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Google now sells ads on billboards

Google now sells ads on billboards
SurangaSL / Shutterstock.com

You've probably seen the digital billboards that are steadily replacing the traditional kind on the side of the road or in public spaces. Billboard operators and advertisers love them because they can cycle multiple ads and add new ones without sending guys up to paper over the old one.

Of course, it was only a matter of time before Google, owner of the Web's largest advertiser network called DoubleClick, wanted in on the action. Right now, it's conducting a trial by serving ads to several digital billboards in London. What does that look like?

The good news is that Google's plain text ads are staying on the Web. It's only showing ads designed to work at the larger size and format. It's also going to be showing ads based on what is happening at the moment.

For example, if it's rush-hour traffic and raining, a billboard will show different ads vs. when it's mid-day and sunny. The billboards can even show automated weather alerts, sports scores and whatever else it judges to be useful to the people walking by at the moment.

Next page: How close is Google to making this work?
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