Google to Acquire Online Attribution Firm Adometry

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Google wants to help advertisers get a better sense of how their online ad campaigns work collectively…especially if that understanding helps them spend with Google more confidently. So Google is in the process of acquiring Adometry, an Austin, Texas-based firm that specializes in online ad attribution–the science of crediting various online ads for influencing a person to take an action, such as clicking on an ad or buying something.

Terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but Google said the acquisition did not have to pass through any federal regulation hurdles. Adometry had raised $8 million in funding in early 2013. For the near future, Adometry will continue to operate as an independent company, Google has stated, we can assume that eventually they will be subsumed into the Borg.

Several years ago, Microsoft made a big push into solving the attribution issue, launching a business that was directly aimed at challenging what Microsoft saw as Google’s disproportionate credit for the success of online advertising at large.

Thus, you might wonder why Google would want to rock the boat. Well, for one thing, the company manages a huge display ad network, as well as an ad exchange. Google wants to capture a larger share of online advertising overall, and needs to convince brands that tactics outside of search ads can work. The company has also made better analytics a priority of late, including the Google AnalyticsPremium business, which helps website owners better manage their data, traffic, and ad reporting. Adometry’s tools and technology will be used to help bolster that business. What’s raising industry eyebrows is that a leading traffic cop (Adometry) has now been purchased by what is effectively the biggest traffic provider/broker.  It can claim it’s honest but it can’t claim it’s disinterested anymore. Google is notoriously hard to question or challenge. Things are how they say they are…this is not likely to make that different.

There’s a possible side benefit to the Adometry deal that Google executives didn’t mention. Adometry has roots in online ad fraud prevention. In fact, in 2011, the online ad fraud detection firm Click Forensics acquired Adometry and assumed its name. Google has made a point of being a leader in rooting out bogus traffic, fake sites, bots and the like.

A few months ago, Google acquired Spider.io, another anti-fraud specialist. With Adometry and Spider in the fold, Google can make a claim to be making a serious investment toward protecting its advertisers…it remains to be seen as to whether it polices its self as vigorously as others.

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