Google Inc., widely considered to be the most powerful search engine and ubiquitous brand on the Internet, is quietly testing a new advertising strategy on an unexpected medium: paper.
The search powerhouse makes 99 percent of its revenue from selling Internet ads. But according to Google and executives at companies that buy advertising from them, the search engine company recently bought full-page ads in at least two technology magazines and resold parts of those pages to small advertisers that belong to its online ad program, known as AdWords.
The full-page ads appear in tech-centric publications PC Magazine and Maximum PC magazine. The pages are divided among several companies, each of which has one-quarter or one-fifth of the page in which to advertise. (Full disclosure: Publish.com is owned by Ziff Davis Media, which also owns PC Magazine.)
"Google is testing a program to place ads from our advertising network into U.S. print publications," read a statement from the company. "This limited test is part of Googles continuing effort to develop new ways to provide effective and useful advertising to advertisers, publishers and users."
The company declined to say whether its foray into print ads will include general circulation magazines or newspapers.
According to executives at the companies who bought the ads, the print campaign is simply an extension of Googles successful AdWords program.