Google Print Ads: No Measurement, No Joy

Ian Lurie

Google’s been dabbling in print ads, and the results so far haven’t been great, says Business Week. They cite lack of flexible pricing, higher costs and an inability to target ads the same way Google Adwords does online.

Measuring Tape

I think there’s a different reason: Measurement.

Folks flock to Adwords pay-per-click ads because they can measure them. If you spend $5 on Adwords, you’ll know whether that investment generated $10. In print, though, there’s no reliable way to do that. So the investment is higher, and the measurability is lower.

Until Google finds a way to mitigate this, they’ll have a hard time moving into print.

Ian’s prediction for 2006: Look for Google to set up an 800-number system where print ads are routed through a central Google switchboard, so you at least know whether the ad’s generating calls.

Ian Lurie
CEO & Founder

Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent and the EVP of Marketing Services at Clearlink. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). He's recorded training for, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Follow him on Twitter at portentint, and on LinkedIn at

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