Despite Google's recent focus on exchange-traded media and the technology that supports it, the company still sees opportunity in the network space, as evidenced by recent updates to its Google Display Network (GDN) product. Today the search-turned-display ad provider announced a number of additional features to the network, designed to boost the effectiveness and accountability of display campaigns for its advertisers.
A metric called "relative CTR," for example, lets advertisers judge the effectiveness of their campaigns compared with those of other advertisers across the network, while an "impression share" tool gives them insights into the share of voice their brand enjoyed when bidding on ads targeted to specific groups of sites.
Meanwhile, the company is also attempting to cut down on waste for brand-focused CPM advertisers with the introduction of an unseen impression filter, which will ensure advertisers are not charged for ads served in places that are rarely viewed by users - such as those at the foot of a page, for example. That type of placement will instead be reserved for performance advertisers, in many cases.
Speaking with ClickZ News, Brad Bender, director, product management at Google, said the improvements were intended to better serve both brand and direct response advertisers as the company continues to aggressively build out its display ad business.
"This is part of a broader push to give advertisers more meaningful metrics… Longer term our vision is to have easily available metrics to look at emotional engagement, offline behavior, and other factors," Bender said.
Although the network is housed separately from Google's DoubleClick Exchange, it participates as both as both a buyer and seller of inventory in that marketplace alongside other networks. As a result, advertisers buying through GDN may purchase inventory sourced from the exchange, while publishers might see their own ad space being sold through the same channel.
According to Bender, continued investment and innovation around both the network and the exchange is ultimately intended to help "grow the whole pie" for both advertisers and publishers. Though tweaks such as the new impression filter might result in publishers receiving payment for fewer ads, he suggested improved accountability for advertisers will help extract further spend from them, ultimately benefiting the wider ecosystem.
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Jack Marshall was a staff writer and stats editor for ClickZ News from 2007 until August 2011.
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