Google made their “Google Ad Manager” (beta) public, and anyone with AdSense account is able to access the Ad Manager now. Google Ad Manager is a free, and it is a hosted ad and inventory management tool that can help publishers sell, schedule, deliver and measure their directly-sold and network-based ad inventory.
It is suppose to help publisher spend less time with ad management so that they can focus more on building contents for their web site or working with their advertisers.
Here is the official announcement from Google: Inside AdSense: Ad serving for everyone
Original announcement in early 2008: Official Google Blog:
Our solutions for ad serving
Apparently, this Ad Manager is a complement to the DoubleClick Revenue Center, which focuses more on smaller sales/publishers.
What I find very interesting is that Ad Manager integrates well with Ad Sense (contextual ad serve). Additionally, publisher is able to create ad slots, define placements, define custom attributes for better targeting, and manage orders/inventories.
According to Google’s blog, it says, “Ad Manager can help you sell, schedule, deliver, and measure both directly-sold and network-based inventory. It offers an intuitive and simple user interface, Google serving speed and reliability, and significant cost savings. Best of all, Ad Manager can be optionally integrated with Google AdSense to offer you an automated way to maximize the revenue of your unsold and network-managed inventory.”
Going forward, it’ll be interesting to see small and mid size web sites having the power to serve relevant ads and utilize their site properties as ad inventories.
In my experience with Ad Serving platforms, there are a lot of challenges working around uploading flash or rich media ads on to the site. So it’ll be interesting to see how publishers, advertisers, and agencies work around the challenges with Google.
Meanwhile, if you have a small site like mine or starting to use Ad Manager, the inventory checker may result in low impressions. To get a better understanding on how you should slice up the placement, you can use your web analytics software to understand which sections/pages on your site get a lot of page views, so you can determine what to define as placements within Ad Manager.