Two giants recently got married: Google and Nike have partnered to launch Joga an online community for football fans “by invitation only”. Since it applies the same concept of Gmail, I cannot exactly tell you what the site is about (I haven’t been invited in yet . But I can unveil (?!) the site will be available in 14 languages. The site is the next step in Nike’s Joga Bonito campaign on the way to Germany 2006. A series of short videos (by Wieden & Kennedy) is also part of the effort.
Something funny happened today on my Italian blog (see below). I know it isn’t really strange nor unusual, it’s just curious to point out.
Since the introduction of text-based advertising from Google a few years ago, the usage of pop-ups has started to decline. As the IHT writes, thanks to Google, there are no more monkeys to punch.“Without intending to do so, the company set multilateral disarmament in motion by telling its first advertisers in 2000: Text only, please. No banner ads, no images, no animation. Just simple words.”
Among the online marketing agencies, Avenue A/Razorfish, says that about 30 percent of the more than $400 million advertising budget from its clients will be spent this year in text ads on search pages.
Reuters reports Google has launched a new feature which will allow advertisers to sign up for AdWords ads directly on the site the want to advertise on. The feature is called “Onsite Advertiser Sign-up” and will surely advertisers looking for niche audiences. As Gary Stein, analyst at Jupiter Research points out, Google’s move is a clear sign that the competition is getting fiercer in this sector, and the search engine wants to keep its existing powerful position through the AdSense program. Also, from the Onsite Advertiser Sign-up program we can also see that adverising on niche sites such as blogs, for example, is becoming more and more important in media plans. I still haven’t seen the feature in action, but I definitely look forward to see how it works.
If someone wins, someone else has to loose: the consideration is rather obvious. This is what is happening in the online advertising industry, where Google and Yahoo are experiencing an extraordinary revenue growth “stealing” the adverting money from the potential revenue of traditional media companies. An article on Informationweek reports the two giants are “diverting advertising revenue established information companies.” This is basically the result of an evolution in the market: advertisers look for alternative ways of promotion and search engine and contextual advertising prove to be rather efficient and cost-effective. Unfortunately (as readers) we already know what is going to happen if information site won’t get enough money from advertising: they will start charging for the content (and the NYT is about to launch subscription based articles).
At the end of April Google’s AdSense program started serving graphic banners in addition to the sponsored links service. Furthermore, AdSense advertisers now have the possibility to select the sites where they want their contextual ads to be served. Le Journal du Net (in French) has interviewed some French marketers to find out what they think about the new services.
According to Nielsen//Netratings Google is the leader among search engines, but users have started using other major engines also. A new research (opens .pdf) only a small number of users use only one search engines. Nielsen//Netrating explains that 58 percent of Google searchers also visited at least one of the other top two search engines, MSN Search and Yahoo! Search, showing that even though Google’s market share is dominant today, there is significant opportunity for its competitors to grow.
The issue is hot, even if players in the industry try to hide its relevance. Financial Times writes today that companies advertising on the Google keyword search engine are becoming increasingly concerned about the practice of “click fraud”. The problem isn’t new (see Adverblog, Sept. 29) and the pressure on Google (and Overture) is growing, since more and more companies are seeing their daily advertising budget vanishing in a few hours. Oscar Jenkins, chief executive of Dynmark, a company that sells bulk text messaging services says about PPC advertising:“When it works, it works really well. But the whole system is based on underlying honesty. Once that is undermined, the whole thing falls apart like a house of cards.”
On Editor & Publisher Carl Sullivan presents an interview with Google co-founder Sergey Brin. Five questions and five answers to talk about online contextual advertising with a specific look at how the newspaper industry is taking advantage of this solution.
Last week Google knocked out another competitor by acquiring Sprinks online advertising network. On CNET News.com Stefanie Olsen analyses Google’s present and future business strategies. Content-targeting ads still need to be improved: according to Forrester Research, response rates to content-targeted ads are about one-fifth that of search-related ads.