Ad Planner, Trends for Websites

To me this latest product from Google mostly looks in keeping with their growing habit of trying to penetrate spaces related to but still mostly beyond straight-up Search, introducing lightweight tools that are supposed to work with Adwords, thereby helping to enforce customer loyalty to that system. So similar to how their Analytics tool is aimed at those not needing, wanting or ready for something like Omniture, here with Ad Planner they're now going after those who aren't yet using Hitwise, Comscore or Nielsen.

As for Google continuing to horn in on agencies' turf, this is another tool in the box but unto itself is hardly an "agency killer." I don't see Google ever having a single definitive way of competing with agencies. Also, I think creating automation and providing DIY tools tends to be more their cup of tea than building client relationships, those substantive enough to bill by the hour, anyway. Lastly and most importantly, there's shaky ground re. conflict of interest inherent to the whole concept of Google competing with agencies. Real agencies are uniquely positioned to provide a level of customer service, consulting quality and frankness that can only be done through vendor-agnosticism. As a vendor, it's not like Google would tell their clients something like

"Hm, well it seems your Adwords campaigns are giving the best CTR and also end conversion rates, however comparatively your MSN campaigns are converting at rates that are still decent plus at a much lower CPA... So even though you'll want to again put most of next quarter's budget into Google we suggest allocating a bit more towards MSN proportionally even if you intend to neither increase nor decrease total spend quarter-over-quarter."

Regardless, I look forward to trying the beta soon.

Regarding their other recent release, Google Trends for Websites, note how redirects to a default query for Wikipedia. 🙄 Figures.

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