Google Devolving Advertising?

Do you remember the time when Yellow Pages ads were about the most effective form of print advertising for small businesses?

That was a few years ago, before Google brought PPC to the masses. Now, according to WSJ, Google would like to take SMBs back to the dark ages by offering print ads.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin told investors earlier this month that its magazine-ad deals are part of a test, although he added that “hundreds of other publications have expressed interest in participating.” The company won’t discuss further specifics of the magazine “test” or any other possible ad brokering activities under consideration. But it is likely that any Google system will provide tools to make it easier for advertisers to target a susceptible audience and track the ads’ performance, as Google’s online ads have done. One possibility: a system of counting the phone calls to toll-free-response numbers featured in Google-placed print ads. That way, advertisers could gauge the success of their ads and Google could charge advertisers only for each response they get — as it does online.

“…a system of counting the phone calls to toll-free-response numbers featured in Google-placed print ads”??? Sheesh, YP has been doing that for years! What’s next ValPak coupon advertising?