This piece in the NYT was clearly written with Google’s open approval, and that means one thing: Google is using the Times to talk with the folks on Madison Ave – and Wall St. And I have no doubt those folks are reading – closely. Though the issues of data privacy and Google’s opaqueness are addressed, it still reads as something of a valentine. But with numbers like Google has, it’s hard to see how it wouldn’t be.
There are tidbits in here that mark new comments from Google (at least to a major media outlet) on a number of topics, from Google Base to Google’s AdWords optimization techniques to privacy. There’s also a bunch of history. From the piece:
This year, Google will sell $6.1 billion in ads, nearly double what it sold last year, according to Anthony Noto, an analyst at Goldman Sachs. That is more advertising than is sold by any newspaper chain, magazine publisher or television network. By next year, Mr. Noto said, he expects Google to have advertising revenue of $9.5 billion. That would place it fourth among American media companies in total ad sales after Viacom, the News Corporation and the Walt Disney Company, but ahead of giants including NBC Universal and Time Warner…..
…Google is also preparing to disrupt the advertising business itself, by replacing creative salesmanship with cold number-crunching. Its premise so far is that advertising is most effective when seen only by people who are interested in what’s for sale, based on what they are searching for or reading about on the Web. …HIDDEN behind its simple white pages, Google has already created what it says is one of the most sophisticated artificial intelligence systems ever built. In a fraction of a second, it can evaluate millions of variables about its users and advertisers, correlate them with its potential database of billions of ads and deliver the message to which each user is most likely to respond….
….”If we can figure out a way to improve the quality of ads on television with ads that have real value for end-users, we should do it,” (Schmidt) said. While he is watching television, for example, “Why do I see women’s clothing ads?” he said. “Why don’t I see just men’s clothing ads?”…
…Mr. Brin said that preliminary versions of Google Base leaked onto the Internet and that the company’s partners should not fear it. “Google Base is as much about classified as it is about zoology,” he said….
…GOOGLE introduced its current system for determining which ad to show on which page late last year. It is a wonder of technology that rivals its search engine in complexity. For every page that Google shows, more than 100 computers evaluate more than a million variables to choose the advertisements in its database to display – and they do it in milliseconds. The computers look at the amount bid and the budget of the advertiser, but they also consider the user – such as his or her location, which they try to infer by analyzing the user’s Internet connections – as well as the time of day and myriad other factors Google has tracked and analyzed from its experience with advertisements.
“If someone is coming from a particular location, a certain ad may be more popular there,” explained Jeff Huber, Google’s vice president for engineering. “The system can use all the signals available, and the system itself learns the correlations between them.”….
….”Google is very opaque and bizarre to deal with,” said Joshua Stylman, a managing partner at Reprise Media, a search advertising agency, but he added that Google had become somewhat more responsive in recent months.
Mr. Schmidt addresses those complaints by saying that advertisers are missing the point of Google’s new model. It shouldn’t matter what Google does with their ads, he argues, so long as the received value, which advertisers can measure, is higher than the price they pay….
All in all, worth a close read, I’d wager.