Turning the page on Print Ads

Tuesday, January 20, 2009 | 12:59 PM

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In the last few months, we've been taking a long, hard look at all the things we are doing to ensure we are investing our resources in the projects that will have the biggest impact for our users and partners. While we hoped that Print Ads would create a new revenue stream for newspapers and produce more relevant advertising for consumers, the product has not created the impact that we — or our partners — wanted. As a result, we will stop offering Print Ads on February 28. For advertisers who have campaigns already booked, we will place their ads through March 31.

We launched our Print Ads program with 50 newspaper partners in November 2006 and, with the cooperation of our partners, were able to expand the network to include more than 800 U.S. newspapers. Since then we have worked closely with advertisers and newspapers to create a product that would bring a new source of revenue to publishers.

We believe fair and accurate journalism and timely news are critical ingredients to a healthy democracy. We remain dedicated to working with publishers to develop new ways for them to earn money, distribute and aggregate content and attract new readers online. We have teams of people working with hundreds of publishers to find new and creative ways to earn money from engaging online content. AdSense, DoubleClick, Google Maps, YouTube, Google Earth, Google News and many other products are a part of our significant investments to innovate in this space.

These important efforts won't stop. We will continue to devote a team of people to look at how we can help newspaper companies. It is clear that the current Print Ads product is not the right solution, so we are freeing up those resources to try to come up with new and innovative online solutions that will have a meaningful impact for users, advertisers and publishers.

It's always difficult to say goodbye to products. Lots of people at Google have worked hard on Google Print Ads. Some advertisers have seen good results and our partners have dedicated time and resources to help get it off the ground. But as we grow, it is important that we focus on products that can benefit the most people and solve the most important problems. By moving resources away from projects that aren't having the impact we want, we can refocus our efforts on those that will delight millions of users.

Posted by Spencer Spinnell, Director of Google Print Ads