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Google (ticker: GOOG) emailed its content partners this evening to announce an upgrade to its contextual advertising offering. New ad formats offer greater control for advertisers and a wider choice of formats for publishers. Full text of the email:

Google AdSense™

Hello,
We've made many recent improvements to Google AdSense. Read on to find out more.

Increasing monetization through new forms of advertising

As part of our goal to improve the monetization of your sites, Google has introduced a number of new features for advertisers, which will directly impact you as an AdSense publisher.

We anticipate that these features will introduce new advertising dollars into the content network by giving advertisers additional ways to reach their objectives.

We're currently testing these new features with a select group of advertisers, and expect to make the features more widely available in the near future.

Site targeting: focusing on the audience

The keyword-targeted ads that you're used to seeing on your pages will now be joined by a new type of site-targeted advertisement. Site-targeted ads allow advertisers to select the specific sites they feel are most appropriate to their campaign, and to run their ads only on those sites.

We believe that advertisers will leverage both our traditional keyword-targeted advertising which runs across the entire AdSense network, and our new site-targeted advertising, bringing more ad dollars to publishers.

CPM bidding: a new way to generate revenue

With site-targeted advertising, advertisers set a maximum CPM bid - that is, the price they are willing to pay for every thousand impressions – and pay on a per-impression basis. This means that, unlike pay-per-click ads, you'll earn revenue each time a CPM ad is displayed on your site.

For every eligible impression, both pay-per-impression ads and pay-per-click ads compete in the same auction. Our technology will automatically display the highest performing ads on your pages.

Expanded text ads: testing new formats

We are also running a test with text ads that expand to fill the entire ad unit, so that only a single ad will appear in that unit. At this time, this test will only apply to text ads in a site-targeted campaign and to ad formats banner-sized or larger. The expanded pay-per-impression text ad will have to beat out all of the competing ads before it can appear, so publishers can be assured that any expanded text ad is a highly competitive ad. These ads will be served to any text-enabled ad unit and will abide by your text ad color settings.

More image ads

Because of these new features available for advertisers, the number of image ads in the Google advertising network will grow. To take advantage of these ads, and the increased earnings potential that they offer, we encourage you to review your image ads preference in your AdSense Account Settings page.

You can also choose your image ads preference on a format-by-format basis when generating your ad code. For publishers who want to fully leverage image ads, we now provide an image ads only selection.

Your image ad inventory will also include a small number of Flash ads from a test group of advertisers. These new ads will adhere to the 50KB size limit for image ads, and will be reviewed according to our content guidelines.

Finally, we've added the wide skyscraper (160x600) format to make a total of 5 ad formats supporting image ads. If you're opted in to image ads, be sure to use one of these formats so that we can send image ads to your pages.

Contact us

You can always contact an AdSense specialist with your questions or comments, using the contact form in the AdSense Support center. We look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

The Google AdSense Team

Source: GOOG expands ad formats