Google boosts graphic ads

21 September 2009

SAN FRANCISCO: Google, the online search giant, is trying to boost the appeal of its graphic ads by combining sales of internet display and text advertising, effectively making it easier for buyers to coordinate their marketing campaigns.

The integration comes 18 months after the company's $3 billion (€2bn; £1.8bn) acquisition of DoubleClick, a New York-based auctions site which connects web page owners with advertisers.

The acquisition - the biggest in Google's history so far – was seen as an important step in tightening Google's grip on the advertising market.

Neal Mohan, Google's vice president, said that the company had now made the control panel easier to use and that integration gave advertisers better odds of reaching internet users in specific geographies at preferred times.

Ad networks could, he said, combine the numeric addresses of users with data about pages visited for more precise targeting, but more personal data about searching, emailing and other Google product use would be excluded.

While Google attracts more than 70 per cent of the US market for search ads - invariably consisting just of a few words and a link - it trails behind Yahoo and others in terms of direct revenue from pictorial ads.

Yahoo has yet to combine the words and pictures for its advertisers, with the exception of those spending more than $20,000 a month.

Google's DoubleClick and a similar Microsoft exchange system each control around 40% of display ad transactions in the US.

The new integration move has been welcomed by analysts, with one, Sandeeep Aggarwal of Collins Stewart, telling the FT: "This can increase Google's ability to cross-sell and up-sell to the same advertisers."

Microsoft declined to comment on the announcement, but Yahoo said it welcomed the development and would integrate with Google's ad service where needed.

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff