Quigo Makes Noise, Google Listens
Google has revealed that they will soon begin to display the URLs where advertisers' ads are located. If you are and AdWords advertiser, instead of digging through referral strings and raw logs, you will be able to see exactly where your ads are showing up. This will also make it easier to block sites where you don't want your advertisements appearing.
This change comes at the same time AdWords competitor Quigo was featured in a NY Times article all about challenging Google's PPC kingdom. Quigo gives advertisers the option to not only see where their ads are appearing, but also the choice to buy on only specific sites or pages of a site. Quigo seeks to re-establish the advertiser/publisher relationship that AdWords ignores.
In a time when Google, and advertisers, merchants and publishers, are used to setting the playing field, it's interesting to see them backpedaling. Not only offering transparency in where the ads are placed, Google will also soon allow advertisers to bid on contextual ads on specific websites and pages within websites, rather than just buying keywords. Transparency through Quigo offers an added benefit of increased revenue. Advertisers will likely spend more for clicks when they know the ad is running on a high-quality, high-traffic site. Jason Klein, co-chief executive of Special Ops Media, an interactive ad agency said, “With Quigo, you know it’s on ESPN.com, not Joe Schmo’s sports blog. It’s a premium site, and you’re willing to spend more money.”
Kim Malone, director of online sales and operations for Google AdSense doesn't seem worried. "“The David-and-Goliath story is always a great account,” Malone said, “but I think in this case, it’s just not accurate. We have a number of large publishers who have tried out other solutions, and they always come back.”
But perhaps that's because there has not been a viable solution other than AdWords in the past. A few big-name sites have switched to Quigo recently, including ESPN.com, FoxNews.com and Forbes.com.