Google Content Network – Why Its Now All That

If you have used PPC for a while, chances are you have dabbled in the past with the “content network/placement” with little success. If so you are not alone.

In the past the Google Content network provided limited campaign control, lack of advertising format options and a large but somewhat hit and miss mix of sites which left marketers with another under performing Ad Network.

Over the past few years Google has invested significant efforts into this network particularly through acquisition of partner sites to now offer an array of ad formats and new advertising alternatives which will provide other advertising networks a run for their money.

Digital Marketing Lab has reviewed the Google placement network to bring you the Pro’s & Cons of the new and improved Google network.

Pros

Media Placement & Format Options
Ad Placement

The Google network is not limited to text based advertising.

Google has been working extremely hard to get advertisers to offer various advertising formats. Australian sites such as TheAge, Sydney Morning Herald & The Brisbane Times are just some of the sites which are offering image and video advertising opportunities.

With the rise of rich media, Google has been quick to ensure it has dynamic ad inventory to provide advertisers with the flexibility to choose the most appropriate format for their message. Google’s acquisition of video giant YouTube has also opened up a plethora of opportunities for video content sponsorship and in video branding.

The growing popularity of other online media has also lead Google to innovate by offering;
– Feed Placements
– In Game Placements
– Mobile Placements

Small Fish in Big Pond

Never before could small businesses dream of advertising with some of the majors and even if they did they would be facing high CPMs. Google’s network allows cost per click advertising in various formats and for all budgets making it accessible to advertisers of all sizes.

Cons

Positioning
Ad Positioning

Ad positioning may still be an issue on the network with some of the prime inventory sold through other networks / through internal media sales teams thus it is difficult to ensure effective placement.

Big Budgets – Big Losers

For big advertisers who can command significant reductions in rate cards, the CPA/CPC may not be as favourable on the Google network and the reporting may not be to the depth required to effectively manage these campaigns.

Niche Advertising

For niche advertisers the content network may not provide the depth of inventory needed by the advertiser – resulting in low impression rates/visitors and lack of sites to project the message.

What’s next

With social networks providing competition for Google through behavioural advertising, Google just announced its new behavioural targeting product. In mid March the internet giant announced its beta testing of behavioural advertising. Google is able to offer behavioural advertising through utilising cookies to track web users across its content network.

For more details on Google’s behavioural targeting click here http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/03/making-ads-more-interesting.html

The verdict

Google is definitely shaping up to provide a strong advertising network, in its pursuit for internet domination. The content network is definitely worth further investigation by brands in Australia to determine its application as part of an advertising strategy. I would continue to watch this space as I am sure there is much more to come from Google.

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