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Google Site Targeting – Givin’ It Away

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Early feedback on Google’s fledgling Site Targeting initiative suggested that much of the inventory might even be overpriced at the $2.00 CPM minimum.

Google subsequently dropped the minimum bid price to $1.00 CPM ($1.25 if you’re scoring from Canada).

That’s the current status quo, but yes, Virginia, smart pricing seems to be in effect in this program, too, as I’ve been seeing effective CPM’s of below $1.00 in my actual stats. The lowest I’ve seen so far is 50 cents. That’s getting close to the effective CPM I’ve calculated for one of my most successful conventional content targeting (or CCT, for those scoring from Planet Arcania): 25 cents.

This might not reflect the norm, since I’m looking at an experiment with a few mass-market “imacheapskate.com” type sites.

But it goes to show that no matter whether you’re Doubleclick, Google, or a circus performer, you’re going to have a hard time taming the content tiger. Performance and price seem to be under perpetual pressure when it comes to run-of-network content ads priced on a CPM basis.

Which, once again, proves that Google really did have a point when it came out with the original content targeting premise that computers might be able to do a better job of matching ads to content than humans can.

It also proves there are a lot of rotten sites in the network. Pricing it right is a start, but if the appropriate price is close enough to zero, it might be time to purge those sites entirely so Google advertisers can cut through the clutter.

Andrew Goodman is Principal of Page Zero Media, a marketing consultancy which focuses on maximizing clients’ paid search marketing campaigns.

In 1999 Andrew co-founded Traffick.com, an acclaimed “guide to portals” which foresaw the rise of trends such as paid search and semantic analysis.

Google Site Targeting – Givin’ It Away
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