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Google Could Upset Advertising Model

Written by David Utter for WebProNews

Greater extensions by Google into traditional advertising media could mark a sea change in ad buying.

In the latest edition of divining Google’s future, MediaPost discusses a scenario where the search engine company extends beyond print ads in traditional media. The assumptions could apply to Yahoo as well, as they extend further into the entertainment industry.

Both Google and Yahoo have been working on video search, and Yahoo has unveiled audio search recently. In the TV and radio markets, it could be possible that the continued refinement of those searches may lead to a change in where contextual advertising appears.

Instead of buying ads and selling sponsorships, the contextual ad world in traditional media would follow the auction model. That would make ad buying “far more reflective of reality and ROI.” The search engines would crawl programs before broadcast and set keyword phrase bid rates.

Imagine the fun when Coke sets up a product placement deal on a show and Pepsi starts bidding up keywords like “Coca-Cola” before it is broadcast. After Google’s or Yahoo’s video search spider has crawled the show, the 30 second ad space both companies would wish to fill would price at what the market will bear, instead of an arbitrary figure that may not truly reflect the slot’s value.

Advertisers could then extend their message across the entire media platform. Not just contextual ads on web pages and in SERPs, but also targeted to other places where their keywords appear on TV and on radio programs. Maybe this could be a future model for satellite radio, especially for Sirius, which has to pay some big money to Howard Stern and the NFL to retain those properties.

Perhaps audio contextual ads could take advantage of the podcasting phenomenon. Podcasts have achieved greater awareness, which can be attributed to Apple publicizing their availability via iTunes. The big names like ABC and other established media outlets have no problem finding advertisers to pay for sponsored spots.

For the grass roots podcaster, audio contextuals could be to them what AdSense is to bloggers (maybe we could call it VoiSense). The model for determining their exposure would probably have to mirror that of traditional broadcast media; if it is based on downloads, podcasters who continue to keep their content updated and maintain or grow their subscriber base could profit from them.

Now that Yahoo has delved deeply into video entertainment, notably with its presentation of the WB’s Supernatural debut episode online a week before its broadcast, perhaps it could offer similar deals to other networks. Yahoo could provide video contextuals (let’s call it Visual Match) to help it recoup the expense of hosting and serving other video content.

Google already allows users to submit their video to the search engine. Extend AdSense to them (and call that VidSense) and there’s another point of presence for video contextual advertising. They could then offer that model to producers who make their videos available online at Atom Films and other sites. Instant revenue stream for them.

Madison Avenue isn’t going to suddenly shutter its ad agencies. Google sees the value of print and traditional media, and search engines do have the ability to sift through and index video and audio. Yahoo already fancies itself a Hollywood player. It’s not too much to think how either could extend beyond the Web, but doing so to radio and TV would be a difficult task.

Discuss this at WebProWorld.

About the Author:
David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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Camilla Todd
Camilla Todd is Head of Digital Marketing at WNW Digital and manages Search Engine Optimisation, PPC, Social Media campaigns and Brand Awareness for WNW Digital SEO clients. You can follow her on Twitter @camilla_wnw, email her at or phone on 01392 349580

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