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Google to begin sharing URLs where AdWords advertiser’s ads are being run

The New York Times ran an article about Quigo, a contextual advertising company that targets premium sized publishers. In the story, comments from both Yahoo & Google were included. But one quote by Kim Malone, director of online sales and operations for Google AdSense, jumped out… the fact that Google will begin listing all publisher websites where AdWords advertiser’s ads are being run.

In response to further questions about Quigo, though, Google said it was prepared to make changes to its AdSense service that mimicked Quigo’s approach, an unusual step for a company accustomed to mapping the terrain in every aspect of its business.

In the next few months, Google’s advertiser reports will begin listing the sites where each ad runs, Ms. Malone said. She added that advertisers on the Google networks would soon be able to bid on contextual ads on particular Web sites rather than simply buying keywords that appeared across Google’s entire network.

Still, Ms. Malone said she did not see much of consequence coming from the changes. “We don’t expect a lot of demand for that placement targeting,” she said. “It’s the brand, the display advertisers who care where they run.”

This is something I have pushed for for quite some time, although not from the point of view of seeking out specific sites. Rather, this tool could be extremely useful for advertisers wanting to opt-in to the content network, but not having the time to go log hunting to see what URLs their ads are running on in the content network… URLs which are always disguised in nasty long URLs.

There was a comment Kim made that didn’t make sense to me. She stated that advertisers will soon be able to bid on contextual ad placements on specific sites, however this has been available with a CPM pricing model for quite some time, and as a CPC model more recently.

So from an advertiser perspective, what does this mean? This means that opting into the content network while having the transparency of knowing where your ads of being displayed just got easier. You will now be able to easily filter any URLs you don’t want your ads showing up on (such as for competitive or quality reasons) without having to opt-out of the entire network.

From a publisher perspective, if you have good quality sites in the content network, you have nothing to worry about and a lot to gain. If you have sites that are less-than-stellar, the kinds of sites that advertisers wouldn’t be so happy that their ads are appearing on, you might want to worry, or improve the quality of those sites ;)

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