Posted January 20, 2009 3:38 pm by with 10 comments

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For the past couple of years, Google has worked hard to try and convince the world that it’s not a one-trick pony. Today, it admits that its enormous success with paid search ads does not mean it can dominate other marketing channels.

In other words, it’s shutting down Google Print Ads.

While we hoped that Print Ads would create a new revenue stream for newspapers and produce more relevant advertising for consumers, the product has not created the impact that we — or our partners — wanted. As a result, we will stop offering Print Ads on February 28. For advertisers who have campaigns already booked, we will place their ads through March 31.

Translation? You were right, we were wrong…..neighhhhhhh!


  • Not sure if I agree with that assessment. If they had shuttered plans for online video, television or radio monetization you’d have a point, but I thing all this proves is the obvious, that printed newspapers are kaput.

    Terry Howard’s last blog post..Merry Christmas!

  • PS3

    I guess the fact that I have not even heard of it suggests they didn’t market it well for the masses!

  • >Not sure if I agree with that assessment. If they had shuttered plans for online video, television or radio monetization you’d have a point, but I thing all this proves is the obvious, that printed newspapers are kaput.

    I think the real question is how well are they progressing in those areas, or are they tough sledding just as PrintAds were. If not well, the fact they are around are no evidence that Google is making progress beyond search adverts. “Never confuse motion with progress” – Hemmingway. I have not heard much about their figures in TV/radio, etc.

    B. Chandra’s last blog post..Someone’s idea of humor?

  • Maybe Google will start buying media spots on local TV stations sometime soon too that can then be part of the Google adwords offering, errrrr, or maybe not.

  • Looks like they already do,, any thoughts on how that is going for them?

  • If Google could not save the newspaper industry, who can?

    I’d look at it from more of people pushing away from print advertising, than Google failing.

    Dan London’s last blog post..The Old Media Blues

  • @B. Chandra, @Andrew Melchior,

    The press may not be reporting much on what Google is doing in those areas, but for the most part they are always months if not years behind. But if you just contact a rep over there and inquire, they will give you an earful about what they are doing in those areas and the huge advancements they have made. You might be surprised to find that you can already do much of what you are saying here plus some. Purchases like Urchin, Keyhole, Grand Central, YouTube, development of the GPhone, buying up dark fiber, their interest in the white spaces left behind by the DTV move… None of this is drawing lines for you? You don’t seriously think these all were for farts and giggles did you? Targetability and Trackability beyond what anyone else can offer, they are a few handshakes and contracts away to bringing that level of service to bear for any advertising medium you would want.

    Like I said, this shuttering of Google Print Ads just shows that print has no audience to target.

    Terry Howard’s last blog post..Merry Christmas!

  • @T. Howard

    Your point is well taken that Google is placing bets in a number of different areas. What I don’t know is if they’ve made real headway, at least in scope relative to their AdSense/Adwords business. But these are future plays, so the jury will be out for a time.

    Andy- these addition captchas are way too hard! I posted the last one on Yahoo Answers and had to wait a day to hear back the answer 🙂

    B. Chandra’s last blog post..Someone’s idea of humor?

  • None of the above. It’s the design and response by the newspapers.
    I’ve used it and here are the problems:

    1. Newspapers simply will not upgrade how they place ads – they’re dumped onto the pages in blocks without regard for context, competitors and visual interest. Google’s contextual paid ads next to natural search (their “news” content) is completely lost on the newspaper industry.

    2. No run guarantee. Online, your ad always runs and price is determined by placement position and competition for that position. In print, it’s yes or no and hard bargain time. Newspapers are in love with rate cards and won’t let their ad prices float to actual value.

    3. Confused about who the customer is. Who pays the paper’s bills? ALL the money newspapers need is there – they simply price themselves out of the local advertisers they use to survive on.

    3. Bite the hand that feeds them. For smaller clients, I got to run some papers exactly 1X. Client was contacted direct and hijacked by the paper’s inhouse reps. No business for me and no business for Google. After 15 years and millions buying print, I’ve yet to find a paper with an in-house DResponse copywriter – or even an interest in how the campaign went. Guess how many of those are still running ads?

    4. Failure to understand the newspaper’s USP. What other media actually puts something physically into your hands every day? You TOUCH a newspaper, and whatever’s in it or delivered with it.

    Newspapers still work. 60 million read them everyday – but other ad options are maturing. The “only game in town” model is killing them.

  • Yeah, this platform just never really got me that excited. I don’t know why. But good for them that they’re the best at their one trick. lol. And it’s the reason why they’re Google today. That’s not so bad. They do have different versions of their trick though…video, text, banner, search, site targeted… ; )

    Kenney and Kim’s last blog post..The Work From Home Secret Part II