google ad planner
Google Ad Planner
Google Ad Planner helps website owners to expose their sites better to potential advertisers and help media planners to find the right sites to advertise in. Is it really a great tool or just another so-so tool from Google?

If you are a media planner, looking for websites relevant to your audience is a real challenge. Mis-targeting means a waste of money. Even if you do spot the right ones, how can you track your advertising campaign performance if your target sites don’t offer you any targeting means?

Google Ad Planner is introduced to answer the above questions – it is created with media planners in mind. In essence, it aims to help you to better identify the right websites to partner with and advertise in.

What is Google Ad Planner anyway?

Here’s the official overview about Google Ad Planner:

Google Ad Planner is a free media planning tool that can help you identify websites your audience is likely to visit so you can make better-informed advertising decisions.

With Google Ad Planner, you can:

  • Define audiences by demographics and interests.
  • Search for websites relevant to your audience.
  • Access aggregated statistics on the number of unique visitors, page views, and other data for millions of websites from over 40 countries.
  • Create lists of websites where you’d like to advertise and store them in a media plan.
  • Generate aggregated website statistics for your media plan.

How to be a Google Ad Planner advertiser and/or publisher?

Google Ad Planner’s purpose is to meet advertisers (media planners) and publishers (website owners.) So yes, Google do seek publishers to be added to the ‘pool’ – the place where tens of thousands advertisers (media planners) are seeking for the right business sites to advertise in.

How to be accepted into Google Ad planner? It’s very simple – Just sign up with Google Ad Planner and you are officially not only an advertiser, but a publisher, as well. That’s it!

Here’s what you see on Google Ad Planner homepage (please click to enlarge):

google ad planner homepage
Google Ad Planner - homepage (click to enlarge)

If you want to list your sites as a publisher…

First off, if you want your sites to be included into the database, click on “Publisher” tab on the top right part of the page, just below the Google Ad Planner logo. You might notice that you need to have your site verified in Google Webmaster Tools before adding any sites into the publisher database.

No worries, it’s easy to get yourself verified using the Google Webmaster Tools – Read the official guide for Google Webmaster Tools to help you getting started.

After you are finally getting your sites listed with Google Ad Planner, you can edit your site’s information, such as: site description, ad specifications, etc.

Here’s Noobpreneur.com Google Ad Planner page (please click to enlarge):

noobpreneur google ad planner
Noobpreneur.com Google Ad Planner publisher page (click to enlarge)

Go to Noobpreneur.com’s Google Ad Planner publisher page to see the real listing in action.

If you are an advertiser or media planner looking for publishers…

If you are a media planner yourself, first of all you need to create a media plan – the place where you will have short-listed websites’ information stored and tracked. After you have a media plan set up, all you have to do is to search for relevant websites by using the all-powerful search form (you can use the “Research” tab to get there.)

If things are getting a bit too confusing…

You can watch the Google Ad Planner overview video to understand things better:

Some drawbacks of Google Ad Planner

There is a forum thread that interests me about the drawbacks of Google Ad Planner – Read the forum thread.

Reading the replies, I conclude that Google Ad Planner’s main problem is the inaccurate visitor reporting. It is one of the most important measures that help advertisers decide ad buys, and having it in questionable accuracy could turn off many publishers (like the ones in the forum thread.)

A conclusion: Regardless the weaknesses, Google Ad Planner is very helpful

Regardless the glitches in Google Ad Planner, I believe it could help advertisers and business website owners alike in some ways. Plus, signing up is free and the marketplace is ‘there’ – something that will draw more advertisers (and media planners) and publishers to the ‘pool.’

Publisher’s benefit: Tens of thousands advertisers are using it, and exposing your business websites as a publisher will definitely get yours within the eyesight of potential advertisers.

Advertiser’s benefit: publishers’ websites are processed and equipped with the right information to help you decide on which sites to advertise in – the demographic, traffic and other helpful information can be stored in a single media plan you can consider as a partner short-listing tool.

My recommendation: Sign up and benefit from Google Ad Planner.

Ivan Widjaya
On Google Ad Planner