In April we announced that we’re buying DoubleClick, a leading company in the ad serving business. When we made this announcement, we gave some of our reasons. But because online advertising is complicated, I thought I’d step back a bit and offer some more context. If you’re an expert, please bear with me, as some of what follows will seem elementary to those already familiar with the online advertising world. If you’re not, I hope this gives you a better understanding of how advertisers, publishers, ad serving companies, agencies and other companies such as Google all fit into this exciting new mix.
A little history
In the earliest years, online ads were simple banner ads on websites. Advertisers would purchase these banner ads for those sites their customers would likely visit. A tire company, for example, would place banner ads on sites for automobile enthusiasts.
An innovation followed: Text-based ads targeted at search. Type “drip irrigation