For the past few years, Google has continually downplayed its threat to ad agencies and marketing technology companies. “We’re not a threat, we just want to help,” tends to be the main theme.
Meanwhile, Google continues to gradually creep forward with its encroachment. Like the rising seas, its advancement is often unnoticed until, all of a sudden, we’re ten feet under water.
OK, the headline. I’ve not forgotten the point of this post. Google today announced Google Ad Planner, a free research tool that will help “connect advertisers with publishers.”
When using Google Ad Planner, simply enter demographics and sites associated with your target audience, and the tool will return information about sites (both on and off the Google content network) that your audience is likely to visit. You can drill down further to get more detail like demographics and related searches for a particular site, or you can get aggregate statistics for the sites you’ve added to your media plan.
First, let me make it clear. I think this is a pretty cool and useful tool, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. However, how many existing companies do you think will be hurt by such a powerful–and free–tool that, if not cutting out the ad middle man, certainly undermines the offerings of companies such as comScore, Nielsen Online and Quantcast?
My last observation here. How smart of Google to announce Google Trends for Web Sites last week, ahead of this announcement? The two are clearly using the same database of information. However, with the Google Trends announcement, we all applauded the usefulness of the free tool. Little did we know that Google was simply buttering us up for its evil real plan–take over the world of ad measurement and planning.
BTW, ignore that wet sensation you feel behind your ears. Just like the seas are not really rising, Google’s not really a threat either.