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(Cross posted from the DoubleClick Advertiser Blog)

Last week, we participated in an IAB Interactive Insights Webinar titled, “The Arrival of Real-Time Bidding.” In this webinar, Scott Spencer, Director of Product Management for DoubleClick Ad Exchange joined guests from Forrester Research, Inc. to define real-time bidding (RTB) and walk attendees through its impact on the marketplace for online ad inventory. Joining from Forrester Research, Inc. were Senior Analyst Joanna O’Connell and Analyst Michael Greene. Joanna explored how advertisers view the RTB trend and Michael explored how publishers view it. Scott, our foremost expert on RTB, discussed how Google works with advertisers and publishers on RTB.

For those of you who missed the webinar, we’ve posted the full recording here:

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(Cross-posted from the Google Agency Blog)
Following his keynote address titled "There's a Perfect Ad for Everyone" at New York's IAB Innovation Days @ Internet Week, Neal Mohan, our VP of Display Advertising was interviewed by Willow Duttge.
In his interview, Neal shed further insight into the new user revolution taking place in digital media and what it means for advertisers and publishers. Here are a few key takeaways from the interview:
  • There’s a big opportunity for advertisers and publishers to deliver an enhanced user experience by employing dynamic rich media formats, delivering ads customized for each user, adopting user-centric metrics to measure campaign success, and offering users much more control over their advertising they see.
  • Initial steps publishers and advertisers can take today toward this user-centric goal include looking closely at and listening to their audiences and experimenting with new formats and user experiences.
  • The mobile revolution presents new opportunities for advertisers and publishers looking to connect with users in new and more meaningful ways.

And if you missed the livestream of Neal's keynote, watch it here.

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The display advertising industry continues to evolve at a blinding pace as new technologies make an ever-expanding array of media buying and selling models available to savvy advertisers and publishers. In February, we partnered with DigiDay to explore the growth and impact of real-time bidding (RTB) with a Real-Time Display Advertising State of the Industry survey. The study revealed significant adoption - 87% of media buyers plan to buy via RTB in 2011 and 45% of publishers planned to make inventory available via RTB platforms this year.

Building on the back of this study, we conducted new wave of research to explore the broader trends impacting online sales channels from both a buyer and seller perspective. We presented the highlights of this study yesterday at DigiDay’s DPAC conference in New York.

The survey identified a variety of perspectives between buyers and sellers, and also made it clear that both parties were optimistic about the opportunities presented by new innovations across the display landscape.

Buyers were most bullish on spending growth via networks and exchanges:
  • 30% of buyers believe that networks and exchanges will drive the most incremental digital ad spending. Top drivers identified by respondents included the need to reach audiences at scale (64%), a focus on buying efficiency (60%) and the ability to optimize (43%).
  • Buyers saw less of an increase in buys via direct sales, with only 14% of respondents identifying this channel as a top driver of spending. Motivation for direct sales channel investment was focused on the ability to execute custom sponsorships (56%) and the ability to negotiate price (48%).
  • 18% of buyers believed that Private Exchanges would be the top spending driver with transparency (29%) and the ability to negotiate price (26%) as the key influencers, and notably differentiating this channel from ad networks and “open” exchanges.
Publishers have a huge, and ever growing range of choices about how to best monetize and manage their inventory:
  • 79% of publishers believed that direct sales would be their biggest source of growth this year. Top drivers identified by respondents included growth from new formats and devices (57%), new audience targeting capabilities (44%) and unique ad units / sponsorships (39%).
  • 14% of sellers believed that networks and exchanges would be their leading growth driver. Top reasons for publishers to exploit these channels included access to new buyers (26%), excess inventory (21%) and the ability to reach data-driven buyers (21%).
  • Private Exchanges remained somewhat nascent, with only 7% of publishers identifying them as a leading channel for growth. Publishers preferred this new model for preventing channel conflict (56%), the ability to leverage their brand equity (50%), and the ability to maintain direct relationships on an exchange platform (47%). Most interestingly, 43% of publishers considering Private Exchanges saw growth in this channel as completely incremental.
What to make of these seemingly mismatched expectations? While audience reach and efficiency are at the top of the buyer agenda, it’s also clear that context and relationships still matter. With the right protections and controls, publishers can also use the rapid pace of industry innovation to their advantage by experimenting with new selling models that leverage their assets and relationships, while unlocking new demand.

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(Cross-posted on the Official Google blog)

It’s now clear that investments in new technologies, new ad formats and improved buying and selling processes are helping to grow the display advertising pie. This benefits publishers who make more money from display ads, users who receive free ad-funded content and marketers who are able to grow their businesses online.

However, we often hear from major website publishers that ad management today is still mind-numbingly complicated and inefficient. We’ve been investing in our publisher tools to try and improve this landscape and have made great progress, but we think we can do even better. To help major publishers get the most out of the rapidly changing and growing display ad landscape, we’ve signed an agreement to acquire Admeld, a New York-based yield optimization firm.

Here’s a basic summary of the display ad industry, from the perspective of major publishers. There are lots of different ways that they can sell their display ad space. Often, they’ll sell space directly to advertisers or agencies, using an ad server to actually deliver and measure the ads (like Microsoft’s Atlas, AOL’s AdTech, DoubleClick's DFP, Yahoo’s APT, OpenX, Zedo, 24/7 Real Media and others). Alternatively, they’ll make their ad space available indirectly—to hundreds of ad networks (like Advertising.com, Specific Media, Collective, 24/7, ValueClick, Vibrant, AdSense, Undertone and others), each with thousands of advertisers, or to various advertising exchanges or technology platforms (like Yahoo’s Right Media, OpenX, DoubleClick Ad Exchange, ContextWeb, AdBrite, AppNexus and others) that match them with ad buyers (like ad networks and demand side platforms) who represent advertisers, in real-time marketplaces.

Some publishers also work with a “yield optimization” provider (such as Rubicon Project, Pubmatic and others) that supplies technology to select ads from across these many indirect options, while providing personalized service and support. In a very complex and rapidly growing display ad landscape, that’s what Admeld does.

Providing better ad management services to publishers is an area that has seen a huge amount of investment in recent months. Formed just over three years ago, the Admeld team is an example of the huge strides the industry is making—it has quickly developed a great service that is helping many major publishers manage their ad space more efficiently and profitably.

By combining Admeld’s services, expertise and technology with Google’s offerings, we’re investing in what we hope will be an improved era of flexible ad management tools for major publishers. Together with Admeld, we hope to make display advertising simpler, more efficient and more valuable, provide improved support and services, and enable publishers to make more informed decisions across all their ad space. These are all things our publisher partners have been asking us to further invest in. Of course, Admeld will continue to support other ad networks, demand side platforms, exchanges and ad servers, to yield the best possible results for publishers.

We believe that this investment will be an important step to help online publishers, and will further improve and grow the display advertising industry as a whole.

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(Cross-posted on the Webmaster Central and Social Web blogs)

When we introduced the +1 button in March, Google search took a small step in an important direction. Search results can be more helpful, and more personal, when recommendations from the people you trust are there to guide your way.

The +1 button can help publishers, too. As potential visitors see recommendations from their friends and contacts beneath your Google search results, you could see more, and better qualified, traffic coming from Google.

Since we announced +1, we’ve gotten lots of requests from Google search users and webmasters alike for +1 buttons in more places than just search results. That’s why today we’re making the +1 button available to sites across the web. Sometimes you want to recommend a web page after you’ve visited it. After all, how do you know you want to suggest that great article on Spanish tapas if you haven’t read it yet?

We’ve partnered with a few sites where you’ll see +1 buttons over the coming days:

Partner Logos

You'll also start to see +1 buttons on other Google properties such as Android Market, Blogger,Product Search and YouTube.

Adding +1 buttons to your pages is a great way to help your content stand out in Google search. By giving your visitors more chances to +1 your pages, your search results and search ads could show up with +1 annotations more often, helping users see when your pages are most likely to be useful.


To get started, visit the +1 button tool on Google Webmaster Central. You’ll be able to configure a small snippet of JavaScript and add it to the pages where you want +1 buttons to appear. You can pick from a few different button sizes and styles, so choose the +1 button that best matches your site’s layout.

In the common case, a press of the button +1’s the URL of the page it’s on. We recommend some easy ways to ensure this maps as often as possible to the pages appearing in Google search results.

If your site primarily caters to users outside of the US and Canada, you can install the +1 button code now; the +1 button is already supported in 44 languages. However, keep in mind that +1 annotations currently only appear for English search results on Google.com. We’re working on releasing +1 to searchers worldwide in the future.

If you have users who love your content (and we bet you do), encourage them to spread the word! Add the +1 button to help your site stand out with a personal recommendation right at the moment of decision, on Google search.

To stay current on updates to the +1 button large and small, please subscribe to the Google Publisher Buttons Announce Group. For advanced tips and tricks, check our Google Code site. Finally, if you have any questions about using the +1 button on your websites, feel free to drop by the Webmaster Help Forum.