Google Gives Advertisers Demographic Site Targeting

  |  March 9, 2006   |  Comments

Microsoft has been talking up MSN adCenter's demographic targeting features, but it's no longer the only major search company to let marketers reach a desired audience.

MSN execs have been talking up adCenter's unique demographic targeting features for a while, but that company's no longer the only search player to let marketers reach prospects based on their characteristics.

Google just launched a demographic site selection tool for AdWords site-targeted campaigns. It lets advertisers choose desirable audiences from the sites in its contextual network. The feature allows marketers to slice and dice AdSense publisher audiences into buckets such as age group, gender or household income level. Additional advanced demographic categories include ethnicity and whether there are children in the home.

Currently available only to U.S.-based campaigns, the demographic offering differs from MSN's in most respects. Google's is only available for site-targeted campaigns, which are priced on a cost-per-thousand (CPM) basis, whereas all adCenter ads are cost-per-click (CPC). And Google's tool only covers sites in its contextual network, whereas MSN lets marketers target people on its search results pages. (MSN doesn't yet have a contextual ad network.) Additionally, available data don't overlap. Google doesn't offer geographic data, for instance, and MSN lacks the household income metric.

Why not offer demographic targeting for keyword-based campaigns? Google's group product manager for Adsense, Gokul Rajaram, told ClickZ News he believes site selection provides better results and user experience for advertisers.

Search engine marketers, who by and large were happy with MSN's introduction of demographic targeting, will likely embrace Google's site selection as well. At least one agency executive couldn't resist taking a little jab at Google.

"This is the first time Google has had to play the me-too role," said iProspect president Rob Murray. "It has historically led innovation in our category for five years. I think it's a huge win for MSN. "

Audience data come from comScore Media Metrix, which uses a panel and proprietary technology to append demographic information to a site's readers. The feature doesn't ensure a marketer will reach only people with the traits it desires, but rather it illustrates an audience's predominant make-up.

Kevin Lee, CEO of SEM agency Did-It, said the data are inherently less reliable than what Microsoft is offering, but nevertheless hailed the product.

"[comScore's] is a much broader level of targeting and it's not as exact," he said. "By looking at which of comScore's panelists are visiting their sites, they're making assumptions that data hold true across the larger population. It does allow for some level of increase in targeting, if not on the individual level than on the site level which is more than they had before. So I'm pleased to see them do that."

ClickZ Live San Francisco This Year's Premier Digital Marketing Event is #CZLSF
ClickZ Live San Francisco (Aug 11-14) brings together the industry's leading practitioners and marketing strategists to deliver 4 days of educational sessions and training workshops. From Data-Driven Marketing to Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email, this year's comprehensive agenda will help you maximize your marketing efforts and ROI. Register today!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Zachary Rodgers

Until March 2012, Zach Rodgers was managing editor of ClickZ's award-winning coverage of news and trends in digital marketing. He reported on the rise of web companies, data markets, ad technologies, and government Internet policy, among other subjects. 

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

ClickZ Today is our #1 newsletter.
Get a daily dose of digital marketing.

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

BigDoor: The Marketers Guide to Customer Loyalty

The Marketer's Guide to Customer Loyalty
Customer loyalty is imperative to success, but fostering and maintaining loyalty takes a lot of work. This guide is here to help marketers build, execute, and maintain a successful loyalty initiative.

Marin Software: The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising

The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising
Latest research reveals 68% higher revenue per conversion for marketers who integrate their search & social advertising. In addition to the research results, this whitepaper also outlines 5 strategies and 15 tactics you can use to better integrate your search and social campaigns.

WEBINARS

Jobs

    • Interactive Product Manager
      Interactive Product Manager (Western Governors University) - Salt Lake CityWestern Governors University, one of the 20 largest universities...
    • SEO Senior Analyst
      SEO Senior Analyst (University of Phoenix (Apollo Education Group)) - San FranciscoSEO Senior Analyst   Position Summary...
    • SEM & Biddable Media Manager
      SEM & Biddable Media Manager (Kepler Group LLC) - New YorkAs an Optimization & Innovation Manager at Kepler Group, you will be on the bleeding...