Google is beta testing its new site-targeted AdWords feature so that advertisers may pick the websites on which they want their Google ads to appear. According to Google, “Since Google first introduced AdWords, advertisers have asked us for the ability to run their ads on specific websites. Site targeting gives our users that ability, while also allowing their ads to compete for ranking with traditional keyword-targeted AdWords ads. It’s one more tool that AdWords advertisers can use to bring their message to highly-targeted groups of web users.”
Google goes onto say, “Advertisers will create and manage site-targeted campaigns in their normal AdWords account, in the same manner as keyword-targeted campaigns. When first creating any new campaign you’ll decide whether to run site-targeted or keyword-targeted ads. For site-targeted campaigns, you’ll be able to enter the URLs of sites where you’d like to advertise. You’ll also be able to tell us the type of site you’re looking for and we’ll help out by suggesting possible sites from the Google content network.”
This new site-targeted AdWords feature will no doubt be helpful to many advertisers who wish to reach more targeted visitors such as those visitors who come to popular online magazines. The one area that Google has not adequately explained yet is how they intend to battle misuse of this new service. For instance, a popular online Christian magazine running an AdSense campaign is now displaying Google ads with a Christian theme. Suppose that tomorrow an online pharmacy chooses to target Viagra ads to this same site. Will Google filter out this choice? Will the online Christian magazine be able to block certain kinds of ads from running on its website? Or perhaps a politically conservative site wants to stir things up and run and ad on a liberal website? Who gets to choose the acceptability of this content? Inquiring minds want to know.
The positive potential for the new site-targeted AdWords feature is enormous but also is the potential for abuse. Hopefully, Google will make is clear in the coming weeks how it intends to guard against spam in their new service offering. Many AdSense publishers are waiting to see how this will affect them.