Google Auctioning Off Ad Space?

from the interesting-ideas dept

As a few folks who spoke to me today know, I’ve been reading all about how Google’s ad system works after someone anonymously (though, no longer – they ‘fessed up) bought an ad on Google for Techdirt without actually telling me about it. I just went back to Googles ad sales site, and they’ve added a special new section which I spent the last hour reading. They’re now offering a sort of pay-for-placement system for ads. It’s kind of cool the way they worked it out. You put in the maximum amount you’re willing to spend, and then they place you based on the amount you’re willing to spend and the interest in your ad and how much your competitors are spending on their ads. If other advertisers are paying less, you only pay 1 cent more than they do to keep your placement above there’s. It’s a bit complicated to describe, but it actually makes a lot of sense. Of course, the article linked here talks about how it’s angering people. However, Google has always been very good about keeping their search and ads separate from each other. I don’t see how people would find it misleading at all. The people who are angry about it need to calm down a bit and realize what they’re getting angry at.

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Comments on “Google Auctioning Off Ad Space?”

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Ed says:

not new

It sounds like the same pay-for-placement that (now Overture, I think) uses, with the one important distinction that google actually returns meaningful results next to the paid placements, while goto returns just the ads. (Why anybody bothers “searching” with I’ll never know.) It will be interesting to see how google deals with the problems with this scheme, such as whether buying hits for your competitor’s trademark is legal.

In my opinion, it also remains to be seen whether this kind of advertising has any real clients beyond people who sell spam harvesting software and diet fads.

Brandon (user link) says:

Re: not new

It isn’t new, yes.

Also, I think Google has a policy that you can’t have ads against competitors unless you actually lead to a page which explicitly lists information about your product vs. the competitor you targeted.

Ads at Google do fairly well, click thru wise, compared to banner ads at other sites, because they are often very on topic. Our company has actually sold a fairly expensive enterprise ASP product off of a Google adwords ad…



Anonymous Coward says:

No one is angry -- but the media wishes people wer

Actually, no one is angry. Read the Slashdot commentary — this is a non-story. The article tries to juxtapose last year’s story about some “consumer group” complaining about pay-for-placement on Goto into having something to do with this. It doesn’t.

So Google is going to let folks buy advertising. You already could buy advertising on Google. Where your ad shows up depends on how much you pay. Apart from not being any kind of newsworthy scandal, this is no different fundamentally than what they were doing before.

It’s actually sad that a tech reporter at AP can’t get past the first level knee-jerk analysis of what is interesting here. More interesting stories are possible here. Efficient pricing for ad markets, where else might this go? Goto = innovative ad model + crappy search, Google now = innovative ad model + best search, therefore will Google soon have a market cap > Goto’s? Google improves ad ranking system and users still love them?

Anonymous Coward says:

-1 Flaimbait

The people who are angry about it need to calm down a bit and realize what they’re getting angry at.

yeah – b/c god knows if someone else points out a concern and it goes against what TechDirt is using, it’s those people who have the problem.

i am sure if Mike didn’t have an ad on Google (paid for by someone else, how sweet) he’d be taking the other side on this issue.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: -1 Flaimbait

Flamebait indeed. 🙂

Anyway… Whether you believe it or not, I’ve never had a problem with Google’s ad system, and have said so in the past. Besides, if I didn’t like it, I could have simply blamed the person who bought an ad for me.

(if you’re going to flamebait me, I can do the same backwards): If you actually read Techdirt once in a while you would know that I have no problem saying what I think is cool as well as what I think is stupid. And, I really don’t care what anyone else thinks – especially when they’re wrong. 😉 Like you.

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