Editor&Publisher interviews Sergey Brin via email, and while his responses have clearly been given a once-over by Google’s professional PR staff, this response struck me as a bad omen for the DoubleClicks of the world:
2. Many newspapers are publishing display ads on the Web, with photos and graphics. Will AdSense evolve beyond text-based advertising? Or is text the best medium for these types of ads?
SB: At this point, text ads are the best solution for our users, advertisers and partners. However, online advertising, especially contextual advertising, is evolving rapidly. Google is committed to a leadership position in online advertising technology and we continue to explore new technologies in every aspect of targeting, delivery and display.
In other words, it won’t be long before Google combines the contextual relevance of AdSense text links with more brand-driven, rich media ad units. And that means they start becoming a major ad serving service in the vein of Doubleclick and its kin. Perhaps Google simply buys DCLK, which Safa recently claimed is undervalued. It could make a lot of sense…if Yahoo/Overture doesn’t get there first. I’m not a stock picker, nor a seer, so don’t hold me to this. Just noting an interesting trend.