Google and Blogger: The Advertising Angle
OK, so there have been at least 5000 stories about Google buying Blogger. What does this mean to the advertising industry? A lot.
Blogger is the software tool behind weblogs. Weblogs, for simplicity's sake, are online diaries/content sites that focus on topic specific info. It takes the niche approach to targeting to the extreme. Two good examples of this "nanopublishing" approach are Gawker and Gizmodo. As an advertiser, how do you reach these very small but very focused audiences? You could use a service called blogads which is designed to place ads on weblogs but each buy has to be placed specifically on each site. I like blogads. I am considering using it on Adrants. But is a scale issue. How does an advertiser easily target that fast changing, fast moving topic matter that is the cornerstone of the blogosphere (term used to describe the weblog world)?
Google. Google is the answer. Google indexes the web. Google indexes weblogs. Google categorizes weblogs. Google will, no doubt, begin to index weblog activity in real time so that as soon as an entry is made, it is in Google's database. Google sells advertising in the form of paid links and Adwords. Paid links are the text links you see at the top of search results. Adwords are the boxes you see on the right and are placed based on click-through.
I envision a Google page that would show blog headlines and perhaps the first paragraph of each entry. Almost like Google News in fact. Call is Bloogle News, Glogger News. Pick your name. Perhaps it's a separate page. Perhaps it is integrated seamlessly into Google News as it would be in Google Search Results. Typical sponsorship could be purchased on those pages not unlike the links you see (on search result pages) already.
The interesting thing would be if Google extended this advertising network out to every weblog (not just Blogger weblogs, although undoubtedly, they will be first) so that based on Google's unique search and categorization abilities, paid links and Adwords, or some yet to be launched ad format could be seamlessly placed on weblogs that matched with the advertisers criteria. Ads would be trafficked based on either keyword relevance or by specific weblog as requested by the advertiser.
Sure, it isn't much different then an ad network buy but it's weblogs we are talking about and weblogs are the new content format of the web. Every conceivable topic is covered in real time. In fact, the announcement of Google buying Blogger was all over every weblog two days before the major news web sites picked it up. The fact is that weblogs move faster then typical web sites do. They are more relevant. It won't be long, though, before big media catch on to this.
I'm no advertising superhero or a publishing prodigy but it sure seems like there is some incredible potential here that is waiting to be unleashed. It fascinates me. Someone please tell me if there is anything to this idea or if I should just pack up and call it quits.