Last quarter, Google declared in its SEC 10-K filing that it was a "media company":
€œWe began as a technology company and have evolved into a software, technology, Internet, advertising and media company all rolled into one.€
Indeed. In launching Site Targeting, newly announced enhancements to its AdSense/AdWords programs (site selection, graphical ads, CPM pricing), it truly has become one in a big way.
Lots of coverage already:
I'm heading off to Ad-Tech, but I wanted to register some quick thoughts:
- This is an important, even inevitable move by Google to attract more brand/national dollars (the "online growth imperative")
- It addresses long-standing advertiser criticism about the performance of AdSense
- It may drive some large newspaper publishers to adopt alternative solutions and Google as the company is perceived more and more to be a media company that is competing for large brand advertising dollars
- It puts pressure on the Kanoodles and Quigos of the world to differentiate (again)
- It may promote the online equivalent of "headings jumping" in the sense that advertisers rather than users will may now have a greater impact on "relevance" (although there are still some relevance controls in place)
Google is now an agency as much as a search engine.
My colleague Neal Polachek believes that this may be partly a response to the slow development of local as a revenue driver. There may well be truth there, but it's also a response to the logic of the marketplace and the desire of Google to capture branding/awareness dollars that are starting to move from traditional media to where the eyeballs are — online.
Other blog perspectives: