What Are You Looking At?

I’m not against drinking the Kool-Aid, I’m just not sure what flavor they’re serving.

With Google’s new foray into impression advertising, I have to wonder if the motivation is anything other than filling the bottom line. There is a lot of speculation as to why Google did this. Personally, I believe it has to do with reaching out to some of the more ‘traditional’ marketing and advertising agencies that are out there. These firms are much more accustomed to media buys in scale. It’s much more difficult for them to get into the idea of paying per keyword.

In the mind of these old school agencies, it makes more sense to plan bulk purchases, negotiate best rates, buy up real estate and go with it. I don’t debate the usefulness/effectiveness of this strategy. It’s just a different approach than what PPC has become.

So, it’s seems like rather than helping agencies learn the new language and nuance of PPC, Google got frustrated thinking about all the money still floating around, threw up their hands, and just said, “fine! we’ll speak to you in your language.”

Doesn’t this kind of fly in the face of the whole relevancy angle though? Advertisers are being given control over what sites they display their impression banners on, without regard for the actual content on the site.

While I can’t say that this affects us or any of our clients directly (right now), it seems like an strange move. Impression fraud already exists on the Google network. It’s a pretty easy scam to pull off. Now that advertisers are directly paying for impressions, what’s to keep this from becoming an even bigger problem?

It might also be inflating the value of the CPM on the content network. Ultimately, the market will determine the usefulness and effectiveness of this new program. As long as advertisers are buying, the system is working.

Safety first: With respect to Kool-Aid, I am in no way associating this wonderful fruit flavored drink with Google or any of it’s ventures. I also don’t mean to disparage Kool-Aid in any way by using this euphemism (or Google for that matter). I have always and do still enjoy drinking Kool-Aid in all of it’s exciting and adventurous flavors.