Advertisers wishing to place ads on Google-supported websites can sign up directly on those sites, the web search leader said on Friday, in a move analysts said addresses concerns about its growing advertising clout. The company said the new feature, known as Onsite Advertiser Sign-up, will help website publishers connect with a wider range of small advertisers when using Google's behind- the-scenes ad management system. Previously, advertisers seeking to market on websites using Google's syndicated AdSense advertising system had to enroll through Google's AdWords program and list sites where they wished their ads to be featured. The instant sign-up feature ties site owners and advertisers by giving web publishers more direct control over how advertisers select ads on particular sites. In turn, site owners and Google each receive a cut of resulting ad sales. Gary Stein, an analyst with Jupiter Research in San Francisco, said Google has faced mounting competition as it seeks to attract and keep thousands of publishers in its AdSense advertising syndication program. "It is a message to publishers that you can still own and manage your own advertising relationships," Stein said. "They don't have to all be mediated by Google." Rivals Yahoo Inc., Kanoodle and others appeal to Google's website publishers by questioning how much control they want to cede to Google to manage the publishers ties to its own advertisers. Website publishers often use a variety of different ad networks on different portions of their sites and decide which one to use based on customer returns, Stein said. AdSense, which allows website publishers to run keyword text or image ads through a system managed by Google, has become a phenomenally popular way for sites to generate revenue from each ad clicked on by site visitors. Google receives 99 percent of its revenue from advertising sales. A little less than half of the Mountain View, California-based company's revenue comes from Google-run advertising on other companies' websites. The new feature is designed to allow websites to sign up smaller advertisers while leaving the headaches of managing the production and billing process to Google's automated software. But how Google manages its ad system remains something of a mystery to its customers, Stein said. While Yahoo and Kanoodle have sought to make their ad systems more transparent to publishers, Google keeps key details of how its system runs secret from customers and asks them to trust that it markets ads in an even-handed fashion. Advertisers wishing to advertise directly on a website using the syndicated Google advertising program can click on an "Advertise on This Site" link that takes them to a Google page where they can create an AdWords ad for the specific website. Ads created through Onsite Advertiser Sign-Up will compete in the same auction as all other Google ads. The new feature is an extension of Google's site-targeted advertising, which was launched earlier this year. Google shares, which topped $400 for the first time on Thursday, dipped $3.24, or 0.8 percent to close at $400.21 in Friday trading on Nasdaq. UKFast is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites.
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