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Monday, November 06, 2006

Never One to Follow the Standard Path

Google is expected to announce today that it will be running a test for some of its major advertisers to supply ads for up to 50 American Newspapers (NY Times, Washington Post, and Chicago Tribune to name a few) - expect this to move forward for all advertisers in the very near future.

Far be it for Google to follow the traditional pathway... instead, opting to take their very successful ad strategies offline to try and resurrect the dying newspaper industry. The same industry that is avidly trying to scale back content for every revenue generating/advertising opportunity possible.

The program, which Google is expected to formally announce today, will mark Google's first real foray into the sale and placement of advertising into traditional print mediums - they have already successfully implemented radio ads.

The system will work similarly to Google's Ad Sense that sells advertising space on thousands of Web sites via an online auction system. Small businesses then pay for these ads normally in the tens of dollars rather than the tens of thousands, which begs the question of content. Is Google just taking over the classifieds?

Not really, imagine relevant "Google ads" dynamically generated and placed within article frames. For instance, a small text ad for "Forensic Accountants" in an article about Enron sentences being handed out. It is already happening in the online side of many newspapers, it only seems like an obvious progression to put it into the actual print medium.

Tracking conversions may prove to be a real problem; instead, this should be looked at as a branding exercise with some real demographic targeting capabilities. In other words, a way for smaller businesses to target tech influencers for example, in select urban locations without having to spend those massive capital costs associated with ad space on B4 of the Tribune (carrying costs of thousands/day).

As well, there will be no CPC - it has to be CPM (traditional model), but it may just be the lifeline the newspaper industry needs to continue on in the new millennium. Besides, the Times already implemented photos instead of those line pictures; they even brought in some color to select bylines....

It only makes sense that if newspapers want to recapture the audience that they have lost to online content generators that they should resolve themselves to look and feel like those particular competitors.

News readers have changed their behaviour with the onset of the Internet, they scan, the fixate on anchor points, and they are blind to non-relevant ads - perhaps we can see the new Citizen Cane saying "Googlebud" instead in the remake..... But honestly, the impact is not that consequential, so long as Doonesbury is still on D12, I'm happy.

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  • It will be interesting to know how, if at all, will it be possible to track those conversions.
    I am sure next few days will tell all.

    By Blogger Tom, at 10:57 AM  

  • This is how it works: Google sells search advertising at its site, where businesses bid on the search term ("Florida insurance" "Detroit lawyer") they want. The more people interested in the term, the more expensive it is. Google will add a "newspaper advertising" tab in AdWords that will let businesses bid on buying advertising space in newspapers, in a variety of sizes. Customers will get tools to upload photos and type in information to create an ad on the spot, then they can send it directly to the newspaper.

    Basically, it allows businesses that ordinarily couldn't or wouldn't advertise in newspapers to start. By way of tracking conversions... this is a traditional medium, direct conversion tracking will not be possible, but you will be able to infer a ROAS.

    In addition, it allows advertisers to have a one-stop resource for advertising in multiple newspapers across the country, without having to contact each publication directly. It makes traditional newspaper advertising more efficient.

    By Blogger ricktobin, at 11:48 AM  

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