It’s a little difficult to tell at this time what the program will be like, but I think it’s going in the right direction and it begins to block potentially competitive moves by Microsoft and others. Currently, ad programs are too simplistic. Too classified ad like. They need to be able to select quality ads to be placed on their sites. Yes, there are some ad management systems that sites can use, but I’d like to see one of the major ad providers, such as Google, step up and fill this huge gap.
Ultimately, webmasters need a system which allows them full control over the ads and even potentially payment options—is a particular spot a flat rate or biddable. Today, many of the top sites are creating or using custom ad management systems rather than exclusively using Google or some other system. There’s an opportunity here that it looks like Google may be on the way to filling.