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Google to add CPM, other ad choices
According to the Wall Street Journal

 4:30 am on Apr 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

This from the Wall Street Journal today (Monday):

Among the changes: Google will let advertisers run animated display ads on non-Google content sites that contract with Google to sell ads. It will allow advertisers to specify the sites on which they want their ads to appear, without having to pick a keyword tied to the content on a page. It will begin auctioning ad placements for its partner sites based on how many people see the ad, known as cost per impression, as well as its traditional cost-per-click method.

This is huge news. The article says we should know more later today. Probably 9am ET since it's a US co.

For Wall Street Journal online subscribers, the article is titled "Google to Target Brands
In Revenue Push".



 9:13 am on Apr 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

one more purplepill ad and i'm getting rifle and climbing a clock tower....


 9:26 am on Apr 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

I've heard purplepills are very good for anger management and stress control...


 9:48 am on Apr 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

I saw the Purple Pill on a technology-related site yesterday. It caught my eye as very strange...like a glitch in The Matrix.

From a user point of view, the combination (tech and drugs) appeared incongruous, and actually resembled graffiti.


 10:13 am on Apr 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

A few quick thoughts:

1) I'm a little surprised by this if only because Google will now have to deal with impression fraud as well as click fraud.

2) I'm with IncrediBILL: I don't want ads for purple bills (or any pills except jetlag or traveler's-tummy pills) on my site, so I hope publishers can opt out. (The NEW YORK TIMES story suggests that we'll be able to.)

3) This seems to be an attempt to make AdSense work on general-interest sites or for topics where targeted contextual ads are in short supply. I.e., to offer Google-supplied defaults so publishers won't be serving defaults from FastClick or other banner-ad networks.

4) Is this the first step toward giving advertisers more control over where their ads appear, for CPC campaigns as well as CPM campaigns?

5) Will we have an endless succession of Webmaster World threads headed, "I viewed my own ads, will I lose my AdSense account?" :-)

[edited by: europeforvisitors at 10:21 am (utc) on April 25, 2005]


 10:18 am on Apr 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'd been seeing the purple pill image ad for several days, but not at any great regularity until yesterday when it started showing up on about every other page view. I zapped it by changing to an adblock that doesn't show image ads.

I also noticed an oddity. Being that I am "somewhat" addicted to my stats, I was checking them about every 20-30 minutes Sunday morning and my earnings kept creeping up by one penny each time I checked without any increase in clicks. This was before I got rid of the purple monster. I suspect my site was one of the guinea pigs.

Purple used to be one of my 3 favorite colors. No more.


 10:32 am on Apr 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

I also noticed an oddity. Being that I am "somewhat" addicted to my stats, I was checking them about every 20-30 minutes Sunday morning and my earnings kept creeping up by one penny each time I checked without any increase in clicks.

Does this mean publishers with site-targeted CPM ads will no longer be able to calculate their EPC? (Who knows--maybe Google will provide another report tab for CPM ads the way it does for search ads.)


 10:37 am on Apr 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

This is going to be very interesting.

Re impression fraud - well spotted EFV - I must admit I hadn't thought of that problem. Makes you nervous about using your own site. But I guess unless CPMs are HUGE, normal day-to-day use and testing won't amount to much cash.

My normal ad units aren't part of this programme, so I've just added a few that are - so we can see how this pans out.

One thing that might be a factor is this: On my site, Google seriously under-counts impressions.

I've never been that bothered, since I assume it doesn't under-count clicks, so it doesn't matter. Or rather it didn't... it might matter soon!

On the whole this is probably a good thing though - I guess it's intended to tempt the larger "traditional" advertisers and agencies with their branding campaigns etc - who've never really "got" PPC.

If they succeed, that will increase competition for ad-space, which can only be good news for publishers.


 11:08 am on Apr 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

On some of my sites, where I am not the only administrator, I have implemented a feature that don't include AdSense when logged in to the CMS.

It might be time to implement this an all my sites now...

I haven't seen any purple pills, but then, I have turned off image ads per default.


 12:51 pm on Apr 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

more thoughts on this;

The filter doesn't seem to block it, now I'm furious

Say I pick incredibill's (nothing personal, just an example) site to place all my new hideous flashing purple banners about purple pills and potions, knowing full well nobody is going to click on them. As long as Bill doesn't have the ability to block the advertiser (which going on his comment above he didn't), if I was malicious enough and had the money to burn I could work on driving down his CPM by loading up the site with banners that nobody in their right mind would click on.

Extreme example, but points to the type of situation where Google really would need to give the publisher some means of opting out of adverts on an advertiser basis.


 12:58 pm on Apr 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

A campaign with a low CTR will be deactived. Or one would think.


 12:59 pm on Apr 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Back in January I was asked to participate in an AdWords survey. Google asked if I would be interested in CPM advertising or flash ads. They also asked if I would be interested in a program in which I could choose individual sites to run ads in. This was coming for a long time. Looks like that time is here.

Here is the thread post# 6 [webmasterworld.com...]

Tropical Island

 1:12 pm on Apr 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

On my site, Google seriously under-counts impressions.

We have pages where we track with channels two ads per page - one upper and one lower.

Many days the page impressions for the top ad show up as, say, 5 and the bottom ad as 12. Can anyone explain that and is it a glitch in the system?


 1:20 pm on Apr 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

NY Times
"This drives the nail into the coffin of the idea that Google is a search business," said John Battelle, the author of a coming book on Google called "The Search."

"It is an advertising business that has nothing particularly to do with search."

Larry? Sergey? Comments?


 1:23 pm on Apr 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Google's technology ensures that advertisers pay no more than the minimum price needed to run an ad on the site. In many cases, they will pay a price lower than their max CPM. From: [services.google.com...]

Price lower then the max CPM? That doesn't sound good. Sounds like Smart Pricing will work on this too.

Advertisers coming back into the Content network will discriminate against small sites, blocking their urls. And as they try to judge the ROI of each site, there will be a lot of time going into the management of each campaign. Good for PPC managers, more justification for their employment and more billable hours.

I'm still waiting for Jenstar to write one of her brilliant summaries of these new changes. Guess she's waiting for the Adsense dept. to make a formal announcement.

Undead Hunter

 1:26 pm on Apr 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Untargetted ads - ie. the Purple Pill ads - you realize that a major portion of the CPM program is to allow advertisers to toss in ads like that, anywhere they want? They can go after demographics vs. targetted keywords. Be prepared to see Coke, McDonalds, car ads, and so on down the road if this takes off with advertisers.

But damned if it doesn't look like a "glitch in the matrix" (good metaphor!).

... I want to say "no way I'm running these". Our users love the lack of graphical distraction. But there is one section that has a really low CPM... if I could only show graphical ads on those pages, and no others, then I'd probably do it just to see if it raised the overall revenue.

Still 95% against it though. On principle. I really like the targetted text ads.


 1:49 pm on Apr 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Ok - Am I missing something?

Does this only affect sites that allow image advertising?

If you don't want CPM advertising then set the preferences to only text adverts.


 1:50 pm on Apr 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Clarify for me: We get the choice whether we want to run this garbage or not, right? I don't run image ads now, so hopefully this means I get to exclude them and opt out of this new program.


 1:52 pm on Apr 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

I guess I don't understand all the "purple pill" business. From what I read on the Google site, this CPM product is not yet available.

Visit Thailand

 1:55 pm on Apr 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

I am surprised so many people are already thinking of opting out, before it has even properly launched.

I can only see this as a benefit to publishers and advertisers.

G wants to make more money and we provide that opportunity.

I think that we can all say that ever since G launched AdSense there have been a whole load of improvements and add ons. Sure some may be unhappy about certain things but overall G is doing a great job, and I for one welcome this move, as I feel it will benefit our sites.


 1:59 pm on Apr 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Visit Thailand, many people despise animated banners and find them very annoying. One of the major advantages of text ads is that they don't flicker.


 2:05 pm on Apr 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

I don't think any of this really matters since G will not disclose details to publishers.

As I watch in awe as my revenue declines, from a 6.5 CTR last Friday to 1.6 yesterday, clicks dropped from over 300 to 60, while NOTHING changed on my site, and my earnings dropped by more than 80%, I have to question the overall veracity of G's accounting.

I changed nothing, yet all metrics gradually decline day by day (not anywhere near what my site stats are showing), to levels at which it doesn't even pay to work on the site.

Any changes G makes from here on out surely will not benefit publishers, though they will encourage many of us to seek alternatives.

ADbrite ads going up on many pages that were previously devoted to G today. At least from them, I know what I am getting.

"Do no evil" indeed.


 2:06 pm on Apr 25, 2005 (gmt 0)


It could be an advantage to publishers if text only

i.e. 5 add unit cpm $2.00 each add = $10.00 minimum CPM per add unit
plus with auction to highest bidder could be closer to $15.00 CPM for each add unit

Personally I do not allow graphics adds due to the size G has allowed and will continue to not allow as in worst case slow graphics add load and 1 add unit $2.00 CPM is a no brainer

I think G advertisiers and publishers will have a winner with this but only on Text based adds



 2:08 pm on Apr 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think sometimes you need to allow G to reorganise adds and accept on a few days each month very large swings especially downwards

Don't jump to quick may cost you in the long term



 2:09 pm on Apr 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

I hope this hasn't been mentioned already. I can already see the new topics for next week.

"Oh My God! I just clicked a random link and it took me to my site. Should I write to Google and tell them what happened?"

"My wife is a teacher and she had her students visit my site. 30 of them all from the same IP address. What should I do?"


 2:09 pm on Apr 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Let's look at a hypothetical scenario: A travel-planning site for Greece. We'll call it have-a-good-time-in-greece.com.

AdSense ads on pages about planning your trip, where to stay, transportation, ferries, island cruises, etc. are highly targeted, attract healthy CPMs, and convert well. So with the new "site-targeted" ads, the AdSense ad blocks on those pages shouldn't change much, right?

However, have-a-good-time-in-greece.com does have a Greek Antiquities photo gallery with 200 pictures that gets a lot of traffic from armchair travelers and art students. Most of those visitors aren't planning a trip to Greece, so the clickthrough rate and effective CPM on those pages is extremely low. The CPM is perhaps a dollar, which is far less than the CPMs on the rest of the site's pages.

Now, let's say that Gary's Greek Tours, Inc. sees have-a-good-time-in-greece.com listed as a site-targeted advertising venue for its keywords at a CPM of $2. Gary decides to include have-a-good-time-in-greece.com in his CPM campaign. That's good for the publisher, who's suddenly earning $2 per 1,000 impressions for those photo-gallery pages instead of $1.

BUT....If those CPM ads on have-a-good-time-in-greece.com don't perform because they're appearing on low-value pages, how long will Gary include the site in his CPM campaigns? And if most of the other venues where his CPM ads run are also generating low clickthrough rates, how long will he run site-targeted CPM ads, period?

Now, some people might argue that CPM ads are okay for branding even if they don't generate leads, and maybe that's true in some cases. But if you're an advertiser, how do you measure the value of that branding? Until research services can supply data on readership, recall, etc., you're taking a lot on faith. And if you're a publisher, you may be posting in a "My CPM is dropping!" thread on Webmaster World a few months after the launch of site-targeted ads.

[edited by: europeforvisitors at 2:14 pm (utc) on April 25, 2005]


 2:12 pm on Apr 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

>>"I viewed my own ads, will I lose my AdSense account?"

Now thats a good one.


 2:17 pm on Apr 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

i.e. 5 add unit cpm $2.00 each add = $10.00 minimum CPM per add unit
plus with auction to highest bidder could be closer to $15.00 CPM for each add unit

Text ads CPM may only apply to expanded text ads, ads with only one ad group. Although just a guess.



 2:25 pm on Apr 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Steve, thanks for the AD-vice, but the trends - always to MY detriment, are getting pretty old. Takes the fun (and profit) out of adding new content.

An 80% drop in the course of 10 days is NOT normal, in my estimation. And this is not the first time this has happened. It will stay low until I do something about it, like add more pages.

G has no respect for most publishers. I think that is obvious at this point.

Visit Thailand

 2:29 pm on Apr 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Visit Thailand, many people despise animated banners and find them very annoying. One of the major advantages of text ads is that they don't flicker.

I agree with you but publishers have the option to not have image ads, and am sure G in the future may give us even more options.

What I like about a mix of text ads, image ads, and now hopefully the animated gif's is that imho it increases awareness.

If a whole site (especially with good repeats) has just text ads for me I would think many would learn to ignore them, if on the other hand you occasionaly have an image and/or an animated gif it will draw your viewers attenetion to those ads.

But my only reservation from G's perspective is how they will stop advertisers from going direct to the publisher.

I mean if an advertiser sees one of my sites and decides he wants to advertise, he bids and if succesful he succeeds. If he is happy with the results why would he not contact me directly to advertise and cut out the middle man.

It would cost him more than I earn and less than he spends throgh G.

Also if I know who is specifically targetting my sites I could ban their domains, which might also lead them to contacting me directly.

If I was a content advertiser I would definitely be interested in saving a few Baht if I knew that one site performs well.


 2:44 pm on Apr 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

But my only reservation from G's perspective is how they will stop advertisers from going direct to the publisher.

Advertisers have always had the option of dealing directly with publishers. They generally don't because most publishers can't deliver large blocks of impressions without excessive repetition.


 2:52 pm on Apr 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Just need to mention this. Fired off an email to G complaining about my numbers. Prior to the email, 8 clicks averaged 4 cents ea.

After email, 5 clicks, average 37 cents each. Really makes you wonder...

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