Google's scary reassurancesIn tough times, overcommunicate, says Kleiner Perkins partner John Doerr, doing an inadvertent impression of so-sharey-he's-scary videoblogger Robert Scoble. One Kleiner portfolio company has gotten the message: Google! Kim Scott, the company's director of online sales and operations for AdSense, the company's system for placing ads on other websites, has sent a mass email to Web publishers who use the product. The letter refers to "recent economic turmoil" and reassures publishers that the company is "continuing to invest in innovations" — as opposed to, say, milking publishers for everything they're worth. The question Scott's letter really raises: Who's Google afraid of?Surely not Yahoo. Microsoft and AOL don't even play in the AdSense market; of Google's rivals, most have large pageview minimums which smaller publishers won't meet. Perhaps Scott is worried that small Web publishers will simply throw in the towel? Her memo:
Dear Publisher, We understand that the recent economic turmoil has created a lot of uncertainty in the lives of AdSense publishers. During these difficult times, we're continuing to invest in innovations that improve publisher monetization and advertiser value in the content network. We're focusing on further developing our product offerings and boosting ad performance for publishers. We recently announced advancements in AdSense for search and experiments to make ads more effective. We're bringing DoubleClick technologies to AdSense publishers, and we'll continue to launch new products and features. We're also continuing to improve our offerings for AdWords advertisers, making it easier for them to target the Google content network. Features for advertisers, such as the new display ad builder, are designed to improve ad performance on AdSense publisher sites. We'll keep driving technological progress, but our best asset will always be our publisher partners. The strength of AdSense lies in the value of the content you bring to users and the quality of the sites you bring to advertisers. Our success is tied to yours. We look forward to partnering with you for the long term, and remain dedicated to helping you succeed. Sincerely, Kim Scott Director AdSense Online Sales & Operations Google Inc. 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway Mountain View, CA 94043