If you are looking for more site information to help plan your display advertising campaigns and understand audiences on the web, Google Ad Planner can help. Our goal is to provide you with the most accurate site information for better planning and decision-making, and we're excited to kick off the new year with an improved traffic estimation model as well as several other features.

The new traffic estimation model should help reduce some of the confusion that often surrounds tracking the number of unique visitors to your site. When creating campaigns, many advertisers use media planning tools, including Ad Planner, to look at unique visitors based on estimates of real world users. However, publishers typically rely on web server logs or web analytics tools, such as Google Analytics, to measure unique visitors based on cookie counts. Discrepencies arise when these two types of unique visitors are compared. You can learn more about this topic by reading the IAB guidelines on Audience Measurement.

To address the various ways of measuring site traffic, we:
  • Added Unique Visitors (cookies), a new cookie-based metric, to help you cross-check and compare metrics, similar to Google Analytics unique visitor metrics.
  • Changed Unique Visitors to Unique Visitors (users) so it's clearer that you're reviewing estimated numbers of real world users.
  • Placed the Unique Visitors (cookies) and Unique Visitors (users) metrics on a site's profile page so you'll have a more comprehensive view of how a specific site can support your media planning. Learn how to make the most of these two metrics.
In addition, our new model improves our traffic estimates. You'll notice our page view estimates are now more accurate and consistent with web server measurements.

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We've also added country demographics for Australia, Brazil, Japan, and Switzerland, which brings our demographics total to ten countries, with more coming in the future. In select countries we've also added a new demographics category, Children in Household, which can be used to research sites.

You've told us that defining an audience to fit your intended customers can be difficult. In response, we've created Pre-defined Audiences that represent commonly used audiences. Now you can experiment with different criteria without having to choose them manually.

This release represents only a fraction of what we're planning for 2009. Stay tuned for more Google Ad Planner announcements soon.