What Do You Think Of Google's DoubleClick Upgrades?

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What do DoubleClick’s publishing and advertising clients think of the huge changes Google’s announced for the product yesterday?(Among other moves, Google did away with DoubleClick’s DART for Publishers and Google Ad Manager.)

After all the complaints we heard about a month ago, we’d like to know.

In January, we were inundated with complaints from DoubleClick customers saying that Google hadn’t done nearly enough with the company since fully integrating it about a year and a half ago.

One client told us “the atmosphere at DoubleClick is bleak and service to the clients is woeful.”

He went on:

Many very large advertisers and publishers for DFA and DFP have been told by DoubleClick that they will not service their accounts any more and that to stay using these services they will have to look to a third party (Acceleration, a south African company, mainly) to continue using them.

I have also seen the roadmaps for DFA, DFP and Dart search; all of them are bleak, barely worth mentioning. The net result is that almost all DoubleClick’s customers that I know of are in the process of moving their business elsewhere (it takes time).

An executive at one of the top holding companies told us that since it acquired DoubleClick, Google has invested some in the product, but not enough. He complained: “There was a significant advance made by Google last year, the first one in 8 years. It was a re-skin. The back-button works now. “

Looking forward, this exec said Google’s DoubleClick “product road maps are extremely vague and non-fulfilling.”

But then, yesterday, Google published a blog post announcing huge changes to DoubleClick.

So, what do the publishing and agencies types think of the changes? Let us know in the comments or email us at [email protected]

Here’s Google’s blog post:

The next generation of ad serving for online publishers
2/22/2010 08:00:00 AMToday, we’re announcing the next generation of ad serving technology for online publishers — DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP).

For the past few years, we’ve been investing in a suite of solutions — AdSense, ad-serving technology and the DoubleClick Ad Exchange — to help online publishers make the most money possible from their content, whether they sell advertising directly through their own sales force, through an ad network such as AdSense, or a combination of both.

For major online publishers — including social networks and online communities, entertainment sites, e-commerce sites and news sites — managing, delivering and measuring the performance of ads on their websites can be a hugely complicated process. A publisher’s ability to manage this process can have a significant impact on how much money they make from their online content.

Imagine you’re a major online publisher with a popular global surfing website and an ad sales team. Every second of every day, you have difficult decisions about what ads to show and how to measure their relative performance. For example:

  • In the same ad space, a surfboard wax advertiser may want to run a static image ad for your Australian readers, while an airline offering flights to Hawaii may want to run an expandable interactive ad for your American readers.
  • A fast-food restaurant wants to run their burger ads before noon and their pizza ads in the afternoon.
  • You’ve sold 10 different surfboard makers a million ad slots at slightly different prices; now you have to allocate them across your various webpages to fulfil all these orders over the next two weeks.
  • One of your surfing tournament reviews is linked to by a popular news site and you have a surge in traffic. Your sales team couldn’t predict this, so you’re potentially left without any ads for thousands of readers. You want to fill this ad space by selling it via an ad network which has ads available.

This is really just scratching the surface. Managing ad space can involve faxes, emailed orders, the manual scheduling of different ad campaigns across multiple sites and difficult decisions about how to allocate ad space most effectively.

Major online publishers use ad serving technology to manage the complex process of how and when the ads they have sold appear on their websites. In recent years, we’ve invested significantly in our ad serving products — DoubleClick’s DART for Publishers for large publishers and Google Ad Manager for growing publishers. Thousands of major online publishers use these products to serve billions of ad impressions every day.

But we see an opportunity to improve ad serving even further by combining Google’s technology and infrastructure with DoubleClick’s display advertising and ad serving experience. Since we acquired DoubleClick in March 2008, our engineering and product teams have been working with online publishers to tackle the obstacles that prevent them from maximizing revenues from their websites.

The upgraded DFP includes a wide variety of features that will help publishers to get the most value out of their online content:

  • A new interface that has been completely redesigned to save time and reduce errors.
  • Far more detailed reporting and forecasting data to help publishers understand where their revenue is coming from and what ads are most valuable.
  • Sophisticated algorithms that automatically improve ad performance and delivery.
  • A new, open, public API which enables publishers to build and integrate their own apps with DFP, or integrate apps created for DFP by a growing third-party developer community (apps under development today include sales, order management and workflow tools).
  • Integration with the new DoubleClick Ad Exchange’s “dynamic allocation” feature, which maximizes revenue by enabling publishers to open up their ad space to bids from multiple ad networks. Dynamic allocation is described in this document [PDF].

DFP comes in two flavours, tailored for different publishers’ needs: DoubleClick for Publishers, for the largest online publishers, and DFP Small Business, a simple, free version designed for growing online publishers. We’ll be upgrading current DART for Publishers publishers to DoubleClick for Publishers over the next year as we continue to add features and modules, and we’ll be moving Google Ad Manager customers to DFP Small Business in the coming weeks.

To reflect our continued investment in DoubleClick’s products, as well as the central role of DoubleClick’s technology products within Google’s display advertising business, we’re also today unveiling some changes to the DoubleClick logos — including typeset changes, incorporating a new “by Google” theme and retiring the “DART” brand.

The upgraded DoubleClick for Publishers is a perfect example of our continuing innovation in this area, and we believe that it will add significant value to online publishers’ content. You can read more about the features of the upgraded DFP on the DoubleClick blog and on the DFP website.

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