Google Takes on SocialAds

Google, once foreign to targeting based on social data, has launched Google Ad Planner. The service is targeted at media buyers and enables them to select ad placements on various sites based on demographic information as well as traffic data. Currently the service is limited to 4 types of demographic data: age, gender, education and household income.

Compare that to Facebook which currently offers targeting based on 8 variables: location, gender, age, profile keywords (found in interests, favorite music, movies and more), education status, workplaces, relationship status and what gender they are interested in dating. While Facebook offers more variables, Google’s information is broken down in to the categories most frequently targeted by media buyers.

The real question is if this is going to cut into Facebook’s ad revenue or prevent them from attracting marketers more effectively. Fox Interactive Media has a similar offering to Facebook’s called HyperTargeting which leverages MySpace profile to segment users. According to MySpace advertisers have been increasingly demanding HyperTargeting which has also been producing higher CPMs.

Google needs to figure out a way to capture some of this market and their new Ad Planner service appears to do that. While the social web continues to wait on a breakthrough advertising service, Google is using traditional advertising segmentation to make spending easier for media buyers. Do you agree that this new service will reduce the attractiveness of SocialAds?

Google Ad Planner Screenshot