Retailers can bid on keywords and target content related to what they sell.

Google Inc. has brought its main paid search program to retail videos on YouTube, which Google owns. After a test that began in September, the search giant this week launched Google AdWords for video.

The service is available to marketers and retailers around the world, says Baljeet Singh, group product manager, YouTube. He says the new paid search service also applies to videos on the Google Display Network, which enables marketers to place ads across millions of web sites.

The new service enables retailers to bid on the keywords that consumers use to search for videos. Retailers can have their ads played before, during, or after videos played on YouTube. Marketers also can set up campaigns to show ad content alongside viewed videos. “If consumers are watching a video about how to tie a tie, they might see an ad for [an apparel retailer],” Singh says.  A retailer whose customers tend to be interested in the latest music might decide, for instance, to show ads alongside the latest music videos, or to a younger demographic.

The new service also enables retailers to pay for only those videos that consumers actually watch for at least 30 seconds, and not, for instance, skip after a few moments. “You aren’t charged when viewers skip your ad if they aren’t interested or have already seen your video,” Singh says.  Google says that YouTube videos, on average, increase traffic to relevant web sites by 20%, and result in a 5% increase in total searches for businesses.

April Anderson, industry director, retail, at Google, will speak at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition 2012 in June, in a session entitled, “Paid search strategies for the smaller merchant.