Google has started experimenting with a print advertising service that could herald a big departure from its existing online business.
The company confirmed that it had placed adverts in a number of US publications on behalf of advertisers as part of what it called a “limited test.”
Through its AdWords and AdSense programs, which let advertisers buy the right to have their messages displayed online linked to relevant keywords, the search engine company has already built one of the biggest advertising networks on the web. The new arrangement would let these advertisers also buy space in print publications through Google, extending the network’s reach.
Under the experiment, which was first reported by online news service CNET, Google has bought full pages in several technology magazines, then subdivided the space into smaller sections and resold this to its own advertisers. Google described the test as part of its “continuing effort to develop new ways to provide effective and useful advertising to advertisers, publishers and users,” the company said.