Google Gives DoubleClick An Upgrade; Increased Focus On Smaller Online Pubs

It’s coming up on two years since Google (NSDQ: GOOG) acquired DoubleClick for $3.1 billion, and the search giant’s latest step in building its display businesses involves the promise of greater simplicity as it aims for smaller publishers. In upgrading its display ad serving system, Google is doing away with the DoubleClick DART and Google Ad Manager brands, replacing it with DoubleClick for Publishers. That system now comes in two flavors: the main DFP, for the largest online publishers and is most closely modeled on the DART system, and DFP Small Business, a basic, no frills, free version for smaller pubs. In an interview with paidContent, Neal Mohan, Google’s VP of product management, also pointed out that openness is central to the new system, as Google hopes to attract developers’ tools to its display ad serving.

Aside from DFP’s open API, other improvements include a redesigned interface that Mohan says will be faster to use and lead to less processing errors. While the interface is simplified, DFP also promises more detailed reporting and forecasting data.

The changes come after several other recent moves on the DoubleClick side of the business, including bringing back former DoubleClick exec Barry Salzman from his recent post at ShopWiki, buying ad targeting platform Teracent, and last fall’s big move of linking AdSense and DoubleClick.

I asked Mohan how Google feels its doing managing expectations for its display business, in light of Barclays analyst Doug Anmuth recent forecast that Google’s display ad sales could reach $1 billion in revenue this year — or, roughly 4 percent of Google