Google Expands Its Technology To...Print?

september 1, 2005

At first, when I heard that Google was experimenting with print ads, I scratched my head. Huh? Then I thought, hey, that's not a bad idea. I mean, the company has 90%+ of their earnings coming from online advertising. If that ever slowed down, they'd be in a world of hurt. So, branching into print advertising seems like a good way to earn money. But, then I went back to scratching my head. According to the San Jose Mercury article, the experiment was in PC Magazine. A full-page ad in PC Magazine runs regularly for $72,497. Google bought a full-page ad and split it into five. One company interviewed said they paid $2,200 for their fifth of the page. Do the math on that: $2,200 x 5 = $11,000. Either PC Magazine gave Google a damned good discount or Google is eating the cost for the publicity. Either way, someone is losing money -- and in the end, that is only $11,000 per magazine page per month -- and not all of that is profit for Google. Is this really a smart way to make money?