Google Hopes Ad Manager Will Recapture Grand Pooh Bah Status

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rockingout.jpgADOTAS — Search titan Google Inc. has unveiled a new weapon in its arsenal: a service for Web publishers to use for managing their online advertising sales, The Wall Street Journal reports today.

Publishers can serve up ads every time a user yanks up a site. And for all of the recession-fearing penny pinchers – more good news – the service will be free. The system can handle display, video and text ads.

Google’s move is clearly an aggressive push to broaden its online advertising offerings in an increasingly hostile and competitive market – the search mavens are already under the industry’s microscope after comScore numbers were released showing a 7% decline in sponsored clicks month-over-month, flat numbers year-over-year and a 12% decline quarter-over-quarter.

The recent completion of its $3.1 billion DoubleClick Inc. acquisition and Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s admission that layoffs were likely as a result also has industry observers chattering excitedly about how/when/if Google will be able to retain, or in reality, regain its throne as the Internet’s grand Pooh Bah.

But if the service is free, what’s the catch?

The Ad Manager service is in beta – it hopes users will agree to carry some of the ads Google sells in ad spots on their sites that they haven’t filled themselves, the Journal reports. Google would then take a cut of the revenue from ad sales.

Ad Manager users won’t have to carry Google AdSense ads and they’ll be able to run ads from other networks – in cases where they will bring in more revenue from the publisher.

Google developed the system independently – DoubleClick will serve higher-end ad-sales operations, the Journal reports.

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