Until about five years ago, we used to be good sized advertisers on Adwords. Google abruptly changed their policies, and with very little warning banished us from Adwords and AdSense. Forever. We never really had a good explanation as to why this happened, only some vague references to “hacking and cracking” in their Terms of Service. (We are fully DMCA compliant, so this is quite puzzling – and unfair.) It was more frustrating at the time because our competitors were allowed to continue advertising. And even today, we still see Google ads for competing products. Google even subsidizes RealPlayer, which offers a basic download functionality along with the bloatware (IMO) that makes up the rest of the product. Today – I’ve finally had enough.
At Ad:Tech in San Francisco, I watched an excellent presentation by Susan Wojcicki, Google’s SVP of Advertising, on the future of online ads. After her speech, I cornered her backstage and explained to her that we never really got a fair hearing, and that Google being the #1 advertising platform has a duty to keep an open playing field. She took my card, and promised to get their Policy Team on the case. She wouldn’t give me her contact info, but I know where she works 😉
I’m not optimistic that Google will change for us. I believe the MPAA and other studios pressure Google to block downloading products. That being said, I wonder why the MPAA doesn’t raise a fuss about RealPlayer being bundled with Google Toolbar and Chrome – both of which subsidize Real’s downloads. Our tools are superior, but it’s still a competitor we have to deal with, and having exclusive access to Google’s products in our category gives them an unfair advantage.
Susan Wojcicki – I’m awaiting a reply…
I’m at a SEO conference today, and one of the best presentations was by a group of Google employees on some of the moral and ethical challenges of running a search engine. Matt Cutts – the Google official SEO blogger – was on the panel, as well as a couple of other people.
I was amazed at how a lot of issues come up with how to handle certain Google search results. Some of the panel’s examples were interesting. Should a suicide note left on a web site come up when searching for the victim’s name? Should a white supremacist hate site about Martin Luther King come up in the search results for MLK? Should posts warning about the dangers of vaccinations come up when searching about the safety of vaccines appear – in spite of sound scientific evidence against and the fact that misinformation could cost lives? And in some cases, Google execs in foreign lands have been arrested for videos appearing on YouTube – what does Google do about that? I had no idea.
Another fun aspect of this debate was the search suggestions that Google provides. These mirror what people are actually entering, and aren’t censored or edited at all – in spite of the fact they can be offensive to some. Try entering “asians are b” or “americans are f” and see what Google expects you to type next. It’s both funny and horrifying.
At our family dinner table, I shared this with the kids, and we tried the Search Suggestion game on their names. We tried “Bryce is” and “Laurel is”, and got some hilarious results – both complementary and insulting. Try this with your own kids names for fun!
This is interesting. From Fierce IPTV:
Back in April the industry got a whiff of Google’s future IPTV plans when the company sent out its feelers for IPTV talent: engineers, programmers and product managers. Now, OpenTV, an IPTV middleware company, has announced that its CTO, Vincent Dureau, has joined Google at a “senior engineering role.” Dureau was responsible for developing OpenTV’s key technologies, global business relationships and, in the early days, building its engineering team from scratch.
Most interestingly, Dureau took the lead of OpenTV’s advanced advertising technologies, even penning a white paper that reads: “We believe that addressable advertising, where specific video ads are targeted to specific audiences will become central to advertising on digital television within the next 5 years… advertisers will be ready to pay premium rates to cable operators who can demonstrate increased efficiency of their advertising network through targeting.”
Just last month, two research scientists at Google developed a way for your computer to quickly identify which programs you’re watching on TV and feed you personalized content based on that information. While the scientists harp on the increased personalization aspects of it, you can bet Google has its eye on an advanced advertising platform that repurposes its keyword advertising scheme for TV. Looks like Dureau could be the one spearheading this initiative.
More from the Fierce IPTV blog link.