Google, targeting the online auction market dominated by eBay, is seeking to patent a system that creates Internet ads automatically and...
Google, targeting the online auction market dominated by eBay, is seeking to patent a system that creates Internet ads automatically and makes it easier for people to sell products on the Web.
Google Automat will let advertisers enter details of items they want to sell and automatically create an ad “in under 1 minute,” according to screen shots included in a filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published Sept. 29.
The service may spark new competition for Internet auctioneer eBay and online providers of classified listings, including Craigslist.org by making it easier to create ads. The service may also allow Google, the most-used Internet search engine, to broaden its advertising-client base and increase the online ads it sells.
“If I have an old Mickey Mantle baseball card and I want to sell it, in theory I could just put it on Google” without going to eBay or Craigslist, UBS Investment Research analyst Ben Schachter said.
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The service may also help those sites by sending them users, Schachter said.
Shares of Google fell $10.75 to $379.15 in Nasdaq trading. They have risen 97 percent this year.
The service may heighten competition for classified ads with newspapers, said John Zappe, an analyst at Classified Intelligence, based in Altamonte Springs, Fla., which reported on the application yesterday.
“It’s certainly going to be very attractive for capturing the consumer market,” he said.
Google makes money by selling small-text advertisements that appear next to Internet search results. Advertisers bid in online auctions to have their ads appear next to certain search terms and pay when users click on them.
The company said in the patent application that creating ads and selecting keywords can be difficult for individuals and small advertisers. Google Automat would help them through the process, the application said.
A consumer selling a “PowerShot camera,” for example, could enter product details and a price. Google would then automatically create a Web page and a small-text ad that would appear next to search results for the term “PowerShot.”
The advertiser would be asked to enter a price he or she is willing to pay when someone clicks on the ad as well as a daily sum.
Google in October confirmed that it is working on a service called Google Base that may allow users to post items for sale online.