Online advertising is the fastest-growing segment of the ad industry. Standard offerings like TV commercial and print ads are all trying to keep advertisers interested, but it's online ads that are measurable, offering complete accountability.
And being the ad giant that it is, Google is constantly thinking of new ways to expand its already significant search marketshare. The latest strategy keeps websurfers on that Google search page longer--though it's not necessarily good for everybody.
While Google has traditionally allowed users to search for information and products by directing them to other sites, now Google allows users to search within sites including Washingtonpost.com and bestbuy.com, while staying on its own webpage. Google profits from that extra time on its site, and it says makes searches for information and products easier.
But some of those companies are protesting, saying that Google is not only potentially directing users away from their sites, luring them with ads from different companies, but it's stealing hits from their sites. Google Best Buy or Newyorktimes.com, and up pops up a window to extend that search on the Google platform. Try searching for Amazon, and it doesn't happen. Google says it does honor requests to drop the search-within-a-search approach.
Google isn't the only company trying new approach to snag more online ad dollars. Traditional media companies like Conde Nast, CBS , and Viacom have been building their own ad networks--selling inventory to sites other than their own--to offer advertisers deeper inventory on a single topic like style (Conde Nast) or music (Viacom's MTV). And today Forbes is expected to announce that it's launching an ad network for financial sites--selling ads on some 400 blogs.
Traditional media companies are looking to compete online, and when their own content isn't sufficient to satisfy advertisers needs, they'll look elsewhere. And don't forget, advertisers like the fact that they can trust a company like Forbes to find appropriate content, and to place the ads in the same savvy way they do on their sites.
Can these old school media companies newfangled online ad networks work? Well, they do have big competition in the behemoths Google, Microsoft and Yahoo . But if you're selling online ad space, more is always better.
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