Google puts online ads to the test

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SCOTT JAGOW: Advertisers don't really need to be convinced that Google works for them, but the search engine wants to prove it anyway. Janet Babin reports from the Innovations Desk at North Carolina Public Radio.


JANET BABIN: Advertisers usually pay Google if a person clicks on their ad, but with the new setup called "pay-per-action," marketers only pay if a user takes that next step like agreeing to test drive a car, or fill out a mortgage application.

Porter Bibb with Media Tech Capital Partners says the strategy is ideal for big ticket advertisers, but it won't be right for every product.

PORTER BIBB: It doesn't do a lot to build a brand image. For example, if you're Bud Light you're not going to click on a Google Bud light ad and run down to your package store and pick up a six pack of Bud Light.

Under the new system, advertisers decide on the action they're willing to pay for. They'll have to pay a premium for it, but many believe it's a risk-free investment.

Still, Bibb says it's possible for hackers to fake an action and stick advertisers with the bill.

I'm Janet Babin for Marketplace.

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