Google Lays Out Display Ad Democratization Strategy

Google Display Ads

Google wants to simplify the process of buying and selling display advertising across the Web in 2010, and has set up a strategy to achieve the goal. In a Webcast Tuesday, Googlers laid out the plan to simplify the buying and selling process, increase performance, and maintain an open platform to serve ads across PCs and mobile phones.

Display advertising is on track to become one of Google's next big businesses, according to Susan Wojcicki, vice president of product management, who defines the ads as videos, images, banners, Flash and other interactive ads.

Wojcicki explained during a Webcast Tuesday how the amount of time people spend on the Web is disproportionate to the percentage spent for online media. People spend about 12 hours per week online, but online advertising only makes up about 13.6% of advertising dollars spent in the United States.



The biggest problem has been that while the online audience continues to grow, it's fragmented across hundreds -- if not thousands -- of sites, Wojcicki says. Google believes this gap exists because of the complications involved in buying and selling display ads.

Simplifying the process will attract more marketers to online display advertising -- a medium that has become easily measurable in clicks, impressions and conversions. Google believes running display ads on the Google content network of more than one million Web sites helps marketers optimize campaigns and measure results.

J.P. Morgan analyst Imran Khan points in a research note to the fact that the Google Content Network reaches 85% of global users and can host CPM or CPC ads.

Opening the display marketplace to more companies means Google has the ability to support a variety of companies that want to advertise. Today, Google products range from DoubleClick Ad Exchange, which creates an open marketplace for display ad space, to Display Ad Builder, a self-serve tool within AdWords for small advertisers.

Google also introduced real-time bidding for display ads. The real-time feature supported by the exchange results in the most effective placement across Google's content network.

Then there are two ad-serving products: DART for Publishers (DFP), a tool to manage the complex products of how ads appear on Web sites, and DART for Advertisers (DFA), which helps plan, schedule and optimize display ad campaigns.

In November, Google announced the acquisition of Teracent, a display advertising startup that developed machine learning algorithms designed to deliver optimized Web ads in real-time. Ari Paparo, director of product management at Google, says the company plans to incorporate Teracent's technology into DoubleClick products.

Google director of product management Brad Bender describes some of the technology investments made during the past year that should help Google see success in display advertising in 2010. Refusing to call it behavioral targeting, he says the company introduced "interest-based adverting" in March.

The interest-based tool, in beta, lets marketers match ads with people based on their interests and activity online, and serve up ads across Google's content network. More than 600 interest-based categories are based on the sites the computer's browser visits. Ads preference manager lets people opt-out or opt-in.

Google also has begun making changes to ad formats served up on search pages, such as ads with embedded maps, or entertainment companies with videos in line with search results.

Finally, Google sees mobile display advertising as an "exciting" opportunity as more consumers adopt smartphones. Some of the features that Google will focus on in 2010 include location-based targeting, and click-to-call. The AdMob acquisition focused on display ads that will "enhance" efforts.

5 comments about "Google Lays Out Display Ad Democratization Strategy".
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  1. Brian Zimmerman from Media Sales Works, December 16, 2009 at 8:32 a.m.

    GOOG & "democracy" in the SAME headline? What are you smoking?

  2. Nick Taylor from, December 16, 2009 at 10:47 a.m.

    The biggest issue I see with online advertising today is relevance. How relevant are the ads that consumers typically see? Behavioral targeting is an area that really needs to grow in my opinion.. because behavior is one of the best predictors of how relevant a message or advertisement will be to an end user. Its nice to see that google is rolling out interest based targeting but I think they could do a lot more to make it even more powerful to advertisers and end users. In addition, companies like who let you do remarketing are really doing a great job of focusing on relevance (the right message, at the right time, to the right person). I look forward to the future growth in behavioral targeting because this is where its at... we just need the tools/technology to make it happen. In the end, we'll see higher CPM rates for publishers, and more relevant ads to consumers.

  3. John Grono from GAP Research, December 17, 2009 at 1:57 a.m.

    I agree Nick. It's relevance and also context. Some situations are not right for advertising.

    I also wasn't aware that when Moses came down from the mount there was an 11th tablet that said ad-spend should be linearly correlated to time spent. If so, does this mean that as people spend around 28% of their time asleep in bed that we should have bed advertising? I know it's a ridiculous example, but it is a ridiculous tenet.

  4. Amin Haq from Media Flint, December 17, 2009 at 7:16 a.m.

    Visitor engagement and ad recall (brand, message) are critical data points that the TV industry measures in assessing the effectiveness of advertising. In the online world, however, just because a visitor clicks on an ad the advertiser ends up paying more. Does a click equal likely recall of brand or message? Not sure.

    BT may be effective in some cases, but the way it is implemented by most ad networks, it ends up being downright creepy. Minus real effectiveness data, I think we're still a ways off before display advertising commands TV like revenue share.

  5. Nick Taylor from, December 17, 2009 at 12:51 p.m.

    The other issue with display advertising is banner blindness.. users are trained to ignore anything that looks like an ad and only focus their eyes on the actual content they want to consume. In TV advertising, you don't get the option of going right to the content.. you have to wait while they show you commercials (or you use a DVR to fast forward). But I think for the most part it's harder to get around watching TV ads and much easier to just ignore a display ad on a web page.

    Both are two entirely different mediums each with their own advantages and disadvantages. TV is great for putting ads in front of a more (captive?) audience... but you loose the ability to reach more targeted segments.

    The web on the other hand is great for delivering more targeted and relevant ads.. there's a lot of information we can leverage to help us do this.. and at the same time, it's a platform that allows many more advertisers to buy ads and reach more targeted segments. The web creates a platform for many more advertisers to participate and allows long tail advertisers to reach the long tail consumers.. this is where I hope to see a lot more focus going forward.

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