Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Google plans new Internet measurement tool

Google is expected to unveil a tool Tuesday that measures Internet use to help advertisers identify the best places to buy ads that will reach its target audience, according to a report Monday on the Wall Street Journal Web site.

The measurement tools, which will be offered to advertisers and their agencies for free, will compete with services offered by established leaders Nielsen and ComScore. While those services base their estimations on selective surveys or customer panels, Google's results would be based on data collected from Web servers, providing a deeper and broader picture of Internet behavior, the newspaper reported. By giving away the new tool, Google could attract more advertising business.

The news follows Google's announcement last week that Google Trends had unveiled a new service that lets users type in specific domains and compare basic traffic information about any .com site using nothing more than organic user searches. Included are daily traffic numbers in users (sent from Google search), where in the world the users are coming from, and related sites that were either searched for or visited in that same session.

After news of the planned service hit the Web, ComScore shares fell $1.69, or 6.1 percent, to $26 after-hours trading. Nielsen is a privately owned company.