Google Opens Content Network To Ad Networks

Google has opened its Content Network to other ad networks, allowing them to serve up ads. The Mountain View, Calif. company made the move after receiving requests for new ways to generate revenue in AdSense, and gain more control over the ads that appear on sites.


The service will roll out in the coming months as choice networks get certified. The goal of this launch is to increase AdSense publisher revenue by expanding the pool of quality display advertisers, according to a Google spokesperson. Ad networks did not previously participate in the auction. But with this change, Google certified ad networks will compete just as AdWords advertisers do today.

Google does not expect any noticeable change in AdWords advertiser costs, but not all believe that's true. And although it may prove to be positive for some participants, others could see added competition that drives up the average cost-per-click (CPC) price. The deal doesn't pertain to text ads, only CPM display ads.



David Szetela, Clix Marketing founder, says opening the Google Content Network to a variety of ad networks could drive down available impressions and clicks, since ads from non-Google networks might "crowd out ads" from the Google AdWords Content Network.

Opening the network would also give advertisers "more eyeballs" and a better shot at reaching select consumers, such as "one-arm pet lovers." There's maybe a few thousand of those pet lovers out there, and opening the network adds a huge pool of inventory into the system to find those people more easily," according to Aaron Goldman, managing partner at Connectual. "It you're an advertiser running with exchanges and networks it helps you," he says. "Publishers will have more people competing for ad inventory, and have a better shot of getting a higher effective CPM and more relevant ads on the page."

Goldman and "AdWords for Dummies" Author Howie Jacobson believe the purchase and integration of DoubleClick has become the impetuous for the decision to open the network. The change makes it more difficult to rank ads and become successful. "It's a lucrative space, but few people do it well," Jacobson says. "The AdWords program default asks you to sign up for the Content Network, and you create an account as if you were doing search. It's kind of the red-headed stepchild. People don't know you need to create different ads and strategy, so it gets ignored. And until very recently it was difficult to know where your ads appeared."

When a newbie advertiser comes into the network they imitate others, but don't understand what they're doing, Jacobson says. So, he provides five steps to prevent from "capsizing by the wave of third-party competition." No. 1: Separate content and search traffic into different campaigns. No. 2: Discover the sites serving up ads and how much traffic and revenue each one produces. No. 3: Learn about the sites' visitors. No. 4: Find additional sites using Google Ad Planner. No. 5: Create image ads to keep ahead of the competition.

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