Google Launches New Tool For Advertisers

Dennis Faas's picture

Google has unveiled a system that will make it easier for online advertisers to find websites that can help reach their target audience. 'Ad Planner' is currently in testing and only available to selected customers, but the plan is to eventually make it available to everyone free of charge.

Google's new stud should be remarkably simple to use, as advertisers simply type in details of their target demographic and some examples of websites they already know appeal to that audience.

The system then returns a list of the best matches, along with details of the overall audience for each site and more specific details such as how the audience splits into groups based on age, gender, and location. The system is specifically designed for advertisers and media planners, and allows users to save the results in a spreadsheet format so they can easily use them in reports for clients. (Source:

Google isn't revealing many details about how they work out these figures. It seems likely that, as with their Google Trends system, it's based on sites which people visit after finding on a Google search. While this means there's a huge amount of data to draw from, the figures may be somewhat skewed. For websites that are actually the most popular in their field, many if not most users will have it bookmarked (or even just type the address in manually), meaning they won't be counted in Google's figures.

Google does also offer website owners a service called Google Analytics, which produces specific details for the visitors who visit their site. It appears results from this service won't be used for Ad Planner, likely because Analytics customers want such specific information kept confidential. (Source:

There doesn't seem to be any immediate plan for Google to make money from Ad Planner's results. Giving the results away without charge seems to be a pre-emptive strike against Yahoo's impending AMP system, which is designed for advertisers to buy better targeted ads via Yahoo.

In the short term, though, the main victim has been comScore, a professional research firm specialising in online advertising. Though there's little comparison between their in-depth services and AdPlanner, their stock dropped more than 17% on the day of Google's announcement.

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