One imagines Sergey and Larry sitting on the gold-clad couches in the Google Jet watching old re-runs of “Pinky and the Brain” as they ponder their next move. “What do you want to do tonight, Brain?” asks Pinky. “Same thing we do every night, Pinky – try to take over the world!”
And so on Friday afternoon, Google announced they had purchased keyword advertising tracking company Double Click for $3.1 billion. Yes, that is more than the $1.76 billion Google paid for YouTube last year. True, YouTube is more entertaining, but Double Click will likely spend less time in the courts.
According to the companies, this deal “will offer media buyers and sellers more powerful tools for targeting and analyzing online advertisements and ‘serving,’ or placing them, on an even larger network of Web sites.”
In the $19.5 billion playground that is the U.S. online ad market, Google is set to make $6.3 billion in 2007 – that’s before it begins pushing Double Click on the swings.
Oh – and it’s also before Clear Channel agreed to let Google sell ads on its radio stations.
All this leads me to the one question BusinessWeek asked on its April 9th cover, “Is Google Too Powerful?”
I was talking with a member of our team this morning about Google and how it is or isn’t dominating the keyword advertising game. She attended the Search Engine Strategies conference in NYC last week. While Google is the biggest and most respected player right now, she said that the Double Click deal is less about Google and more about Microsoft. Apparently, Gates & Co. are the step-child of search marketing, and the news that they met Google’s bid for Double Click but were denied proves it.
So in a market changing every minute of every day, with Microsoft way behind and Yahoo! barely holding on, the next big challenger to Google could very well be Pinky and the Brain. One thing is for sure though – Google is going to keep plotting to take over the world.