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Google, VNU in targeted ad deal

The search giant's AdWords program is coming to the Web sites of Billboard, Hollywood Reporter and other VNU publications. Images: Google's maps to go

Advertisements that are part of Google's AdWords program can now be seen on the Web sites of VNU-owned publications in the United States and Europe, the two companies said Tuesday.

As part of the deal, Google's targeted, text-based ads are appearing on the sites of publications including Adweek, Billboard, Hollywood Reporter, National Jeweler, Progressive Grocer and Successful Meetings. European titles covered in the deal include Accountancy Age, Computable, Computing and IT Week, the companies said.

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The revenue from clicks on these ads is shared between the two companies, Google said.

Competition in the search market is heating up, with companies turning to specialized services and offerings--for both customers and advertisers.

Riding on revenue growth from advertising, Google recently said that its fourth-quarter earnings grew by more than 100 percent compared with the same period in 2003. Much of the boost in ad revenue is attributed to Google's AdWord program, through which advertisers bid to purchase the rights to certain words and phrases that generate ads for their companies when people enter terms in Google's search engine.