You probably already heard The Washington Post has decided to add text ads to its RSS feeds (news via Adweek). Google, Yahoo and Kanodlee already offer the RSS advertising since a couple of months and Google has just opened the service to its AdSense program. According a Pew Research survey at the beginning of 2005, more than 5 percent of US Internet users already take advantage of RSS. These are the facts, but the (still) unanswered question is: do RSS advertising work? Unfortunately no numbers nor information is yet available, so the debate is now open. I believe the success of RSS advertising will rely on a few points connected to the very nature of RSS and the way they are used. Let me explain. Some news site like, for example The New York Times, provide the feed with the title and an abstract of the article. Other online publications, such as Le Monde.fr and the WSJ, just fill the feed with the article’s title. My point is, the shorter text in the feed the less effective (and the more annoying) the ad will be. It’s a question of relevance, because with a short text it’s more difficult to deliver a relevant contextual ad. But it’s also a question of getting people’s attention. How fast do you go through the feeds you’re subscribed to? If you just have to read the title, it simply takes you the blink of an eye to understand whether you’re interested or not and click or read on. In less two seconds you’re attention is already on the next title. But if you are provided with an abstract of two or three lines, it will take you a longer time to go to the end of the text and probably notice there is also a little tiny text box politely claiming your attention (and your clicks).
Contextual ads not always appear in the right place at the right moment. Are you sure you want a free ferry travel for a year? [via Flickr - Will Pate]
Last week Google knocked out another competitor by acquiring Sprinks online advertising network. On CNET News.com Stefanie Olsen analyses Google’s present and future business strategies. Content-targeting ads still need to be improved: according to Forrester Research, response rates to content-targeted ads are about one-fifth that of search-related ads.
Yahoo! is preparing a customized campaign for a specific publication with a series of contextual ads for the Oct. 6 issue of The New Yorker. You can read more about it on AdWeek.
A special dossier has been published on Le Journal du Net to analyse contextual advertising, collecting opinions from Overture France, but also from the marketing directors of the main French news portals. In general, contextual advertising is welcome, but with filters, in order not to be contrary to site deontology.
Content-based advertising is still in its infancy but everybody is already talking about it as the future of search engine advertising. On E-CommerceTimes yesterday, Robyn Weisman reports on contextual advertising, quoting analysts from IDC and GartnerG2.
… by Steve Outing on Editor & Publisher. It seems like everyone is talking about contextual advertising. It’s definitely an hot trend, and it’s good to read interesting articles like the one I’m linking.
AdSonar is a technology presented by Quigo that will allow online publishers to deliver contextually targeted advertising that achieves greater relevancy, reach and revenue for publishers, licensees and advertisers alike. Online contextual advertising is part of the fast growing search engine marketing industry, which experienced growth of 275% in 2001 and 325% in 2002 to $927.4 million in the US, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau. Read on the press release on Yahoo! Biz.
This is the key statement by Tom Hespos today on MediaPost. Contextual advertising offers new opportunities to media buyers. There are still a lot of questions to answers concerning their relialibity, however, before expressing a final judgement, let’s give them a chance.
Selling ads that appear alongside Web search results is becoming a serious business, even for small Web sites owners. A good review of Google AdSense and Content Match by Overture is online today on the New York Times (free reg.). It explains the strategies and points of view of the two search engines offering a good overview of the “contextual advertising” market and industry.
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