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Google Renovates Ad Platform

The company's DoubleClick advertising technology, originally a tool for large publishers, is now also available for small publishers.
Google on Monday introduced DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP), a revamped version of its ad serving technology for large publishing companies.

Google also said that a streamlined version of its ad delivery platform, called DFP Small Business, is available for smaller publishers and will replace its previous small business offering, Google Ad Manager.

In effect, Google has completed integrating the technology it acquired through its $3.1 billion purchase of DoubleClick, a deal announced in 2007 and completed in 2008 that gave Google a foothold in the online display ad business.

"DFP comes in two flavors, tailored for different publishers' needs: DoubleClick for Publishers, for the largest online publishers, and DFP Small Business, a simple, free version designed for growing online publishers," said Google VP of product management Neal Mohan in a blog post. "We'll be upgrading current DART for Publishers publishers to DoubleClick for Publishers over the next year as we continue to add features and modules, and we'll be moving Google Ad Manager customers to DFP Small Business in the coming weeks."

Google also has a third ad serving product, AdSense, which provides automated ad serving for publishers and Web site owners who don't want to take an active role in ad management on their Web sites.

DFP arrives with a redesigned user interface, more detailed reporting capabilities, algorithms designed to improve ad delivery and performance, a new public API for third-party developers, and integration with DoubleClick's Ad Exchange. Ad Exchange is a real-time display ad space auction, which allows DFP users to receive bids for unsold ad space from multiple ad networks.

"If you had any question that dynamically-served advertising -- along the lines of what the industry has grown up with in search -- is the future of all advertising, then wonder no longer," said Mark Simon, VP of industry relations at Didit, an online marketing company, in an e-mail. "Google has understood that for years; and it's wise of Google to keep at the lead of that trend, as all marketing channels become more sophisticated and intertwined."

Simon says that Microsoft is in an excellent position in the display ad space, thanks to its 2007 purchase of AdECN. If Microsoft responds, he says, it may be through deepening its alliance with Yahoo, which remains strong in the display ad arena. The two companies, through they have partnered in search advertising, remain competitors in display advertising, he says.

"The possible synergies there could create 'MicroHoo' competition to Google on the display ad front, in the same way it's creating competition to Google on the search front," Simon said.

Simon argues that the movement toward dynamic, automated media buying may eliminate traditional media buying models before too long, a trend likely to make ad management and analytics tools and expertise even more valuable.