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April 13, 2007

Google "closes the loop" with Doubleclick acquisition

Lots of press about Google's acquisition of Doubleclick. I agree with Steve Rubel's assessment that this means that Google owns the end-to-end marketing relationship, from branding through to search. But also remember Google Checkout, which allows Google to close the loop on not only search but also display ads all the way through to transactions. There are privacy concerns, but if advertisers and publishers agree to this -- and they will because they will each benefit from the synergies created -- it won't be a problem.

(Updated: see below for some thoughts on user privacy)

In my mind, this is the reason why Google was willing to pay the price they did -- I frankly think they would have paid even more in order to make sure they could buy their way into this market. Otherwise, it would have taken YEARS for them to develop a presence in display/brand advertising.

Having locked up the online space, it also means that they can now focus on other areas of advertising -- like their nacent video, radio, and print ad networks.

Updated: Please also see the blog post by my colleague, Shar VanBoskirk on the deal.

Also, a clarification on user privacy. Google has a strong and clear privacy policy, and has taken steps to make clear its intentions on how it will use and store user data. There's been rational points made from some voices in the privacy advocacy community -- namely Lauren Weinstein from the California Initiative For Internet Privacy -- that Google would refrain from creating detailed user profiles, especially to stay in the good graces of its users. My point above is that Google can create user profiles only with the permission of the publishers and advertisers that it serves -- and can benefit from them only if those same parties participate. It's unlikely that anyone in that value chain will want to risk violating user privacy, so only minimal data -- if any -- will be passed between parties.

And as Shar puts so well in our blog post, users in the end are in control. If Google and its partners act inappropriately with our data, we'll take our business elsewhere. Google may be powerful, but there are still many other players and alternatives on the Internet.

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Comments

Disgusted

"... there are privacy concerns but... agree to it..."

NO! The issue here is the *USER's* privacy.

Sorry that you are sweapt along by all the hype and money...

Frank Kanu

I agree with the previous comment. It’s the users privacy at stake. Seems like nobody cares about them anymore...

Holger Kamin, zanox

What Google should really be focusing on is cost per action marketing, not display ads... CPA is where the industry is heading, because advertisers want efficiency, control and ROI. The DoubleClick deal won't really help Google here since DC has very little share in this market.

KwangErn Liew

Are there really comparable alternatives out there? How many of us use Google Search AND GMail? Or even the Calendar? Is it that easy to transfer from one to another? It's not when you think about it carefully, from an average user point of view. If moving your own personal data on the Internet is as easy as renting a truck, stuff all your things in there, and take it to your newly bought house, then yes, people will take the alternative.

But alas, many of us are stuck. Unless we don't really care about our personal data, but then, why bother in the first place?

Years ago, Internet hasn't really kicked into our daily lives, things changed. We are in the new era for those who haven't notice yet.

Song

I agree with you Charlene. For sure, we have alternatives. Hope thing are cleared and don't have to seek for alternatives....

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