Advertisers Still Don't See The Benefit In Google's Print Ad Sales

from the still-searching dept

When it first came out that Google was experimenting with selling ads in print publications, we wondered what real advantage they had. Google’s success with ads online generally could be broken down into three elements: (1) the ease of buying ads (2) the relevance of the ads as someone was searching and (3) the ability to click through to what you were looking for immediately. With the print advertising, they might be able to leverage some of the first part, but neither of the other two really applied. While at least one advertiser was willing to pay a premium just to be “associated with Google,” that seemed like a pretty small opportunity. In fact, a report found that most of the advertisers who participated didn’t find it worthwhile. It’s now been a few months, and Google has tried to expand the program somewhat, but apparently advertisers still find it disappointing, and there weren’t that many interested advertisers in the first place. This doesn’t mean Google won’t figure out some way to revolutionize the market eventually — but the early efforts don’t seem to be exciting very many advertisers.

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Comments on “Advertisers Still Don't See The Benefit In Google's Print Ad Sales”

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Michael says:

I personally disagree with the Google Movement. They’re a search company with online ad revenue. They’re not print advertising. They’re not a computer manufactuer. They’re not an OS vendor. They have a line of interesting services that, for all intents and purposes, just don’t matter. They’re a hype machine, and their inclusion in the S&P 500 is the biggest joke of the 21st century (aside from Bush… 0wn3d!). has been my home page since their inception, and I even use Google Maps once in a while, but I’m also realistic about them.

Of course, they HAVE been buying up talent like crazy, and the DO have big, secretive plans. However, if their million little public experiments are any indication, they lack a clear, lucrative path for growth in a new market. Seems more like they just hope that aquiring great talent will inevitably lead to great products. That’s partly true, but I’d still like to see a great business plan with a clear path forward and a focus on a viable, high-growth market. Hell, they can just tell me all they want to do is online search and ads, and I’d be perfectly happy treating them as an online search/ad company.


AnalogyMan (user link) says:

just don't matter?

“They have a line of interesting services that, for all intents and purposes, just don’t matter”

I can’t disagree more. just because there are alternatives, doesn’t mean googles services don’t matter. I find they are extremely useful to me both at home and at work. whether it’s getting me to a new location with maps, finding products I need, or local services, I’d say these things certasinly do matter. (just because there’s openOffice doesn’t mean MSOffice doesn’t matter) 😉

yes, google has a lot of potential products. If they can support the initial development of them, some will branch out. a lot of companies do this. it’s R&D. just that google shows you what they’re working on and get feedback for better products. how many concept cars have you seen made that will never be mass produced? that seems more a wasted effort than google labs offerings, which at least get to be tried in the market.

they’re placing bets on a lot of squares of the roulette table. hoping their winnings outweigh their loss. so far it’s worked great for them.

and, I think that’s enough of my analogies. 🙂

Professor HighBrow says:

Re: @ Michael

Google isnt a search engine anymore.

They are a service, with searching being their original and most popular service.


Google “used” to be the most powerful, non-commecial oriented search engine out there. [anybody remember back around, say 5 years ago?]

Do I use it? Of course I do! “It’s the best of what’s left.”

After Google getting involved with politics and censcorship in China, however, the light turned from green to red.

Open Source GPL forever…. call it “communistic” if you want, but may it last forever. It’s much more benificial for everyone, than to have Google approach “treasonist” policies and give up on the spirit of unadulterated “real” search listings.

They ARE a service now, not out for the best interest of the public anymore.

Michael has his head screwed on straight. Unlike some of the posters who think Google is trying to help them. It’s a service and a business now. They don’t give a damn about you or anyone, once a “free tool” commercializes.

All this crap about Google over and over again is getting kinda old…

Anonymous Coward says:

Buying magazine advertising space isn’t just about price. Ad size, placement in the book, total schedule, and other factors come into play before you can deterime bottom line cost. Google can of provide a venue for selling specific sizes in specific issues at low cost, but not much more. Everything else has to be publishers choice. That can still be of great value to some advertisers but not all or even most.

The real value is to the publisher as a means of selling remnent space – pages that have to be printed and should carry advertising but remain unsold when they make up the book. Better to run a page at a reduced rate than a public service ad or more edit that earns no revenue.

Again, really a lot more complicated than it first appears to be if you don’t understand the publishing business.

robert says:

I bleive that google is great and if htey want to try something else go for it you dont get anywhere without trying. Do I think its silly yea but hey if they want to try its their money.

I cant wait to see what google releases in the next few years it could be quite major then again it could be nothing… its not your money so why do you whine.. not like its the government or something lol

wolff000 says:

Yes It Does Matter and It All Makes Sense

With Google fanatical following they very well could continue to branch out and still be successful. This is the way of the future. Companies everywhere are gobbling up others that have nothing to do with thier main product or service lines. Cisco is looking at making consumer electronics. Who saw the whole AOL Time Warner merger coming and who saw it actually being beneficial ( other than those that made the deal happen)? This is common business practice in todays world. I am no Google fan boy by far, but i can see Google has big plans and if they execute them as well as they did thier search engine they are bound to be successsful.

Michael says:

I can understand where you’re all coming from. I certainly don’t object to their many offerings, and some are pretty cool. As I mentioned, there is some intrinsic value in bringing together many smart, innovative people that can’t be understated. And it’s Google’s responsibility to itself to explore new avenues for profit, and more power to them. They’re not doing anything inherently wrong.

It’s the hype engine I’m having issues with. The excessive media coverage, the fanatical following, the million products they’re most likely not even considering that we’re giving them credit for… what is it about Google that makes them a leading indicator of our market’s financial strength? To me, it just seems like a company with a fuzzy self-image. A company that doesn’t really know (at least publicly) what it’s doing. It genuinely wants to expand, and we genuinely want it to because we like what it’s done so far, but it just can’t pin down it’s own direction.

You argue that it’s simply testing the waters of new markets. I applaud that, but that’s the problem itself. They’re in a phase of “what the hell are we going to do next?” They’re lacking direction and stability outside of their single revenue stream of online advertising, and while they might hit the nail on the head, they’ve shown no indication of doing so yet. Great ideas, sure. Strong developers, check. But they’re still rife with uncertainty and hardly a foundation of the American economy.

Ponder says:

If they offered...

… me a broadband connection, I would subscribe, (within cost limitations, etc), I already use them for almost everything. My ISP is not google, I don’t run Google OS (yet), or type in G Word (yet), or use a G Drive (yet). But if they came out I would. They certainly have a clear plan: provide everything but the actual data and hardware for an entire online life.

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