Google Tests Its Hotel Finder As A New Comparison Ad Atop Search Results

google-city-skyscrapers-featured Hotel industry, you're on notice: Google appears to be running a test that places its own Google Hotel Finder at the top of very competitive, hotel-related queries. Search Engine Land reader Alex, who works in the hospitality industry, tipped us to this development and at least one of our SEL editors was able to replicate it on a search for "las vegas hotels." The Hotel Finder ad is listed as a "comparison ad" and is separated very slightly from the regular AdWords listings below it. It occupies premium space at the top of Google's search results and pushes hotel ads and organic lis [...]

Search For Hotels With Google Hotel Finder

google-hotel-finder Forget using Google Maps when you want to find a hotel to stay at for a business trip or family vacation! You can now use Google's Hotel Finder. Google Hotel Finder is a search tool specifically designed to make it easier to find and compare hotels for your trips. The features include: Draw simple shapes to define the neighborhoods (yes, more than one!) that interest you. See popular locations on maps with highlights One click adds hotels to your shortlist, where you can review them easily. See if you will get a good deal by by comparing a hotel’s current price with its typical on [...]

Google Click-To-Call: Keeping It Simple

Google's click-to-call offering has received a lot of attention over the past few months, and for good reason. There is great value in offering advertisers an option to track and monetize mobile Internet-driven phone leads. The model allows mobile consumers searching Google to click on the phone number in an ad to auto-dial the advertiser. In turn, the advertiser is charged the price of an AdWords click. Adding to the interest, in March, Google announced an option for national advertisers to take advantage of click-to-call through phone extensions regardless of the mobile user's location&m [...]

Google Formally Announces New DoubleClick Ad Exchange

DoubleClick's advertising exchange has been in the works since at least 2007 and before Google acquired the company. But this morning Google is formally announcing the new DoubleClick Ad Exchange, which reflects a milestone of technology and platform integration between Google and its DoubleClick unit. Google sees this an an opportunity to attract more display and brand ad dollars online and to boost revenues on that side of the house, where there is much more room for growth than in paid search (at least in the US business). Some version of an "exchange" has been around for awhile at D [...]

Google “TV Ads Online” Dangles Multi-Platform Lure For Brand Advertisers

It's now a cliche to point out that consumer audiences have fragmented. However, once mighty media have seen audiences dwindle over the past five or so years. Accordingly almost all traditional media are struggling, exacerbated by the recession to be sure but caused by the rise of the internet (mobile will fragment audiences further). Many advertising sales channels are trying to respond to the audience fragmentation issue with network and/or multi-platform strategies. Call it an effort to put "Humpty Dumpty back together again." Google for its part had once seen itself as a kind of medi [...]

Interview: Carter Maslan On Google’s Local Business Center Upgrade

Google Maps recently introduced a new user interface for the Local Business Center. There were some issues with the upgrade and Carter Maslan, Google's Director of Product Management for Local, agreed to answer some of my questions about the process in a phone conversation. Below, selected excerpts from our conversation: Mike Blumenthal: What was the goal of the upgrade? What prompted the change? Carter Maslan: We wanted to address usability issues to make it simpler to get through the process and having it flow on a single screen was a big driver. Usability was the main motivator... simpl [...]

Branding Coming To Search In A Big Way

Search has historically been seen as a direct response vehicle and the notion that search is a branding medium has traditionally been met with considerable skepticism by search marketers, albeit somewhat less recently. In an effort to be provocative in moderating the "branding and search" panel at SMX West last month, I said, "Search is much more a branding medium than anything else." When I asked how many people agreed in the audience, only a few hands went up. James Lamberti of comScore then presented evidence to argue that search was in fact a powerful branding medium because of its reach, [...]

Google Pitches Media Buying “Dashboard” To Skeptical Ad Agencies

Many people think that Google is a search engine. That's true, but it's only part of a much larger story that Google is developing. Indeed, the company increasingly sees itself as a diversified media buying platform. Already print newspaper ad buying, radio and TV are integrated, to varying degrees, into AdWords. And last Thursday Google's Tim Armstrong outlined a provocative and much larger vision for the company that would incorporate it more centrally into major ad agencies' media buying and planning processes. Armstrong, who is President, Advertising and Commerce for Google in North Amer [...]

Google Wants To Make TV Ads Less “Annoying”

Google's Campaign Against Bad Commercials from reports Kim Malone, the director of Google AdSense, as saying she wants to make TV ads less "annoying." When Kim Malone was questioned on how Google plans on taking the "non-intrusive" nature of search ads and contextual ads to the TV ad model, she said, "it's going to evolve in a way that is less annoying to you and me." She explains that by "inviting" the user to view your ad, as opposed to forcing them to see the ad, will help. Malone explains that Google video ads are only played when someone actually takes an action to cl [...]

Google Game Ads Patent Sets Off Privacy Debate

Google may use games to analyse net users from The Guardian reports that Google is considering the idea of using gaming behavior to display targeted ads to that user. Privacy advocates are already voicing their distaste for the idea of gleaning information on users based on their gaming behaviors. To me, this is just like the Gmail ad debate, which has died down since they first launched. Google, which is known to be interested in in game ads, has filed a patent application that Bill Slawski explains as: Google looks at ways of determining user information for use in targeting ads, and d [...]

Yahoo To Acquire Right Media; Joins Google In Buying, Rather Than Building, Display Ad Network

Yahoo has announced it will acquire Right Media, which operates an auction-based display ad exchange called Remix Media. The move is widely seen as Yahoo fighting back against Google's recent plans to acquire DoubleClick, which itself is seen as Google jumping more firmly into the display ad network game. Both moves to me underscore how neither players' own existing ad networks have apparently been good enough for their display ambitions. Google has a massive ad network through AdSense. But that's not display! Yes, it is. AdSense has been offering display advertising since May 2004. That' [...]

Google To Acquire DoubleClick For $3.1 Billion

Google Buys DoubleClick for $3.1 Billion from the New York Times has news that Google has reached an agreement to buy DoubleClick for the sum of $3.1 billion. There was speculation in the past that Google and DoubleClick were in talks, so now that has been confirmed. With this purchase, Google now has access to DoubleClick's ad management software and its base of web publishers, advertisers and ad agencies. See also the Google Blog announcement, the press release and related discussion via Techmeme. Postscript From Danny: The purchase also means Google will gain Performics, an internet mark [...]

NY Times Tracks Google’s Traditional Media Efforts

Miguel Helft at the New York Times has a relatively long and interesting article, with some interesting details, that rounds up the status and mixed results (so far) of Google's moves into radio, TV and print newspapers. From my understanding, the print newspaper ads have been the most successful to date. [...]

GOOG Acquisitions: Trendalyzer & Adscape Media

A quick heads-up on two new Google acquisitions. First, Google has announced the purchase of Gapminder's Trendalyzer software. Second, it confirms the purchase of Adscape Media, an in-game advertising company, following rumors of a buy last month. Trendalyzer is software that former owner Gapminder says converts "boring numbers into enjoyable interactive animations." I'm not familiar with the software, but the demo Google has up looks interesting. This appears to be a remnant of an earlier informal partnership between Google and Trendalyzer to display world development informati [...]

Google Ordered To Change AdSense Contract By South Korea’s Watchdog

S. Korean watchdog orders Google to fix unfair contract clauses by Yonhap News (and see longer version here) reports that Google has been ordered to change its AdSense contract to be more publisher friendly. The Fair Trade Commission said the contract is currently enabling Google to "one-sidedly cancel advertisement deals" with publishers. It also raised concerns that the contract provided no payment guarantees. Google said it will revise the contract. [...]

Google Billboard & Google Kiosk Coming?

Clickz columnist Ryan Naraine wrote up some of his thoughts about a Google patent application (Allocating advertising space in a network of displays) that would enable advertising upon electronic displays and billboards in shopping centers and other places, in his article Google Patent Filing Hints at Digital Billboard Ad Network. While New Scientist wrote about the patent filing last week, and I had a writeup on it the day it was published, Ryan does a nice job of providing some context to how this electronic display network might work... Ryan tells us that: If the filing is a sign of th [...]

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