New York, June 25 — Google introduced a new application to help plan and buy Web advertising at the Advertising Research Foundation’s AMS conference yesterday. AdPlanner is a Web based product helps advertisers and agencies find the best sites to reach Web audiences, combining Google traffic data with Nielsen and other demographic sources. The free service will potentially compete with pricier offerings from Nielsen, comScore and Quantcast.
- From the NYT: Shares of comScore dropped 22.5 percent, or $6.24, to $21.45…Advertisers can use Ad Planner, which is now available in pilot form, to search for suitable sites using different filters like gender, age, education and household income. Ad Planner will tell a media buyer how many unique visitors a site attracts, its international reach and where else the site’s visitors tend to go on the Web.
- From Cynopsis Digital,: The interface allows media planners to enter in demographic targets then the system culls server data to determine which sites reach their target audience. The tool allows media plans to be created then exported as a .csv file (compatible with Excel and most other spreadsheet applications.) Google is expected to roll out an additional tool this week that will measure how users respond and engage with online ads, taking into account of past search and site visitation activity.
- From Mediaweek: The new tool puts Google in competition with established industry metrics players Nielsen Online (owned by Mediaweek parent The Nielsen Co.) and comScore—which charge agencies a fee to access their data and services–as well as a host of upstarts, including Quantcast, Hitwise and Compete.
- From adwords.blogspot.com: Google Ad Planner, a research and media planning tool that connects advertisers and publishers. When using Google Ad Planner, simply enter demographics and sites associated with your target audience, and the tool will return information about sites (both on and off the Google content network) that your audience is likely to visit. You can drill down further to get more detail like demographics and related searches for a particular site, or you can get aggregate statistics for the sites you’ve added to your media plan.
Users can target by age/sex demo, which is a bit of a mystery because this isn’t data that Google collects through site and search metadata. Google Product Manager Wayne Lin was somewhat cagey about the source of these data, saying that Nielsen — and other sources — were combined to produce these demographic profiles. The adwords blog at Google says, “Google Ad Planner combines information from a variety of sources, such as aggregated Google search data, opt-in anonymous Google Analytics data, opt-in external consumer panel data, and other third-party market research.”
Danny Sullivan, in his SearchEngineLand blog speculates, “That makes me think that toolbar data IS being used. In particular, the focus on Google Analytics data feels like a sideshow. Google can’t rely on Google Analytics as a core data source for this information, because of the simple reason that not every site runs it. In contrast, using Google Toolbar data would give them a nearly complete sample of all sites out there…Google Analytics data can be used as a “correcting” metric, however. For example, Google might estimate how much traffic flows to a particular web site based on toolbar visits that it logs. It might then compare those estimates to how much traffic the sites themselves report through Google Analytics. The difference could then be used to adjust traffic for sites not running Google.”
Established Web players may soon be faced with a “WalMart Moment.” That’s the tipping point moment when consumers, previously critical of Walmart coming to town to wipe out local retailers, decide to take their business to WalMart after all because it’s more convenient and less expensive. Will buyers and planners dump traditional research sources and tools and flock to the methodologically mysterious but free Google tool? Time will tell, but Wall Street certainly cast an initial vote with a 23 percent price drop of comScore stock on the AdPlanner announcement,
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