I can’t help but feel that Google is becoming more about shareholders than users and advertisers. Half of the services that are reported on daily will never be used by most users. As for advertisers, print ads are just as pointless. The latest announcement by Google to sell ads in newspapers made a big splash in the news and on Wall Street but it will make little difference for advertisers. Here are 3 good reasons why:
- Remember Google Print Ads for magazines? Yeah…where did that service go?
- Print advertising is about brand building. Trust me, I know. As an editor of the only print publication for the SEM industry, I am forced to hammer this point in every day. Unlike pay-per-click, print ads will not give you instant results. But in the long run they can help you build your brand recognition and that’s what it’s all about. If I’m having trouble explaining this to our advertisers, consider how much trouble Google will have explaining this same point to their 400,000 AdWords advertisers.
- Newspapers usually don’t know how much ad space they are going to have until the last moment. The company seems to realize this because it is buying ad space in bulk and is planning to resell it. The problem here is that it will be impossible to automate the process. Google will be forced to serve as a middleman all the time. Naturally, this prospect won’t make a lot of newspapers happy. Why would it? They wouldn’t want Google setting their prices.
There is one area, however, where Google might have some success and that’s classified ads.
So if Google aims at creating some buzz and inflating itself to look better on Wall Street, they might just succeed. But if they are serious about giving advertisers more media to work with, the company should look elsewhere.