Google is further expanding its advertising business. Today the company announced it will start selling advertisements that will appear in the print editions of fifty major newspapers. Initially, Google will start a test with 100 advertisers later this month.
Google's plan will give the publishing business a high-tech twist: the company will expand its computer system, which already auctions off advertisements on millions of Web sites, to take bids for newspaper ads as well. Hoping to reach out to a new crop of customers, such as small businesses and online retailers, many of the largest newspaper companies, including Gannett, the Tribune Co., The New York Times Co., the Washington Post Co. and Hearst, have agreed to try the system in a three-month test set to start later this month.
More details at CNET. In the U.S. advertisers spend more than $48 billion a year on newspaper advertising. Newspapers see Google's new newspaper advertising system as a way to increase sales as each day they have a fair amount of advertising space that they are unable to fill.