Google just announced a new tool called Ad Planner – a research and media planning tool that connects advertisers & publishers, and helps identify the best places to buy ads online. Media planners can now enter demographics and sites associated with your target audience, and the tool will return information about sites that are likely to be visited by their target demographic.
The tool, which isn’t a complete surprise to the industry, will compete with established leaders in the web measurement space – ComScore and Nielsen. While these services base their estimates on surveys or customer panels, Google’s web measurement results will be based on data collected from servers, which should provide a deeper picture of Internet behavior. As is the case with the majority of Google offerings, the tool is free which should help to attract additional advertising business. Since the tool is new, it’s currently available by invitation only.
The announcement of this tool did draw the attention of critics. With Google already controlling a good chunk of online advertising pie, some advertising executives are uncomfortable with placing more power into the company’s hands. One senior executive was quoted as saying “For an advertiser, the last thing you want to do is to have your adviser be the same person you are spending your money with.”