"This new tool lets you create customized display ads with your own text, images, and logo," said Trevor Claiborne, Google's associate product marketing manager, in a blog post. "You can also change colors and backgrounds. The tool can create ads to fit all possible placements across the Google content network, including video and game placements. The display ad builder is available now to all advertisers in the U.S. and Canada."
While Google dominates the text-based search advertising business, Yahoo has traditionally been stronger in display advertising, which includes banner ads, video ads, and rich media (i.e., Adobe Flash) ads.
According to eMarketer, Google will capture a negligible share of the U.S. display advertising market in 2008, compared with Yahoo's 29.3% share. Google is expected to win 73.5% of the U.S. paid search market this year, compared with Yahoo's 13.3%.
Yahoo's display ad business is one of the main reasons that Microsoft has been, and perhaps still is, interested in acquiring Yahoo.
Google purchased DoubleClick to get into the display ad business. On Thursday, Google put David Rosenblatt, the former CEO of DoubleClick, in charge of its display advertising group.
In a conference call for investors Thursday to announce its third-quarter financial results, Google co-founder Sergey Brin said Google saw lots of opportunities to improve display advertising but acknowledged that his company's efforts would probably take a few years to mature.
Google, he said, has been "working hard on display ads."
Earlier this month, Google began offering a limited number of online game publishers the opportunity to earn ad revenue by participating in a beta test of its AdSense advertising program for games.
During the conference call, Brin said that about 200 million people play online games every week and that Google's network reaches about 10% of them.