Google Updates Publisher Ad Server

Google is taking the wraps off its new publisher-side ad platform, combining its technologies with DoubleClick’s systems.

DoubleClick for Publishers melds DART for Publishers and Google Ad Manager. The combined product is designed to ease the complexity publishers face in serving ads, managing ad network relationships and maximizing revenue from inventory sold directly and through ad nets or exchanges.

Google paid $3.1 billion to acquire DoubleClick in April 2007.

New features include an open API that lets publishers tie in third-party applications like forecasting and workflow tools, integration with the DoubleClick Ad Exchange and new yield-optimization features.

“We want to build as much horsepower into the core system, but we don’t want to close it off where other technologies can’t tap into that horsepower,” said Neal Mohan, vp of product management at Google.

Mohan said DFP, thanks to Google’s vast computing power, allows publishers to process “hundreds of times more data elements than any product in the past. It allows our publishers to slice and dice their inventory, their demand, their ads and their campaigns in a way to pull kernels of insights to act on.”

DoubleClick has been the dominant player in ad serving. But the field for publishers has since gotten more complex, as they juggle how to make the most money from ad space they don’t sell directly. Companies like Pubmatic, AdMeld and The Rubicon Project have emerged to help publishers decide whether to dispose of non-guaranteed inventory via ad networks or through new ad exchanges, such as Google’s DoubleClick Ad Exchange.

Google is betting publishers will want the simplicity of a single provider to manage their inventory and provide monetization options through either its AdSense ad network or the DoubleClick exchange. Its competitors argue that publishers should be wary of using Google technology that might steer them into handing inventory over to Google.

Google’s technology isn’t biased in that direction, Mohan said, since it only gives publishers data they can use to control how their inventory is allocated.

“We know that 80 percent of our publishers’ revenue come from what they can sell on the direct sales side,” he said. “We know their success is important to the entire Web ecosystem. We take that very seriously.”

Google said large publishers would have their DART systems upgraded to DFP over the year. Google will also move small publishers off Ad Manager to DFP.

Google said it would stop using the DART brand, marking the end of the road for a name synonymous with ad serving since 1997.

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