How Will Google Ad Planner Promote Network Inventory?

In his presentation at the ARF Measurement conference yesterday, Wayne Lin, business product manager at Google, stuck mainly to what the company had already announced about Ad Planner, its new audience research and media planning product.

Things got a little more interesting during the Q&A, when someone in the audience asked him how Google would promote sites in its own network. It was the first time Google has addressed its conflict of interest with the free tool. Lin said he believed the right approach is to follow the formula it used for organic versus paid listings in search.

“If we do benefit sites in our network, we should clearly label that,” he said.

It’s interesting to note he said the company “should,” not that it “would,” disclose properties its peddling. Keep an eye on this aspect of Ad Planner.

Designed for media planners, Ad Planner alllows its users to save their media plans or export them as a DoubleClick MediaVisor file. It uses the same data sources as the company’s new Google Trends for Websites measurement play — which is to say it pulls from search data, Google Analytics data, panel data and third party market research. (In retrospect, it was obvious what Google had in mind when it recently began asking Analytics users to specify whether their site data could be shared anonymously with its other apps.)

Lin said Google is now weighing whether to pursue Media Ratings Council accreditation, which would validate its measurement approach. One audience member called it “regrettable” that some firms had sought to create reliable audience estimates by fusing together different databases willy-nilly.

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