Yahoo is planning to launch on Wednesday an ad network for small Web publishers intended to strengthen its hand against rival Google, a source familiar with the plan told CNET News.com.
Yahoo's new service will differ from Google in that it will add human editorial judgment to the selection of ads for content pages. In comparison, Google's service relies on technology.
There are many fronts they can beat Google on:
open revenue sharing policies
unlike AdSense, they could actually enforce some legitimate quality standards - which may be likely if they put a bit more human interaction into the system
more flexible, offering XML feeds or customizable ads instead of making people use arbitrary ad blocks
Allow advertisers to run various ad copy lengths.
Allow advertisers to pick what sites they want their ads to appear on or block.
Better reporting of where ads are being displayed.
It looks like some people are already testing the new network. Earlier Oilman mentioned the Yahoo! context ads on Women's Finance, and looking around, they also appeared on Mom's Budget. I wonder what sort of revenue sharing Yahoo! is offering.
Yahoo! quickly needs to expand their inventory before they lose their partnership with MSN to avoid becoming a second tier pay per click engine.
I looked around and a few of the search related blogs, like Jeremy Zawodny, JenSense, and SE Roundtable were also displaying ads. Some of the publishing partner ads looked a bit botched. The ones on SE Roundtable were frequently off topic and cut off. I mean, how compelling is this ad:
Contraxx by Ecteon
Providing premium contract...
I know that as a user I probably would not click that, if I was the site owner I would be angry for wasting my screen space on that, and if I was paying for that advertisment I would be angry about that ad wasting my money. Why not just use shorter ad copy instead of cutting it off?
How can Yahoo! even think those chopped up ads are useful? Didn't they do some sort of testing on the system? How can an editor think that above six word ad is anything other than complete garbage?
Some chopped ads may send the wrong branding message and work to destroy brand value. Not good, IMHO.
The biggest change they did was show related images near their AdSense ads, stating that the ads helped grab the attention of more website visitors. In spite of moving the ads below the fold they increased the advertisement CTR by 300%.
While crazy images may get you more clicks, as stated by Newquestions:
That whole "Paris Hilton" - "look at my clothed dog" type concept. From my experience, people are prepared to click advertisements that are supported by whacky images. The more crazy, the better IMHO.
What about men in drag? Perhaps distasteful, but some women love this
sort of stuff, and perhaps they will click your advertisements to see more.
Critters states that the ads have to be related for it to work longterm:
Putting images next to ads that are NOT relevant to your sites content will only produce short term gains. Smart pricing will kick in and reduce the value of the ads.
Only place images next to ads that you know are matching what the visitor is on your site for (ads for cameras on a camera review site) and that the images match the ads (photos of cameras next to camera ads)
I believe some people have also been using search APIs or scraping some of the engines to grab relevant images, although that might have a few copyright issues associated with it.
I do not currently display AdSense on this site for a few reasons, one of which is that it probably would not earn much since most people reading this site can distinguish ads from content.
Nathan Weinberg recently wrote AdSense Bad For Bloggers?, where he questions whether or not people can make money from AdSense using blogs.
I think he said his network gets about 1,000,000 monthly pageviews, but AdSense is not making him much money. Blogs about Google and MSN will get traffic, but the revenue streams might not be there since technologically savvy people are less likely to click ads.
One time I had a chat with a well known web guru, who stated that not all sites need to make money. Websites can act as a team.
If you have sites with a ton of authority and little revenue there are a few options:
alienate your users by trying to force a revenue stream that does not exist and thus lose your social currency
gather feedback and create a product or service that matches the desires of your site visitors
leverage the social currency of that site to help build up a network with other high profit channels
You only need one or two strong channels to launch a network.
A few of the major blog networks have even added poker sites to their networks, and people still link through to their network not minding that they are helping to promote illegal gambling.
In Nathan's comments Richard offered a good tip for bloggers wanting to avoid the evil generic blog ads:
The biggest positive changes occured for me when I stopped using the word â€œBLOGâ€ and I stopped getting the same boring ads for how to setup a free blog.
As an added bonus, Nathan mentioned that ProBlogger made a post about earning milestones, saying that he is making over $10,000 a month from AdSense on his network of around 20 blogs (most of which are low quality content spam IMHO and thus I don't want to link into his bad neighborhood, but the post is here: http://www.problogger.net/archives/2005/07/12/earning-milestones/ )
If you look at his network (www.livingroom.org.au & breakingnewsblog.com) you can probably guess which ones are making money and create / market better channels on those topics that will make far more than he is. Digital camera reviews are huge for AdSense.
The wider your keyword set is the better your chance of being able to lower your per click costs. Doing site targeting makes sense if you have rich business models or are trying to target niche low volume sites, but otherwise it can be far more expensive than large contextual keyword based ad sets.
Some of my term based contextual ads have an effective CPM of around 16 to 20 cents, but the site targeted ads have a $2 minimum price.
You can't know for sure if your site targeted ads are a completely accurate measure of traffic volume because:
they are only going to show on some pages with lower earnings potential
different sites and site formats are better at monitizing content
your overall daily budget might be too low
your CPM bid might be too low
some sites use multiple ad units
Despite the above I believe many of the anomalies offset each other a good bit. It is interesting to see that the traffic volumes drop off logarithmically from site to site.
Digital Point gets amazing traffic. In a single day I had over 26,000 ad displays on Digital Point. Some of the smaller SEO forums only displayed a few hundred or few thousand ad displays.
Other than trying not to antagonize webmasters who have been making a living off AdSense, I can't think of very many reasons for Google keeping the old version of content targeting around. I think that very soon it will become evident that the old content program is merely being grandfathered for a set amount of time so as not to confuse or upset publishers and advertisers. Phasing out the old program will perhaps lead to a slackening of revenues, as with any painful economic transition. In this case, the transition can be boiled down to moving advertisers dollars from bad publishers to good ones. In the long run, that should strengthen the fundamentals of online advertising and attract more advertisers to the party.
although I don't see that happening anytime soon. What makes Google's business model so powerful is the extreme targeting and allowing small advertisers to participate. I can't see them wanting to outright punt on that anytime soon. The only way they will do that is if click fraud gets tons of exposure, or if the cost of policing the small sites outweighs the returns.
Even if the small sites are a break even proposition, keeping them in the AdSense system means:
free exposure for the AdSense program
Google gets to boast about their program being so much larger than any competing contextual ad network
If Google's ads are on the page then some other network's contextual ads are not.
The smaller niche channels tend to have a slightly greater CTR than the larger more well known sites. People moved to search because it was so easily trackable and targeted, but the $2 minimum on branding ads will keep some people away from participating in the brand ads.
While people may not realize the value of the small niche sites I believe their traffic quality is higher than the more well known sites since they are harder to get to (read as: what leads get there may be more prequalified). I had decent clickthrough rates on many of the smaller SEO forums & blogs (some averaging about 2 to 3 cents per click), whereas the clickthrough rates on the larger & more established sites were typically much lower.
I (at least temporarily) ended my site targeted AdSense ad campaign a few days back because I think there are far more effective ways I could spend money to promote this site, but for some business models the site target ads probably make great sense.
Yahoo! DMCA Policy: bogus, removing sites without ANY sort of notification. They really ought to work on that. (from TW)
Bad Copywriting Advice:
You can also use copy from the site (no links), like the section where it says, "The only current SEO Book on the planet. Buy the industry standard #1 ranked SEO Book. What do the search engines think?" Etc.
Leslie Rhode created a new seo blog, and a new Mastering PageRank video. His OptiLink was one of the first SEO tools I bought and one of the few I ever found useful, although the advancing algorithms are making link analysis harder than it was a short time ago.
Mirago's Context Stream:
new AdSense competitor spotted.
Spammy Directory Links:
Have still seen them working decent in Google, although I am sure that will eventually change.
About 3 months ago a friend launched a brand spanking new site on an expensive topic which already ranks in the top 30 for a well known short query. The site ranked there before being listed in DMOZ.
Other than a Yahoo! Directory link only a few links from on topic sites or sites that would be well trusted by an algorithm such as TrustRank.
Most of the links popularity comes from general directories. The site also has sitewide outbound links to a couple industry hub resources. Most other sites in the field are not well topically connected and are powered by fake hubs and the like.
Their search service now comes with a new search suggestion / keyword research tool. Similar to how Snap works, except instead of showing queries which start with your term it shows querries which contain your term. from TW
Luckily I already created an annoyingly bright favicon file which is ready and waiting to be used :)
Graphic text ads. hmm. To me it seems like it would make sense for Google to make ads on other sites look different than ads on Google to keep people clicking away at the Google.com ads for as long as they possibly can.
The more graphical Google makes ads on other sites the longer it will be before people become blind to text ads.
The purist will hate the ads, but if RSS is going to transition from early adopter to mainstream it will need to pay for itself. The two options are that the RSS post is a summary that brings visitor to your site to see ads or you place ads in your feed. Google wants ads in your feed.
Syndicate the full text of your articles. The more content that is available in a siteâ€™s feed, the better the user experience, and the more likely people are to subscribe your feed. If you canâ€™t put the full text of your articles in your feed, then in addition to the headline of each article, include as informative a snippet as possible of the articleâ€™s text.
Typically most people do not view a feed until after they subscribed to it, so how does showing the full content of your post in your feed make people more likely to subscribe?