Google Explains Itself, BS-Detectors Wail
It’s not often Google publishes 1,200 words-worth of defense for making an acquisition. Though I’m not positive, I don’t remember a time in the last two plus years. Maybe Microsoft’s antitrust and sour-grapes opposition to Google’s purchase of DoubleClick was enough incentive to get Google talking.
Although, to hear Google product manager Alex Kinnier tell it, you’d think it was all about inter-office love, serving advertisers and publishers, protecting the industry from AOL, Yahoo, and MSN, and a whole bucketful of altruism.
And come on, just look at the punim! Maybe my BS-detectors are just set too high. Or maybe, if real altruism is at best doubtful in human nature, it is an outright myth in business.
Excuse me a moment as I put the cynic back in the box.
In his post, "Why we’re buying DoubleClick," Kinnier discusses Google’s relative smallness compared to display advertising giants AOL, Yahoo, and MSN, each grabbing over $1 billion annually, and dwarfing little Mountain View-based Google, which has been a "minor player in display advertising."
Which is true, of course, and reasonable enough that Google would make a case like that, given all the deflective shouting from Redmond about advertising monopolies. It would be easier to hear also without that blasted echo, which seems to be listing print, TV, and radio alongside other markets in which the company has recently ventured.
But, "since Google has never played in this space," writes Kinnier, "acquiring DoubleClick will enable us to complement our search and content-based advertising capabilities. Its products and technologies will help to improve online advertising for consumers, advertisers and publishers."
This means that advertisers can get better metrics on their AdSense campaigns, "helping to fuel the creation of even more rich and diverse content on the Internet."
Because its all about the content and not about the money. And seeing as Google views censorship as a trade barrier, since information (content) is how they make money, we might even believe that line.
To be fair, the lengthy introduction was intended for beginners, who may not realize already how Google and DoubleClick complement each other, one being a seller and the other being a delivery mechanism "analogous to the relationship between Amazon.com and Federal Express."
Except, Amazon doesn’t own Federal Express. Um, yet. Though in this day of mega-mergers, that’s not entirely unlikely.
Primarily, in addition to helping everybody, Google wanted access to the display ad serving market, a $20-$30 billion industry, of which Google will get 20 times less or less, or, if they’re lucky, an equal cut to that of display giants AOL, Yahoo, and MSN, but only if they’re smart enough to do the math. Division’s hard.
Therefore, and obviously, there is no monopoly to be had because Google and DoubleClick are in completely different sectors of the ad market and DoubleClick’s chunk of its entirely different sector is much, much smaller than Google’s chunk of the textual ad sector of the market, and most probably smaller than or equal to Google’s other chunks of the ad market.
See how that works?
Nine hundred words into this rudimentary explanation, Kinnier finally enumerates the reasons Google is buying DoubleClick:
1. DoubleClick’s products and technology are complementary to our search and and content-based text advertising business, and give us new opportunities to improve online advertising for consumers, advertisers and publishers.
2. Historically, we’ve not allowed third parties to serve into Google’s AdSense network, which has made it hard for advertisers to get performance metrics. Together, Google and DoubleClick can deliver a more open platform for advertisers, and provide the metrics they need to manage marketing campaigns.
3. By combining Google’s infrastructure with DoubleClick’s knowledge of agencies and publishers, we can create the next generation of more innovative ad serving technology, one that significantly improves the efficiency and effectiveness of online advertising.
4. To manage ad inventory, some of the largest publishers use DoubleClick DART for Publishers – but a good portion of it goes unsold. It’s our view that the combination of DoubleClick and Google will help these publishers succeed by monetizing their unsold inventory.
But it’s most certainly, most indubitably not about the $3 billion investment they’re making or cornering any type of market, advertising or otherwise. It’s all about helping you make more money faster.
"In short, Google’s acquisition of DoubleClick will benefit all parties in the online advertising business, including advertisers, publishers, agencies and, most importantly, consumers."
And that’s all Google really cares about.