Many veteran search marketers have used and abandoned the Google Content Network due to the poor quality targeting (and resulting low quality traffic). The newly launched Google Ad Planner is touted as “a research and media planning tool that connects advertisers and publishers”.
The concept is quite simple – an advertiser simply enters in the demographics associated with your target audience and AdPlanner presents a list of sites that your target audience is likely to visit. Websites that are both part of and not a part of the Google content network are included.
For the media buyer, this tool is a great addition to help ensure they are reaching their target audience. Unfortunately, for ComScore, the tool is not so great, as it is direct competition. ComScore does (or perhaps used to?) have a business model built around providing media buyers with this sort of information. Google has just made this business a lot harder and the ComScore share price has reacted appropriately – down over 17% on the day’s trading immediately after the announcement.
The data to accomplish this is coming from a series of data sources, such as Google Analytics, AdSense data, Google Search data and third party external sources which are used in an aggregated manner, which does not use any personally identifiable information. The amount of information that Google has at its disposal is quite staggering and very scary.
Google has the ability to enter many industries and utilizing all of this aggregated user data to its advantage and quickly dominate. In the software industry, it was always a joke that you hoped Microsoft didn’t decide to do what you do. Now you have to hope it isn’t Google entering your space.