Peter Kafka

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Google (Finally) Finishes Swallowing Up DoubleClick, Announces That It’s Serious About Display

Google announced plans to buy DoubleClick for $3 billion three years ago and finally closed on the deal a year later. Now the search giant has finally overhauled the display advertising company to its liking. Get ready for big stuff.

That’s the translation behind Google’s announcement this morning that it has upgraded its ad-serving platforms for publishers, by combining two related businesses: Its home-grown Google Ad Manager and Doubleclick’s Dart system.

Google’s statement (full text below) doesn’t have a lot of details, and those that are there won’t mean much if you’re not in the ad tech world.

If you are, the news that Google has fully integrated DoubleClick with its infrastructure will be meaningful because you can expect innovations and features to start rolling out in future weeks and months. Neal Mohan, Google’s VP of product management, says his team has already invested “thousands and thousands of engineering hours” in the upgrade.

In the near term, Google’s announcement also has a direct impact on start-ups like Rubicon and PubMatic, whose core business is built on helping publishers sell their inventory to multiple ad networks.

Google (GOOG) has more or less ignored that business for some time, but now the company is boasting that it can handle those duties in addition to a suite of other services. Translation: That’s a cute business you guys have built over there. We’ll be taking it now.

Perhaps it’s not a coincidence, then, that Rubicon made an oblique announcement last week that was more or less an attack on Google.

Here’s the full text of Google’s announcement:

Google releases its next-generation ad serving platform for publishers

Key points

  • Google announces upgraded ad serving platform, DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP)
  • Part of a full suite of products to help publishers maximize online advertising revenues
  • New DoubleClick logo unveiled

Today, as part of its efforts to help online publishers maximize advertising revenues from their website content, Google announced its upgraded ad serving platform for publishers–DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP).

DFP is a single platform that upgrades and will replace Google’s existing ad serving products: DoubleClick’s DART for Publishers and Google Ad Manager. The upgraded DFP combines Google’s technology and infrastructure with DoubleClick’s display advertising and ad serving experience.

For larger online publishers, managing, delivering and measuring the performance of ads can be a hugely complicated process. Major online publishers (including social networks, entertainment sites, portals and news sites) use ad serving to manage the complex process of how and when the ads they have sold appear on their websites.

Neal Mohan, Vice President of Product Management at Google, said:

“Google wants to help online publishers make the most money possible from their content. The upgraded DFP is part of our suite of products that are designed to help online publishers maximize their advertising revenues. Ad serving is the machinery that powers the online advertising world, so improving that technology can put a lot of money in publishers’ pockets. This upgraded platform is another major milestone in our continuing investment in the display advertising ecosystem.”

The upgraded DFP is part of Google’s suite of products–also including AdSense and the DoubleClick Ad Exchange–to help online publishers maximize their advertising revenues across all their ad space, whatever their size and however they choose to sell their ad space.

It includes a wide variety of key features that will help enable publishers to get the most value out of their online content:

  • A new interface that has been completely redesigned to save time and reduce errors.
  • Far more detailed reporting and forecasting data to help publishers understand  where their revenue is coming from and what ads are most valuable.
  • Sophisticated algorithms that automatically improve ad performance and delivery.
  • A new, open, public API which enables publishers to build and integrate their own apps with DFP, or integrate apps created for DFP by a growing third-party developer community (apps under development today include sales, order management and workflow tools).
  • Integration with the new DoubleClick Ad Exchange’s “dynamic allocation” feature, which maximizes revenue by enabling publishers to open up their ad space to bids from multiple ad networks. Dynamic allocation is described in this document [pdf].

DFP comes in two flavors, tailored for different publishers’ needs:

  • DFP–for larger online publishers, to which current DART for Publishers customers will be upgraded over the next year.
  • DFP Small Business–a simple, free version designed for growing online publishers, to which we will be migrating Google Ad Manager customers.

To reflect Google’s continued investment in DoubleClick’s products and the central role of DoubleClick’s technology products within Google’s display advertising business, Google is also today unveiling some changes to the DoubleClick logos–including typset changes, incorporating a new “by Google” theme, and retiring the “DART” brand.

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