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Looks like Google Ad Planner is going to get less useful for audience research :(

I just got the following email from Google Ad Planner, and it sounds like some disappointing changes are afoot. I use Google Ad Planner for research for social media campaigns – to identify potential partners, to understand audience behaviours online in terms of what their top websites are etc., and lots of related research projects. OK, so I’m not using it for what it’s supposed to be used for, and it’s free, so I shouldn’t complain, right? But there you go, I’m complaining. It’s an essential tool for me to understand user behaviour!

The biggest change which will affect me is that they aren’t going to show data for sites not on the Google Display Network. This means sites like Facebook. So I’ll lose the data which tells me what % of my audience visit Facebook. OK, that particular stat I can wrangle out of total online audience volume from Google Ad Planner and then use Facebook Marketplace Ad planner to get my audience volume, and get the % from that… but for other sites without their own DIY ad platform, who aren’t on Google Display Network, I’ll have no data.

Main bit of the email from Google Ad Planner:

Starting September 5th, 2012, the new version of Ad Planner will be dedicated to supporting research on placements on the Google Display Network, which comprises more than 2 million sites from across the web. As part of this change, certain information and filters will no longer be available within Ad Planner, for example Household Education and Education.

What does this change mean for you?

  • The product name will now be Google Display Network Ad Planner
  • You can no longer research domains or ad placements that are not part of the Google Display Network
  • Some demographic data will not be available including Keywords Searched For, Videos Also Watched, HouseHold Income and Education
  • Adjustments to a few of the traffic columns like Unique Users and Reach, removal of PageViews
  • Publisher Center, the feature that allows publishers to claim their own sites, list relevant ad placement availability & pricing, will be deprecated

Booooo! :(

[This post was originally published on my personal blog over here.]

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One Comment

  1. It seems to me that Google are deliberately obscuring critical data that would help advertisers to get better performance results. Without this information it will mean that advertisers generally will have to throw more mud at the wall just to see what sticks. Big G probably equates this to mean more revenue. Just a guess and just my 2 cents.

    Posted 24th August 2012 at 3:53 am | Permalink