How Google Edged Out Rivals and Built the World’s Dominant Ad Machine: A Visual Guide

The U.S. is investigating whether the tech giant has abused its power, including as the biggest broker of digital ad sales across the web

Nexstar Media Group Inc., the largest local news company in the U.S., recently tested what would happen if it stopped using Google’s technology to place ads on its websites.

Over several days, the company’s video ad sales plummeted. “That’s a huge revenue hit,” said Tony Katsur, senior vice president at Nexstar. After its brief test, Nexstar switched back to Google.

Alphabet Inc. ’s Google is under fire for its dominance in digital advertising, in part because of issues like this. The U.S. Justice Department and state attorneys general are investigating whether Google is abusing its power, including as the dominant broker of digital ad sales across the web. Most of the nearly 130 questions the states asked in a September subpoena were about the inner workings of Google’s ad products and how they interact.

We dug into Google’s vast, opaque ad machine, and in a series of graphics below, show you how it all works—and why publishers and rivals have had so many complaints about it.

Much of Google’s power as an ad broker stems from acquisitions of ad-technology companies, especially its 2008 purchase of DoubleClick. Regulators who approved that $3.1 billion deal warned they would step in if the company tied together its offerings in anticompetitive ways.

In interviews, dozens of publishing and advertising executives said Google is doing just that with an array of interwoven products. Google operates the leading selling and buying tools, and the biggest marketplace where online ad deals happen.

When Nexstar didn’t use Google’s selling tool, it missed out on a huge amount of demand that comes through its buying tools, Mr. Katsur said: “They want you locked in.”

How To Get More Local Customers Online Using YouTube Ads For Your Business

Most small business don’t have a huge marketing budget and need to make their marketing budget go as far as possible. There are many options but you have probably overlooked YouTube Ads.

You probably visit YouTube often – maybe at least once a day. You have no doubt sees the ads that run before videos. These ads are crushing it when it comes to generating leads and getting new customers online.

YouTube Ad Statistics

– YouTube has more than one billion users – that’s almost one-third of all internet users.

– 45% of users watch more than an hour of YouTube videos per week.

– More video content is created online in 30 days than has been created by all major US television networks in 30 years.

– 46% of all users act after watching a video ad.

How To Use YouTube Ads To Get More Customers and Leads

YouTube Advertising Options : Types of YouTube Ads

You need to know your YouTube Ad types. There are three to consider:

1. YouTube TrueView In-Stream Ads are the ads you’re probably most familiar with on YouTube. These are the ads that stream before a video. They often come with a “Skip Ad” option that displays after five seconds. One thing you may not know is that if a viewer skips your ad, you won’t pay for the view. That’s key if you have a limited ad budget.

2. YouTube Discovery Ads show up in YouTube search results and look just like other videos. To get viewers to choose your ad, you’ll need an eye-catching thumbnail to grab their attention. Here again, you’ll only pay if a viewer clicks on your ad. You won’t pay to have your ad displayed in the search results.

3. YouTube Bumper Ads are very short ads that can’t be skipped. They’re most often targeted to mobile users, and they’re ideal if you have a message that can be conveyed in just a few seconds.

You’ll need to decide which ad format is best suited to your company.

Video Ads Best Practices

Now, let’s look at some simple things that can help you generate tons of local leads with YouTube ads.

Keep Your Bumper Ads Short, usually less than 10 seconds.

YouTube In-Stream ads can vary in length, but 30 seconds is a good length to keep the viewer interested.

Discovery ads can be longer – as much as two minutes – but make sure the content is engaging. That’s the only way that you’ll keep a viewer’s attention and get them to click your call to action.

YouTube Ads should:

– Grab Users’ Attention from the Start

– Target your audience’s biggest pain point.

– Tell a compelling story, people will keep watching to find out how it ends.

– You MUST have a Call to Action

– Optimize Your Landing Page for Video Viewers

Lead Generation on YouTube Doesn’t Have to be Expensive…

Provided you choose the right place to run your ads and follow these simple guidelines, you should start seeing high-quality leads from your ads quickly. And from there, you can nurture those leads and turn them into loyal, paying customers.