Righthand Search Ads Are No More On Google; The Murky Future Of Publicis

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Google’s Ad Load

Google will stop serving paid search ads on the righthand side of its query page. The search giant says the new layout, which adds a fourth paid ad above organic search results, improves advertiser ROI. It’s also interested in a cohesive cross-channel approach even if that means disrupting desktop search. “The big question becomes: Will the increase in CPCs make up for the decrease in revenue from having fewer ads for searchers to click on above the fold?” asks DigitasLBI VP Brian Valentini. “I think this is a big gamble on Google’s part, but it does provide a seamless ad and search experience across mobile, tablet and desktop devices.” More at MediaPost.

View From The Top

What are the odds of Publicis being acquired, asks Noreen O’Leary at Adweek. The company was among the bigger losers of last year’s agency pitchapalooza, losing key clients and forcing painful cutbacks. Some predict a hostile bid, but most see redundancy and weight. “Publicis is a bit of a mess right now. In a bizarre way it’s like a multibillion-dollar fixer-upper,” said one investment observer. And word on the street is the holding company is ramping up a considerable new internal investment in programmatic.

Loosening Up

Facebook will allow select publishers to promote sponsored and branded video content without demanding a cut, something it’s been very strict about in the past. “The ‘presented by’ stuff has always been a tough one for Facebook. For a while, it was 100 percent against policy to run co-sponsor messages,” Chris Gomersall, CEO of digital agency Atomized, tells Digiday’s Garett Sloane. The decision to ease up on sponsored content policies will in turn attract top publishing partners. Essentially, Facebook is willing to lose a tiny slice of sponsored content revenue in order to gain an edge against YouTube in the land grab for premium video. More.

Data Center Merger

Data center giant Equinix, which has an ad tech business, will buy European competitor TelecityGroup for $3.3 billion. Equinix’s Ad-IX platform has dozens of exchange partners who use it to ensure high-performance for RTB auctions. In a 2014 AdExchanger interview, SVP Robert Blackburn describes a mobile ad exchange that only completed 1.3 billion out of 1.8 billion bids in a day. About 500 million “don’t make it back within the [accepted] window of time,” he said. Data speed = programmatic revenue. Read the merger FAQ.

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