On Tuesday, I entered the inner sanctum of one of the richest corporations in the world. A year ago,Google bought its own Eighth Avenue building in NYC, for $1.9 billion. It’s one of the biggest buildings in New York, with 3 million square feet of space. At an event for publishers, the sparkling Google employees, decked out in random colored tee shirts with the event name printed on them were everywhere, helping, replying, sounding enthusiastic about their work. It was an impressive bunch and since the Adsense program brings in 95% of the company’s revenue, we were treated with a lot of respect.
One of the meeting topics was how to use social networks to promote content and how to focus marketing and advertising to mobile users, who are edging up and will soon eclipse the lap-topper or the desk topper. It was sobering for anyone who has been in the business long, seeing the changes that shrink one market while piling up huge opportunities in another. People use their phones which are their right hands, far more than the machines at their desks. iPads have been embraced faster than any other high tech product. This has huge ramifications for those of us who sell advertising for a living.
Such is the state of the very mobile and very 24 hour web. Google has been spending way more researching mobile and thinking about how to make content easiest to view on an iPad or an iPhone or a Galaxy tab of any size. It was clear that these days, even Google cares about customer experience and how it feels, so they made themselves very available, offering answers for me on a variety of questions and offering to email more details if it wash’t sufficient.
Another area where the Google higher ups are studying is how to market retargeting. That is providing readers who are coming from sites that confirm their interest in travel, or motorcycles, or another topic, so sites are paid for anyone who leaves their site and clicks on another site’s ads.
Doubleclick for Publishers—the name always makes me think of chewing gum. It’s Google’s complex way of setting up automated ad serving. I think I’ve got it down now, but without today’s time in person, it would have been very difficult to ever get set up. The room was packed with publishers, all with our own unique questions, and all with their own website that they like me, probably work on night and day. i know we all get a little passionate about our sites, and Google, while the monolith and scarily over extended lord and master of the web, wanted to remind us that they’re all just people too.
It’s a company run by people. The ones who got up earlier than you, got better grades, and now scored a job at the coolest richest employer you could ask for.