Google Allows Advertisers to Target Specific Blogs and Websites

Posted on April 25, 2005

The New York Times is reporting that Google plans to let Adwords advertisers target the blogs and websites they want to advertise on even if the blog or site is not relevant. The Times gives an example where a motor oil company could advertise on a wine site if it outbids the other advertisers. This is a significant change for Google and it is is probably bad news for blogs with small traffic if ad buyers choose to target only sites they are familiar with -- not that Adwords worked well for small blogs anyway. And what happens to the theory of the long tail if advertisers only want to place ads on the very top of the tail? John Battelle, author of The Search and the Searchblog told the Times that the Adwords changes mean Google is no longer a search company.
"The core philosophy of Google's advertising business is that these ads are actually valuable and useful to users: look for Chevy trucks and get Chevy truck ads," he said. "Now we are in another place. It's more about branding and more about advertising other things than what you are looking for, and, cynically, it may be about being a public company that needs revenue growth."
While small blogs and sites may be made less important by the Adwords change large blogs and sites may have reasons to be concerned as well. Christopher M. Schroeder, the chief executive of Choice Media, told the Times:
"If you are a big publisher," Mr. Schroeder said, "this concerns you, because at the end of the day nothing is more important than your relationship with marketers and your ability to control your own ad inventory."
ProBlogger.net and JenSense also have blog entries about the Google Adwords changes.
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