The Best Online Publishers: Google
Its advertising is tied into user searches, with two kinds of ads served to each search: large-size Premium ads and smaller Adwords. There are two Premium positions on the top of each page and eight Adword boxes on the side of the page. Both are text-based ads, which are sold not by size but by the number of characters. The Premiums run 80 characters in the top line and 72 in the second. Adwords run 35 characters per line.
This is a different kind of advertising from much of the web. "Most sites have all kinds of banners, but we have only relevant text-based ads," Armstrong says.
Major advertisers buy the Premium positions, while small-to-medium-size businesses buy Adwords. Tens of thousands of advertisers have run, Armstrong says, demonstrating Google to be a site smaller businesses can use for smaller buys. The key for small advertisers is ROI, which Armstrong says is high at Google because the ads are highly relevant, since they are served to specific searches. "They self-select with keyword selections, so they are actively searching for products and services," he says. The fact the ads are so relevant improves the click-through rate, which Armstrong says is 3 percent, far higher than banners, which Google doesn't use.
Google also seeks repeat advertising. "We focus on the renewal rate; it's our number one metric," he says.
A survey participant praises Google for its "tremendous amount of volume, with sponsored listings delivering better performance."
Unique audience: 22 million Time per person: 43 minutes 2001 ad revenue, through Sept: Unavailable