Google isn't wasting any time leveraging its newest asset. After officially closing the $3.1 billion DoubleClick acquisition earlier this week, the company rolled out a new product: Google Ad Manager.
Ad Manager is a free hosted ad- and inventory-management tool that publishers can use to sell, schedule, deliver and measure their directly sold and network-based ad inventories. The new tool is currently in beta.
Google Senior Product Manager Rohit Dhawan said the tool helps publishers address the challenge of effectively managing their inventory and ensuring all their clients' ads appear on time. Google Ad Manager is looking for a niche with publishers who have small sales teams.
Different From AdSense
"Google Ad Manager effectively complements the DoubleClick Revenue Center, which is focused on publishers with larger sales teams ... we're committed to the continued development and enhancement of DoubleClick's offerings," Dhawan wrote in the Google blog.
Ad Manager is different from putting AdSense code into a site. The new tool is based on DART, the platform that powers DoubleClick. Ad Manager's tagging process lets publishers spend more time working with their advertisers and less time on their ad-management solution, Dhawan said. By providing detailed inventory forecasts and tracking at a small level, he wrote, Ad Manager helps publishers maximize sell-through rates.
Dozens of publishers have been using Ad Manager successfully in early trials, according to Google. But since the product is still in beta, it is available to publishers by invitation only. DoubleClick customers will not be affected.
The technology world has been so focused on the regulatory issues surrounding the DoubleClick acquisition that there hasn't been much talk about the products Google might roll out after the merger. Ad Manager is the first of what advertisers may see come out of the DoubleClick integration, according to Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT Research.
"The quick appearance of this new service may be an indication of how well matched the two companies' offerings are to begin with. Ad Manager isn't the sort of product that occurred to Google after it announced its intention to acquire the company," King said. "This has probably been on the drawing board since before the deal was publicly discussed. Now that the acquisition is complete, Google was prepared to roll it out very quickly -- in less than 72 hours after the deal closed."
Microsoft vs Google
King called Google a "smart company" that leads its market space because it stays ahead of the curve with new services that other companies either aren't offering or that work better than what's on the market. Google's innovation, he added, is a litmus test for other companies, including Microsoft and Yahoo. While Microsoft and Yahoo both have a brilliant brain trust, he continued, neither have been able to marshal their energies against Google.
"One of the reasons Microsoft has been contemplating this merger with Yahoo is because it wants to join forces against Google, the common competitor," King said. "A Google challenger is probably not going to come in the form of a start-up company. It would take the efforts of an organization with some muscle and financial resources. Yahoo and Microsoft together could be that company."