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What’s Wrong With Google Print?

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What’s Wrong With Google Print?

What’s Wrong With Google Print?

BusinessWeek has a nice inside look at Google’s effort to expand the AdWords style automated advertising planning and buying process beyond its search engine and into publications; Google Print. Seems that Google Print is struggling selling tis print space to advertisers right now – in what may be a reflection of the print industry.

BusinessWeek gives the example of how Google purchased a rather large chunk of advertising space across multiple magazines. Google apparently had a difficult time auctioning off the space during their Google Print experiment and CoffeeCup Software, which offer web construction tools, ended up buying three half page ads in Martha Stewart Living for $4,000 – The rate card price for one of those ads is more than $59,000 according to BusinessWeek.

Remnant ads have always been available for much lower than the rate card price for the right buyer at the right time, but Google’s first Google Print effort may have ended up damaging both ends of the transaction; ending in a loss for both the publisher AND the advertiser.

In what not be such a market fit for mass AdWords advertisers, BusinessWeek gives this account of one ad buy gone wrong in Google Print:

Carl D. Haugen, president of BluePenguin Software, spent $3,000 on an ad through Google, which ran in the November issue of Budget Living magazine. Haugen offered a 20% discount on its antispyware software to Budget Living readers, so he could better track the ad’s performance. Over one month later, the ad had only generated $181.37 in sales, says Haugen.

Google’s struggle to transfer its online success to magazines doesn’t necessarily bode well for the publishing industry. Hundreds of publications have contacted Google about the program, with the hopes that the online giant can extend their reach to Google’s army of smaller marketers who otherwise would not consider magazine ads. But the weak performance may indicate that the true value of a page of print lags its list price — at least in the eyes of Google’s advertisers, who are used to high-return search engine campaigns.

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Loren Baker

Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing ... [Read full bio]

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