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Sunday, January 28, 2007

Will MySpace Degrade the Quality of Google's Ad Network?

There seems to be some concern that MySpace will degrade the quality of Google's ad network. I'm not sure what the fuss is about. I'm more concerned about the distribution fraud that's prevalent on the Search network part of Google's advertising network. I think it's too early to say whether MySpace traffic will be of a lower quality than traffic from other Google advertising partners such as AOL. What I do find interesting, however, is that Google has published an AdWords help page specifically about ads on MySpace. It reads:
Google AdWords ads are now eligible to appear on MySpace is included in both Google's search network and content network.

Search network ads on MySpace can appear alongside or above search results, as a part of a results page a user navigates to through the site's directory, or on other relevant search pages.

Content network ads on MySpace display alongside relevant content. Google scans the content and URL of MySpace pages and automatically displays ads that have keywords matching the page content. For instance, a MySpace blog post about baking brownies may display AdWords ads for brownie recipes. Remember that ad placement is based on the overall theme of an ad group. Therefore, clicks and impressions are not attributed to any of your specific keywords, but to the keyword list in general.
It would be useful if Google's help pages included a timestamp to indicate when the help page was created. I have no idea of the precise date when Google ads (both search and content) began running on MySpace. You'd think this would have been mentioned on the Inside AdWords blog the day the new help page was created. Searching for MySpace, using the AdWords Help Custom Search Engine (whose index includes the Inside AdWords blog), I see no mention on that official Google blog. There's no mention on the Inside AdWords review of 2006. It looks like Google ads have been live on MySpace since December of last year. This is the kind of information that Google should be relaying to its advertisers. The blog talks about optimizing an account. Knowing that a major Internet property is going to start driving traffic might require some account tweaks. Again, I think it's odd that Google created a custom help page pertaining to MySpace but didn't notify via blogging. Perhaps they're not confident the traffic will be of a high quality?

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