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February 26, 2007

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 ;)

Posted by Jenstar at February 26, 2007 06:07 AM


This is great from an advertiser perspective. For a long time I've been saying that the MSN network would beat out Google's Ad network because of the quality or lack-thereof on the Google network but this is a huge step in lessening that MSN advantage

Posted by: Evan at February 26, 2007 07:17 AM

Very interesting developments from AdWords/AdSense. I shall look forward seeing to seeing how they're implemented.

p.s. There are quite a few typos in this post that need correcting. Was it written in a hurry?!

Posted by: Ian Feavearyear at February 26, 2007 07:46 AM

Thanks for the news, Jennifer! I had opted out of the content network recently, but would consider diving back in if I have more visibility and control over where my ad appears.

Posted by: Patrick Schaber at February 26, 2007 07:49 AM

Is there any reliable site that i can get Instant Traffic to my website in high volumes?

Posted by: suresh at February 26, 2007 11:11 AM

Unbelievable! I just finished writing a log parser to do this exact same thing. It is now time spent in vain. Curses!

Good move by Google, though. :)

Posted by: Tyson at February 26, 2007 11:47 AM

So in a while instead of using Google Adwords advertisers will be able to contact publishers directly and make a deal with them. ;)

Posted by: Wouter at February 26, 2007 01:51 PM

Hi and thanks,
Do you think that Google will also let us, the advertisers, sort the lists of the URLs you mentioned, according to their current ranking on Google [the urls positions on the Google SE, for specific KWs]?
Will I be able to choose the urls that get more exposure for specific KWs?
Like http://www.calendarlive.com/movies/ - is ranked # 10 in google for the KW "movies" …?

Gil Alter

Posted by: Gil at February 26, 2007 02:09 PM

Ian, oops! Yes, written in a hurry while on a Skype phone call with my half asleep daughter trying to take possession of my right arm ;) But there were only two typos, it could have been much worse!

Posted by: Jenstar at February 26, 2007 02:30 PM

Doesn't Google have a rule that AdSense publishers can't communicate with advertisers? I think this would make it easier for advertisers to contact publishers directly without tipping the Google guy.

Posted by: PJ at February 26, 2007 03:21 PM

From the AdWords side of things, it will be very useful to know where content network impressions occur. Clicks can already be tracked now. You can use my firm's free tool (for Apache) to parse the ugly URLs (click on my name). HTH

Posted by: Richard Ball at February 26, 2007 04:00 PM

do you think new changes apply to Ad units only

Ad Link units will be exempted ?

Posted by: Chung Wu at February 26, 2007 04:34 PM

Able to locate all urls is a good and easier method to recruit target super affiliates as well.

Google, how can you prevent advertiser to make a deal with the publisher site directly ?

Posted by: Chung Fai at February 26, 2007 04:43 PM

this will be great for weeding out the content sites that drive lots of click but do not convert well.

Posted by: ben at February 26, 2007 08:01 PM

I wonder if in the end, we'll end up being hurt by this, being *small timers*. I'm sure some of the big guys will frown to see their ads placed on some websites... on the other hand, I think it's only fair for them to know where their money is going to...

Posted by: Luis Alberto Barandiaran at February 26, 2007 08:52 PM

"however this has been available with a CPM pricing model for quite some time, and as a CPC model more recently"

i am aware of cpm site targeting for some time, but are you sure that adwords advertisers are able to bid on a cpc basis on the content network?

Posted by: dg at February 27, 2007 12:30 AM

Yes, it was announced a few weeks ago, all the details for applying for CPC site targeting are here:

Posted by: Jenstar at February 27, 2007 12:55 AM

As a "small" player in the adsense game, will we see more adverts our way as the big boys, price themselves out of the place ??


Posted by: Neil Langston at February 27, 2007 07:43 AM

Quigo has made Google dance - something I haven't seen until now. Having tried Quigo's service I can tell you that they are a quality firm.

Posted by: Stone at March 1, 2007 05:27 AM