

Google's new DoubleClick business, a recent acquisition following U.S. and European regulator scrutiny, announced on Monday that it is adding rich media widget ads to the repertoire of online advertising types it serves up to customers.

Widget ads aim to be interactive and clever enough to entice Web surfers to grab them and embed them onto their own sites or social network pages. They are the newest rage in viral marketing and when done well, they can actually work.

They are becoming quite the trend, and getting a lot of attention and money--22 percent of marketers surveyed by eMarketer recently said they used widgets as a social media marketing application last year, and that percentage is expected to double this year.

The sharing component of the ad widget service is powered by Gigya, an advertising network for widget makers that recently raised $9.5 million.

Meanwhile, Google started offering Gadget Ads on its content network last year.