Google Site-Targeted Ads Leave Beta

    June 20, 2005

Google has now made its site targeted ads, which appear on specific websites and are sold based on page impressions, available to all AdWords buyers. These ads are very different from the more advanced content specific ads Google usually sells, which change every time a page is reloaded, are based on the words on the page, and are sold on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis.

Despite the immense popularity of Google’s keyword-based ads, impression-based advertising (referred to as CPM, or Cost Per Thousand), are the internet’s more traditional advertising structure, and command a lot of the online ad dollars. This release should certainly please stockholders.

One interesting thing about the CPM ads is that they will compete with the CPC ads, with the higher paying ads being showed. This means that AdSense publishers can get the CPC ads, which only pay if they are clicked, but sometimes pay a lot, but if someone wants to pay more to advertise on their site, everybody wins. While this might satisfy many publishers, I am one of those people who would rather display ads specific to my site, so I can easily reject ads which I feel add nothing to my readers.

I asked Google’s Barry Schnitt if it would be possible to request CPM ads exclusively, and this is his response:

Right now, publishers do not have the option of requesting only site-targeted ads. The feature is still a beta and we are evaluating a number of options for the future. However, at this point, we believe that for most publishers it makes sense to request both site-targeted and keyword-targeted ads, because: (a) the competition between site-targeted and keyword-targeted ads will increase monetization for the publisher, and (b) the keyword-targeted ads will act as a backfill if at any point, there are no site-targeted ads available.

Hopefully they will give AdSense publishers as much flexibility as they want. As for cases where no site-targeted ads are available, Google ads are nice and collapsible, so that can be easily avoided. Wouldn’t it be nice if sites could choose to have a link for AdWords buyers to instantly bid on ads on that site? It’s not for everyone, but some people might like it.

One last detail: Unlike CPC ads, Google’s site targeted CPM ads are available as animated image ads, in addition to the regular static images and text ads. This is Google truly giving more freedom to everyone involved with their ad networks, and that is only a good thing.

More information can be found here.

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Nathan Weinberg writes the popular InsideGoogle blog, offering the latest news and insights about Google and search engines.

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