Google gets more aggressive in print advertising

Posted by Mark Raby

Mountain View (CA) - Google's tepid entry into the world of physical advertising has now reached more than 225 newspapers.

Google Print Ads began in November 2006 with a small test group of 50 papers.  In eight months it has more than quadrupled in size, adding in publications like The New York Times, Washington Post, The Seattle imes, and Tribune Publishing.

The program was the first initiative by Google to take its advertising infrastructure outside of the cyber world.  Any advertiser that is part of the Google Adwords service can look at available ad space in newspapers and bid on them.

The newspapers can see real-time status of the auctions and communicate directly with the advertisers.  They can also view the proposed advertisement to make sure it's appropriate.

More than 99% of Google's revenue comes from text-based advertising, and the search giant is cautious about the future of the Internet, with video ads becoming more attractive for advertisers.

Google Print Ads also comes at a time when newspapers are losing ground.  The New York Times has had to cut back on the size of the paper to save money on printing.  Bringing an open marketplace to this advertising realm helps newspapers sell ad space for top dollar.

"Google Print Ads gives us the flexibility and control to set our own pricing, so there is never a conflict," said New York Times vice president Todd Haskell.