Battered newspapers embracing Google print ad system

July 18, 2007, 7:19 AM UTC

Newspapers are beginning to embrace Google’s (GOOG) efforts to become a middleman for print ad sales. The company announced that some 225 newspapers are now part of its Print Ads program, which allows advertisers who use Google’s AdSense system to place ads in print publications.

The newspapers in the program include The New York Times (NYT), Washington Post (WPO), Chicago Tribune, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Seattle Times and San Jose Mercury News. The list of advertisers using the program includes NetFlix (NFLX), 1-800-FLOWERS (FLWS), Blue Nile (NILE), eBags, Mrs. Fields and LendingTree.

A business development VP at th New Your Times even credits Google with bringing in new advertisers who were either too small or too online-focused to bother with print on their own.

Google’s not alone in this dinosaur hunt for newspaper and magazine business; Yahoo (YHOO) has also been cultivating relationships with newspapers. (Yahoo’s deal seems to focus on online content and advertising rather than online sales of print ads, thought the AdAge piece doesn’t really made the distinction). AdAge has a good piece on the state of Google and Yahoo’s print efforts that says:

On Yahoo’s second-quarter earnings call this evening Sue Decker, Yahoo’s president, said the portal’s strength in behavioral targeting was a big reason the newspaper industry decided to go with Yahoo. The deal allows newspapers to open up and sell Yahoo’s inventory and use Yahoo’s technology.

Although Yahoo has these deals, including a big one with MediaNews Group in the San Francisco Bay Area, we’ve yet to see much newspaper content figuring prominently into Yahoo’s offerings.

For more on Google’s Print Ads program, check out this slide show for advertisers. It even has a slide titled “The Power of Newspapers,” which should bring a smile to all of us ink-stained wretches.