Google is expanding its ad sales into print newspapers. It is a curious opportunity, but not without risks, even if successful:
“…publishers can get much-needed revenue but in doing so they may well make Google — which is already the biggest seller of online advertising — even stronger.”
At the core of the Google plan is to solve 2 needs of small businesses:
- Allow small businesses to easily reach larger audiences than their local newspaper ads would
- Offer a self-service model that creates effeciency on both ends of the sales process
This new system will be tested over a three month period, and could eventually include weekly magazines.
John Battelle adds his opinion on the differences of online and print media:
“Ads for a specific, community driven audience need to be part of a conversation, not an algorithm. However, I can see this working well for remnant/backfill, as well as classifieds, where I’m guessing the system will really excel.”
Joe Duck offers the opposite response, feeling that this new system may offer the analytics and return on investment tracking that print media has a hard time tracking.
Search Engine Watch reminds us of Google’s previous attempts at a print ad system, and their failure.