Google Expands into Newspaper Ads

Google has begun a program that would allow its advertisers to place print ads in over 50 daily newspapers via its Web site. A relatively small group of 100 or so advertisers would be able to bid on ads in several major dailies.

This would later be expanded to the hundreds of thousands of advertisers on the Google AdWords network, giving many the opportunity to extend their promotional efforts into print, a process that otherwise would be too daunting.

So far, the effort has been welcomed by publishers, who in the trial include heavyweights The New York Times, Washington Post, and Boston Globe. Most have suffered from a decrease in revenues through sinking circulation and weaker advertising sales.

The advertisers would be able to select from various ad sizes and which papers they would like to advertise in, along with the text and artwork they would like to use. However, the publishers themselves would retain final editorial control, Google notes.

Ad space in 28 magazines has been available through Google's print ad service since February. Demand for the service has been slow, and its not immediately clear if the expansion to newspapers may help to spur interest.

However, unlike the magazine ad program, Goolgle is not auctioning off space from a pre-bought ad space inventory, executives say.

During the test, Google will take no additional fee above the costs associated with placing the ad. Executives say the company will eventually take a commission on ads sold.

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