Thursday, January 27, 2005

Google unveils AdWords API

Here is the AdWords API page and here is the actual API reference. (via Battelle). I guess they don't have an AdSense API, contrary to previous speculation. This makes more sense. The AdWords API sounds like an ad monitoring / ad generation tool; basically makes the process more efficient. An AdSense API would really screw with their business model fundamentally. I'll be keeping my eye out for more details.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Google ad API

Google is coming out with an API for AdWords and AdSense (via Searchblog). Details are sketchy, but here is a summary from Silicon Valley Watcher:
    For the first time, the search giant will provide its advertisers with an application programming interface (API), which will enable them to link their computer systems with Google and control parts of the mammoth Google ad delivery system. The API will allow advertisers to self-administer the delivery, the timing and the price they will pay for their text ads.
    The Google API is only available to advertisers and not to online publishers carrying Google ads.
One key question: Will advertisers be able to exclude specific sites from their ad delivery? The implications are enormous.

If the answer is yes, advertisers will now have direct control over their traffic. This ability will help them detect and act against fraudulent clicks in real-time, without appealing to Google's bureaucracy. It will also give them more leverage with Google, in terms of shaping security and content-delivery policy.

Let's consider a hypothetical here. Advertisers may decide they don't trust certain behavioral segments of web traffic. So they say, for example, "exclude domain". Google's publisher base will tend to erode under these conditions. The survivors will be large, trusted publishers with a name and audience. But where is Google's competitive advantage in such a market? The point is, giving advertisers control over ad delivery undermines Google's unique strength - leveraging large data sets and broad traffic patterns. If Google gives this up, it will face tough competition from people who are already exploring alternative ad models like,,

But it's not clear that this functionality will be present in the API. We'll just have to wait and see.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Google click fraud update

There's an interesting Slashdot discussion about a Newsweek article on click fraud. Well, this is finally getting some more attention. But, investors still don't seem to get the message. Google's stock is back up to 194 from its short hiatus in the 170s. This, even though the AdSense program is essentially a giant scam which will collapse in the next couple of years. This would be catastrophic for Google. Their 2004 Q3 financial release states:
    Revenue generated on Google’s partner sites, through AdSense programs, contributed $384.3 million, or 48 percent of total revenue, a 120 percent increase over the Network revenue generated in the same quarter last year.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Google's weird math

I did a Google search for the word "blog", limited within the past 3, 6, and 12 months. The number of hits for each time period are as follows:
In the past...Hits
3 months20,400,000
6 months19,400,000
12 months21,900,000

What's wrong with this picture? Well, the hit number for 6 months doesn't make any sense. How could more pages have been updated in the past 3 months than have been in the past 6 months? Is there something going on that I'm not getting?

UPDATE (01/14/2005): I just ran the search again today and the numbers are different this time (expected), but a discrepancy still exists - this time in the 6 month vs. 12 month results. 3 months :20,300,000 6 months :22,200,000 12 months:18,900,000 I'm just baffled as to what mechanism would yield these results.