Saturday, May 28, 2005

RSS Ads, How they should be done?

This post was intended as a reply to Richard’s latest post about RSS Advertising, but it got so long so I though it was worth a post of its own.

In his latest post on IONRSS Richard MacManus discussed the issue of RSS advertising, and he described how Google contextual Ads are not suitable to the nature of Feeds, I’m not gonna rewrite his words; go read it on his blog.

He mentioned some valid points about the special relation between Publisher and subscriber, and about the per post association of Ads, and I agree with what he wrote, but the beauty of Click through advertising is that it’s intuitive and understandable with constant value across all sites and blogs, and that what made them so popular.

If we want to consider the use of the branding value of RSS Ads in feeds, first we must solve multiple problems:

The one he mentioned about the nature of Textual Ads not helping this purpose, and thus it requires different Ads designed for raising brand or product awareness.

And there’s another problem with the determination of a Site or Blog’s Value, surly the cost of an Ad on Engadget is not like the cost of an Ad in other blogs, who determines the value of a blog? Is it the blogger? (Like magazines) or is it calculated according to hits? But hits don’t always apply because of the nature of blog’s visitors; a very popular blog or site dedicated to gadgets is not worth as much as a blog or site with much fewer hits dedicated to business solutions.

And for the reasons above, it will be a very hard work (if not impossible) to come up with automated system to calculate Ads value, and with the absence of such system this kind of Ads has a small chance of spreading like contextual Ads.

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