Google is giving advertisers more ways to target YouTube users

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Part of Google’s growing effort to build search-based ad tools outside its core search engine

Google is expanding its use of lucrative search-based advertising tools on YouTube, to help advertisers target potential customers as they search for everything from products to movie trailers on the video site. The news, announced this morning at Advertising Week and reported by CNBC, marks a shift in how Google treats YouTube. Increasingly, the company is relying on YouTube as an extension of its core search engine instead of a separate entity. To help drive home the point, Google representatives told the crowd at Advertising Week that YouTube is the second most popular search engine in America, behind Google Search.

The logic makes sense, and Google says it has data to prove that many people who search for products, movies, and other items on Google Search then head over to YouTube to watch reviews, unboxing videos, and other content related to the product. From there, Google says it can effectively target those customers. For instance, searching for movie reviews on Google Search and then heading over to YouTube to watch a trailer may trigger an ad for showtimes at your local AMC theater. Google is calling the tool “ad extensions for video.”

For Google, expanding its ad business is a key component to staving off competition from Facebook and, increasingly, Amazon, which has been building a powerful, product-based ad business based off Amazon product searches. Today, Google makes nearly $100 billion a year. A majority of that revenue comes from ads, a majority of that ad revenue is search-based advertising powered by Google’s AdWords, AdSense, and DoubleClick technologies. However, Google’s dominance in web advertising is tied to the strength of the web, and more companies, like Amazon and Facebook, are cutting into that by locking customers and the behaviors that would drive targeted ads into their own ecosystems. Every time an internet user spends time on Facebook or searches for products directly on Amazon instead of Google is a potential loss for the search giant’s ad business. – Read more

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