I'm not sure emulating the stock exchange the best idea these days, but if anyone can pull it off, it's Google.

At the end of last week, Google fearlessly launched what some are calling a "potent weapon" in the battle over display ads.

Doubleclick Advertising Exchange lets websites offer space that ad agencies and online brokers can bid for in an automated auction system. The idea is that advertisers can get a wider choice of ad space and the ability to target ads more precisely to the most likely prospects, while publishers hope to net higher rates.

Advantage: Google

Early last year, Google acquired the online ad-placement firm DoubleClick for US$ 3.2 billion and now seeks to make its new exchange platform more successful than Yahoo's Right Media and Microsoft's AdECN.

However, despite being new, it's advantage Google, because nearly all of the major web publishers already use DoubleClick's services.

How convenient.

Real-Time Bidding, Automated Advertsing 

Google's Doubleclick exchange will allow real-time bidding for advertising inventory through the use of automated software tools, which will help lure advertisers who can automate their placements in an effort to attract the most lucrative potential customers.

The metaphor is tiresome, but it generally works similarly to eBay bidding. A publisher may sell space its direct-sales team couldn't sell to an ad network. But another ad network could step in -- even at the last second, using automated bidding technologies -- and offer more because it believes it can deliver more potential customers to its advertiser or agency client.

Then Google's exchange can instantly run the more lucrative ad instead. Advertisers and publishers who currently use Google's search-ad systems can participate in the exchange using the same software.

Simplicity, Performance and Transparency 

This isn't just about Google trying to assert dominance in the display ad market, it's also about providing better display advertising and more opportunity.

Google's exchange incorporates three definitive principles: simplicity, performance and transparency and as a result may help to leverage online advertising and help publishers along the way.