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Google acquired DoubleClick for more than $3 billion in March 2008, in hopes of supplementing its lucrative business serving text-based ads alongside search results with the more visual display ads used in corporate branding campaigns -- a market dominated by online rivals Yahoo Inc and Time Warner's AOL.
Ad exchanges play an increasingly important role in the Internet ad industry by providing a forum for publishers to sell the unsold ad space on their websites to the highest bidding advertisers. The market for online advertising has become more fragmentary as Web users spend more time on social networks and blogs instead of relying on portals and other destination sites.
With Thursday's announcement, Google will for the first time combine the DoubleClick exchange with its own advertising system and technology.