Google has recently rolled out its AdSense Direct product, which will allow publishers, bloggers, and anyone enrolled in the AdSense program to begin selling their own ad inventory, with Google acting as both the middle-man and ad server.
With AdSense Direct, Google will collect the money from your advertiser on your behalf, and provide you with the funds– less a 15% fee –through Google Wallet. The downside, other than the premium Google is taking (obviously), is that you’ll need to sign up for Google Wallet to receive payment, if you haven’t already.
On a positive note, AdSense Direct will make it relatively easy for anyone to sell ad space outside of the network, without having to resort to editing code to remove the AdSense unit while direct-ads run, and, most importantly, will be able to provide advertisers with the much-needed metrics (imp, CTR, etc) that they’ll likely want to see.
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Outside of the Google fee, and the necessity for a Google Wallet account to receive payment, there are a few other drawbacks I can see just from the start, even without running a test campaign yet. First, advertisers are used to paying for display media on a CPM (cost per thousand impressions) basis; as of now, AdSense Direct doesn’t appear to offer this option. Instead, cost is associated with the number of days a campaign is to be live– which can range from 1 to 90 days. In addition, currently, only image ads are allowed, so no fancy flash or rich media can be used on a direct basis at this time.
Google has also published a small list of known AdSense Direct issues, which include the inability for a publisher to reject creative and/or destination URLs (a major oversight, if you ask me), and the lack of a “renew” functionality for campaigns.
I’m looking to give this a try, so if there’s any advertisers out there that would like to be involved in a case study, let me know.