Google Campaign Insights: Better measurement for display advertising

Monday, October 19, 2009 | 6:30 AM

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As we've previously said, one of our aims is to improve display advertising on the web and, as a result, grow the display advertising pie for everyone. Three simple principles guide our approach: simplify the system for buying and selling display ads; deliver better performance that advertisers and agencies can measure; open up the ecosystem by making it accessible to more participants.

One question on the mind of every advertiser and agency is: how can I better measure the impact of my display ad campaign?

We hear you. A growing number of advertisers and agencies are running display ad campaigns across the Google Content Network, so we're investing substantially in creating better measurement tools for our clients. At the moment, an advertiser can measure how many clicks its display ads achieve, measure conversions that result from those clicks, compare results with industry benchmark data, and use View-through conversion reporting to measure visits to its website from users who saw its display ad in the past.

Today, we're pleased to announce the launch of a brand new tool to measure the impact of your display ads - Google Campaign Insights. As of today, Google Campaign Insights is available for larger display ad campaigns across the Google Content Network in the US and UK. Over time, we hope to roll it out more widely to assist even more advertisers and agencies in different parts of the world.

Google Campaign Insights is a unique measurement tool that can give reliable data about how a campaign has raised brand awareness, or active user interest, in a particular product or service. It looks beyond the traditional measures of clicks and conversions to calculate the incremental lift in both online search activity and website visits that result from a display ad campaign.

How does this all work? In short, we use the same expertise we use to improve our own services -- our ability to analyze large quantities of data. Google Campaign Insights compares two anonymized and aggregated data sets: a large group of users (many thousands, minimum) who saw a particular ad, with an equivalent, large group that did not see the ad. It then measures whether there is any significant difference in searches and visits to the advertiser's website between the two groups. Doing this, Google Campaign Insights can determine the incremental change that is directly attributable to the display ad campaign. With this insight, advertisers can establish how well their display ad campaign is working.

Google Campaign Insights provides highly reliable results to marketers because of the statistical methodology our computer algorithms use to combine and analyze large volumes of data from several sources -- the advertiser's own campaign information, ad serving logs and sampled data from Google Toolbar installs that have opted in to enhanced features. All of the results reported to advertisers are anonymized and aggregated over thousands of users.

Advertisers or agencies who run wide-scale display ad campaigns on the Google Content Network and who want to take Google Campaign Insights for a spin should check with their Google representative.

We're excited about the contribution that Google Campaign Insights can make to our clients' campaigns on the Google Content Network and to display advertising generally.

Posted by Paul Todd, Product Management Director