What if Google developed ad technology that would call the Web site, determine the ad the site should buy, and automatically purchase and place the ad in the unit? Would it eliminate the need for keywords? How would the ad bidding process work? Some ad execs already believe the Mountain View, Calif., company has begun to experiment with this or a similar feature.
Of course, this scenario remains strictly hearsay, but in 2009 there were reports of eliminating keyword, and recently the topic has come up again. In fact, Alex Cohen forecasts the dawn of paid search without keywords. He reminds us marketers buy based on intent by paring keywords with match types and bids. He explains in paid search without keywords, intent becomes one of five ways marketers target ads to consumers. The other four include Audience, Business Type, Product, and Behavior.
Cohen uses the remarketing model to demonstrate how it might work. Set the target audience, establish exclusion to weed out undesirables, and set preferences for the buy. It would include impression-based retargeting and automated-inventory product ads; hence, the idea in the lead of this article.
Let's take this model of automating the ability to serve up ads without keywords one step further into display advertising. The Near Field Communications Forum released a white paper Thursday explaining NFC technology in public transportation, but the chip could just as easily serve up ads. In fact, aside from triggering marketing campaigns, I believe that's what Google engineers have in mind.
Billions of mobile smartphones already in use could take advantage of NFC. The forum's white paper touts benefits for travelers such as paperless tickets and payment systems, but one feature of Google's Android Gingerbread OS is the inclusion of NFC that technically could automate the process of serving up targeted ads on mobile devices. A few other phones from Nokia also offer the chip. In December Google and NXP Semiconductors, known for developing NFC chips, inked a deal to integrate the radio frequency technology in Android 2.3.
The NFC chip, along with other technology in the phone, makes it technically feasible for every Web site to serve up personally targeted ads to consumers without matching any keywords or content on the site. Google also is looking to hire a technical account manager with five years experience and knowledge of NFC and radio frequency identification technology.
Both NFC and RFID work on radio waves, but the former has been known to support consumer applications, while the later focuses more needs of the business community. So, could this mean Google will enter a new market based on serving businesses by tracking inventory, or do the engineers have new plans for RFID technology? This should give you some things to contemplate.
As for search and display, Google continually tweaks advertising tools. Last week it began rolling out a standard version of how URLs look on a Web page to improve metrics such as click-through rates. This update assures domain portions of the display URL shows in lowercase letters. If a display URL is MediaPost.MediaPost.com/Directory it will appear as mediaPost.mediaPost.com/Directory. Another improvement, negative keyword will become more scalable.