Weldon Johnson, who owns and operates LetsRun.com — he calls it “the largest independent running website in the world,” — says he’s very happy Google (GOOG) will ditch Google Ad Manager as a part of its recent display advertising business refresh. Weldon wrote us an email to explain. In it, he says, “it was a poorly supported product and had a lot of holes on the edges.” His specific complaints were:
- It was too hard to show advertisers reports.
- Google Ad Manager analytics differed from DoubleClick analytics.
- Unlike rival OpenX, GAM required code to be included in the header of every page
Here’s Weldon’s whole email:
Personally, I’m glad to see the upgrade.
Google Ad Manager (GAM) has a lot of nice features but it was a poorly supported product and had a lot of holes on the edges. It did not seem to be designed for mainstream use but rather seemed to be a product designed by Google engineers who did not use the product everyday.
Simple things in GAM are not simple to do. For example, something as simple as letting an advertiser see reports on their ads was a very difficult process. You think it would just entail having a login and a password. But not in GAM. I kept thinking “with just a few hours of work this thing could be so much more user friendly”, but I see now Google was perhaps putting its priorities elsewhere.
I figure the product can only get better. I’m hoping the new DoubleClick product takes GAM and makes it more usable and friendly to smaller advertisers which will help publishers.
Personally, we prefer GAM over OpenX for one reason, and that is in GAM you can set a floor price and have Google Adsense serve ads if they beat this price. Google said its Doubleclick Ad Exchange was not a part of this bidding but I’m not sure if this was accurate. Hopefully now it will be. The bidding however, let us only serve Adsense if it was paying a decent amount. A problem with AdSense is it will always serve an ad (and does not default elsewhere). Now we could tell it to only serve an ad if it paid a certain amount. If it didn’t we could elect to not serve an ad or serve one from another network. There is no point to have a race to the bottom.
Also, I’m hoping with GAM now being a DoubleClick product their no longer will be a discrepancy between GAM counts and DoubleClick counts. I’ve seen consistent discrepancies of 8% which are too high.
Another problem with GAM which may have prevented more widespread use that was not in other products like OpenX was that code had to be included in the header of every page in addition to where you want the ad to appear. I’m sure there are engineering reasons for this, but it’s not very user friendly.