Though this might be old news for most of you guys, but I got the news late and thought of speculating a little. Yes, after long dilly-dallying, Google has now opened its doors to other Ad networks to compete against its Google Adwords in the most infamous online auction system to get a spot in Google Adsense network of websites which covers almost the entire web.
But it came to me as a surprise when I saw that ONLY AdSense publishers in North America and Europe will be allowed to participate (as of now).
So, Google puts it conveniently that these ads will duly compete with AdWords ads and will help publishers earn the most from every ad impression by increasing competition. At the same time, publishers will have full control over which ads and ad networks can appear on their pages. For those who are eager to know more can check out this video:
Great, I say! But wait. Now why is Google being to generous? Now while trying to understand the inner (speculative) truth, I bumped into John Battelle’s comment on the same in his blog. I think whatever he said makes heck of a sense. Also I would recommend to read some of the comments in the YouTube video that Google Adsense Team posted. (BTW, I saw one interesting thing while scanning through the YouTube video – if you go through the “Statistics & Data” tab in YouTube, then you’ll see that the video is most popular in India than many European Countries; still Google didn’t choose India or Asia rather for the so-called beta-testing).
Now coming back to the point, I’ll try to iterate some of the plausible reasons behind Google’s decision to add other ad-networks to its own network:
1. Is this an admission by Google that they do not have good enough display advertising inventory and/or relationships? Maybe, maybe not. Seems more of a statement that Google considers Adsense more of a platform for advertising, rather than a network into itself.
2. If you ran an ad network, would you want to do this? Well, ad networks tend to optimize for the most money. If Adsense gives them more money, they just might want to do this.
3. What about the data? Google will learn an awful lot about what is going on with each network once they plus themselves into the Adsense hivemind. And in the end, isn’t that what it’s all about? Remember what happened with search? AOL, Netscape, Yahoo, and many others fed the Google search beast until Google had all the data and therefore the best search engine.
I think these comments sums up what Google has in mind. I say great, if in the longer term it benefits an individual user but I don’t think so thats the case here. What Google is running after is to decimate competition in online ad networks and create a monopolistic ground where publishers don’t have any other options to choose for better (in this case Google’s monopolized eCPM’s) ad networks for higher payouts. But only time will tell how this space shapes up!
Note: With regard to similar topic, today I read yet another interesting article from AdAge which sounds more why Google w.r.t. other ad networks would be a tough nut to crack. The article illustrates why online ad network apocalypse was a fad and most of them are still surviving. Worth a read with those hard facts and numbers.