Google Getting Into Local Ads – Big Time; Everybody Is Using DSPs; Defining The View-Through

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Local Ads And GroupOn

It appears the rumors of Google buying daily deals company GroupOn are coming true as All Things D’s Kara Swisher reports that the price tag may swell to $5.3 billion with an earnout for company types of $700 million. Read more. Hey, who cares about the earnout, people? Just leave with the $4.6 billion! … No no.. I didn’t say that. Swisher comments on the deal, “If done, it will move the search giant instantly to the top spot in local commerce online and give it huge troves of data about consumer buying habits and merchant information across the globe.” Data, data, data. Read Wall Street analyst reaction on the WSJ Digits blog.

Display Ads In Apps

Hey, don’t forget about app marketing.  I thought it was mobile marketing umbrella, but apparently it isn’t as Rob Weber takes readers through metrics  of successful display ads in apps, “Free casual games dominate the top 25 percent in performance, typically having the highest click-through and conversion rate (often two times higher than other free apps). Their conversion rates range from 3 percent to 18 percent (small banner sizes tend to perform lower).” Read all about it.

Everybody Using DSPs

Tell it to me, brother. Emarketer cobbles together some data from research by STRATA and among the stats 20% of surveyed, agency respondents said they use demand-side platforms (DSPs) to buy online advertising. Geez – that’s not bad. Furthermore, Emarketer analyst David Hallerman writes, “The display advertising market is showing continued intense growth, with a projected 14% increase in 2011. That gain will be partially due to real-time bidding, which will make monetizing more pages easier for publishers. Furthermore, the growth of real-time bidding is also partially due to brand marketers’ increased interest in buying display advertising.”Read more.

They Know Pixel-Free

The Wall Street Journal’s Julia Angwin picks up the What They Know baton and discusses the pixel-free technology of Akamai. Referencing the ability of Akamai to leverage its content delivery network, she writes, “But instead of using pixels to monitor Web users as they move from page to page within a website, Akamai can simply view those users’ movements directly. So it doesn’t need to get pixels on every page.” Read more. In another WSJ WTK article, Angwin looks at BlueCava and fingerprinting technology. She also notes, “This week, the Federal Trade Commission is expected to release a privacy report calling for a “do-not-track” tool for Web browsers.” Read more.

Privacy-Violating Information Flows

A new online behavioral advertising study has been released by researchers at the University of California-San Diego which it says shows, “Several popular sites, including Alexa global top-100 sites, use privacy-violating flows to extract information about users’ browsing behavior. Our findings show that steps must be taken to mitigate the privacy threat.” Forbes writer Kashmir Hill covers the paper (PDF) which she says found that some web sites look at users’ browsing histories, “The popular finance website MorningStar was one of those that made the list of sites that run the script to check to see where else their visitors have been; its site checked to see if someone has been to, Edmunds, and 46 others. I did some digging to find out why they were running the script and what was being done with the data.” Read about it.

Attribution Still Sucks

iCrossing’s Dax Hamman cranks out another digital missive on his personal blog and re-visits a favorite topic of attribution modeling. He’s still bummed out that the “click” has not been replaced. And, he thinks he knows what’s causing the problem, “The continuing barrier is organizational behavior, and an unwillingness to change. I see two reasons why this might be the case, the first being about the level of accuracy that is possible, and the expectation of what level is acceptable or valuable.” Read more.

EU Considers Anti-Trust Calls Against Google

The European Union has opened anti-trust hearings in regards to Google reports The New York Times. The NYT says, “The investigation by the European Commission follows complaints from smaller Web businesses, which claim that Google downgraded their sites in its search results to weaken potential competitors for advertising. The commission said it would also look into whether Google might have given its Web services ‘preferential placement’ in search results.” Read more. In The Register, Yahoo! Chief Economist Preston McAfee chimes in on the Google anti-trust question: “[Google] is not [just] a small part of overall commerce [on the web]. That’s a normal antitrust defense. Whenever there are soft-drink mergers, they want to include milk [in the their market].” Read it.

Defining The View-Through

Domenic Tassone offers some good resources on attribution and view-throughs. He also offers an opinion: “Curiously absent from the ongoing discussion is what viewthrough inherently represents: measurable incremental value from an affirmative self-directed post-exposure response. With just syndicated panels and qualitative market research to divine results, traditional electronic media could never quantify this.” Read more.

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