Google: The Mad Scientists Take Over New Advertising Plans

September 19, 2007 by Douglas A. McIntyre

Google (GOOG) is not satisfied with having the world’s most successful search engine advertising model. Nor should it be. There will eventually be some limit to the number of text ads it can target to run next to search results.

But, the company has decided to offer advertisers complex software packages that will allow them to create video, chat, and gaming-based marketing to run on the Google advertising network. The network includes Google and tens of thousand of smaller websites that use the company’s Adsense text advertising product to bring in money for their properties. Google keeps a piece of that revenue.

Google is launching a program which allows advertisers to use “widgets” which are, in effect, miniature websites. According to The New York Times “the new widget ads represent a more aggressive push by Google to attract big brand advertisers who like flashy ad units rather than the simple text ads commonly run in Google’s ad network.”

But, Google is adding a level of complexity to online advertising that the industry has never seen. It is creating the ability for advertisers to runs thousand of different messages across tens of thousand of Google sites. While the results of the new ads can be tracked, it may take years for marketers to understand how to use such a broad and untried program which has an almost unlimited number of options for creative marketing.. Experimenting can be very expensive, but there is no other way for large brand advertisers to find out if the latest and greatest web technology will work.

Google is opening a marketing Pandora’s Box. For the time being, at least confusion is likely to reign.

Douglas A. McIntyre