November 23rd, 2009 | Published in Google Blog
Can you spot the difference between these two sample display ads? Of course you can. However, the most important difference is not discernible to the naked eye.
The lower ad was customized and chosen from thousands of different creative elements, automatically and in real-time, by machine-learning algorithms developed by Teracent, a San Mateo, California startup.
We think that this technology has great potential to improve display advertising on the web. That's why we're pleased to announce today that we've entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Teracent. The transaction, which is subject to various closing conditions, is expected to close this quarter.
As you know, we've been busy releasing new features and products to help improve display advertising on the web for everyone. We believe that Teracent's technology fits neatly into these efforts.
Teracent's technology can pick and choose from literally thousands of creative elements of a display ad in real-time — tweaking images, products, messages or colors. These elements can be optimized depending on factors like geographic location, language, the content of the website, the time of day or the past performance of different ads.
This technology can help advertisers get better results from their display ad campaigns. In turn, this enables publishers to make more money from their ad space and delivers web users better ads and more ad-funded web content.
We're looking forward to welcoming the Teracent team to Google and to making this technology available to our display advertising clients — including those who run display ad campaigns on the Google Content Network and our DoubleClick clients.
Update on 12/11/2009: The deal has closed, and Teracent is officially part of Google.