Adwords advertisers now allowed to control what AdSense sites their ads appear on

The Wall Street Journal and Search Engine Watch are reporting that Google is expected to make an announcement Monday on new features for AdWords publishers that will affect the targeting of their advertisements on content sites through the Google AdSense program.

The new Site-Targeted Ad information is already online for advertisers.

Site-targeted campaigns are a new enhancement to Google AdWords. Site targeting lets advertisers choose individual sites in the Google content network where they’d like their ads to appear.

Since Google first introduced AdWords, advertisers have asked us for the ability to run their ads on specific websites. Site targeting gives our users that ability, while also allowing their ads to compete for ranking with traditional keyword-targeted AdWords ads. It’s one more tool that AdWords advertisers can use to bring their message to highly-targeted groups of web users.

Site targeting isn’t available yet. We’re currently running a beta test of site-targeted campaigns with just a few advertisers. We expect to make site targeting available to all AdWords advertisers in the near future.

This could result in some high profile publisher sites earning even more, if some advertisers want their ads appearing on certain sites that they may not be currently appearing on. The bottom line is that this will allow advertisers to target their ads on content sites with higher conversions while excluding those with lower or non-existant conversions.

But there is no mention on what will happen if an advertiser wishes to target a completely unrelated website (for example a company selling XBox games wanting their ads to appear on a fashion or pet website).

The New York Times, however, does relate what will happen in this event, and it can result in completely untargeted ads appearing on a publisher site.

Google will abandon rules that require advertisements to be directly relevant to the pages on which they appear; it will now place a motor oil ad on a wine site if the refiner outbids the cheesemonger.

Now the question is if a publisher then blocks that URL using the competitive URL filter within the AdSense account, if it will then overrule the advertiser selecting that AdSense site for his or her ads to appear on. There will likely be plenty of publishers unhappy if completely untargeted ads appear on their sites, if they are unable to block them. And it will also result in higher-profile publisher sites watching for any advertisers targeting their site with irrelevant ads.

One of the new changes for advertisers with site targeting is the ability to now price these campaigns on a CPM basis, pricing model that Danny Sullivan calls a “pseudo-CPM” basis, as opposed to the current CPC model.

The new system will work on a cost-per-impression basis, or CPM. Ads in the new system will compete against ads using CPC bidding, with the CPC price being multiplied against the clickthrough rate of those ads to come up with a pseudo-CPM rate to match against.

This will be interesting to watch and see how it affects publisher’s revenues, and if this will result in a lower or higher EPC when advertisers are targeting a specific site.

Overall, this is a great move for Google to make and should pay off for publishers with solid quality content. However, the effect on publishers with less-than-stellar content could be significant, if advertisers begin monitoring their content conversion rates and begin excluding sites they feel are not up to par.

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6 comments to Adwords advertisers now allowed to control what AdSense sites their ads appear on

  • jimmy

    Hi Jenstar, do you think that they will be introducing a way for advertisers to block individual websites from the content network (as opposed to targeting individual sites) in the future?

    If Google would take that route (of blocking websites), could that also signal that G is going to abolish Smart Pricing (as advertisers get more and more power to improve ROI on their own)?

    Just wondering out loud…

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  • Bert

    I wonder how this will be implemented? Will advertisers be provided a list of sites that want to display their ads and select/deselect each site?


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