Search Marketing

Google AdWords Site Targeting : Google Now a Media Company

Google AdWords Site Targeting : Google Now a Media Company

Last quarter, Google declared in its SEC 10-K filing that it was a “media company”: “We began as a technology company and have evolved into a software, technology, Internet, advertising and media company all rolled into one.” Indeed. In launching Site Targeting, newly announced enhancements to its AdSense/AdWords programs (site selection, graphical ads, CPM pricing), it truly has become one in a big way.

I’m heading off to Ad-Tech, but I wanted to register some quick thoughts: This is an important, even inevitable move by Google to attract more brand/national dollars (the “online growth imperative“). It addresses long-standing advertiser criticism about the performance of AdSense. It will drive some large newspaper publishers to adopt alternative solutions and Google will lose part of its AdSense network, since this initiative might be seen as competitive. It puts pressure on the Kanoodles and Quigos of the world to differentiate (again). It may promote the online equivalent of “headings jumping” in the sense that advertisers rather than users will now have a greater impact on “relevance”. Google is now an agency as much as a search engine.

My colleague Neal Polachek believes that this may be partly a response to the slow development of local as a revenue driver. There may well be truth there, but it’s also a response to the logic of the marketplace and the desire of Google to capture branding/awareness dollars that are starting to move from traditional media to where the eyeballs are—online.

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