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Google to align ad prices, conversions

The search king says advertising prices for its publishing partners' Web sites could drop or rise, depending on how well they perform, or "convert."

Google, Web search's top dog, is changing its ad service to offer discounts to some shortchanged advertisers while goosing relevancy for publishing partners. It said Thursday that it now monitors ad performance on its publishing partners' Web sites, which display Google's text-based ads amid their own content. Google can track how many sales, or "conversions," result from the ads. If they're not up to snuff, it plans to reduce the per-click fees it charges those marketers.

"Our technology looks at signals to determine which pages convert more than others," said Salar Kamangar, Google's director of product management. "We'll charge people less when they convert less well." An e-mail Google sent Thursday warned its partners that ad revenues could drop or rise, depending on convergence rates. It said the changes should also make ads more relevant.