Digital Transformation

How Google became an indispensable part of the ad buying process

In an interview with TechRepublic, Adweek's Josh Sternberg talked about how advertisers depend on tech giants like Google and Facebook to target potential customers.

"Google knows what users are interested in," Adweek's tech editor Josh Sternberg told TechRepublic's Dan Patterson. "You put a search into Google and you're going to come up with relevant topics based off of rankings of these pages. Advertisers can buy rankings. And on Facebook, advertisers know what you've indicated that you're interested in by liking certain things or what your friends are interested in."

Watch the full interview above, or read the transcript below:

Patterson: Facebook, Google, are the lion's share of programmatic ads. Google really pioneered this over 15 years ago, but how do these two companies interoperate with each other and how do they interoperate with advertisers, and how do advertisers look at them? Do they see them differently or are they just different methods of acquiring audience?

Sternberg: All of the above. Google knows what users are interested in. You put a search into Google and you're going to come up with relevant topics based off of rankings of these pages. Advertisers can buy rankings. And on Facebook, advertisers know what you've indicated that you're interested in by liking certain things or what your friends are interested in.

SEE: Why product placement ads could come to the Amazon Echo very soon (TechRepublic)

One is a signal for curiosity and one is a signal for relationship. Now there's a third company that is going to be the big fish real soon. And that's Amazon, because they know what people bought. For an advertiser, that's really important, because you know what people are spending their money on. Brands are looking at Facebook and Google as, in a way, a means to an end. Facebook touches two out of every seven people on the planet. That's a scaling reach you cannot get anywhere else, and Google's so entrenched in our daily lives. Again, you're not going to get the information that you can get elsewhere.

Google also has built an advertising technology stack that has its fingers all across the board. Publishers and agencies and brands are looking very closely at how, to your point, the interoperability of Google could help them with their marketing goals on an advertiser agency side, and whether it's traffic goals or whatever other goals that the publisher needs to get through Google.

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About Dan Patterson

Dan is a Senior Writer for TechRepublic. He covers cybersecurity and the intersection of technology, politics and government.

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