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Monday, August 18, 2008

Google Launches Feed Advertising – Advertisers Get Reach and Bloggers Get Revenue

Posted by @ 4:08 am

I’ve ranted about the importance of the blogosphere for years. Vital for reaching new markets, creating valuable SEO content, building your reputation and authority…and on and on.

Well Google has just opened up its AdSense service for Blog Feeds which for many, will provide more reason to enter and remain active in the blogosphere. It also offers advertiser a new way to reach potential customers.

For those of you not familiar with web “feeds”, here’s wikipedia’s definition:

“A web feed (or news feed) is a data format used for providing users with frequently updated content. Content distributors syndicate a web feed, thereby allowing users to subscribe to it. Making a collection of web feeds accessible in one spot is known as aggregation, which is performed by an Internet aggregator. A web feed is also sometimes referred to as a syndicated feed.”

As the number of blogs and content providers has ballooned over the years, Feeds have become an important way for users to consume the abundance of information being published online.

Unfortunately, Feeds have also made it harder for publishers to monetize their efforts, as feed users rely on these short snippets to graze over blog posts – removing the need to visit websites to digest information. Less eyeballs to a site = less likelihood of them viewing and clicking on website ads.

Enter Feed Advertising. When Google acquired FeedBurner a while back, many thought that the search giant would be quick to leverage this new advertising inventory – allowing advertisers to hit users while they were scanning feeds.

Well it’s take Google longer than expected to open up the feed inventory to the masses, but alas – now AdSense in Feeds is available to all. This gives bloggers and feed providers more ways of monetizing their content and also provides advertisers with another way to reach content consumers.

Will this new feed based AdSense provide content providers with a genuine way of monetizing their efforts. In my opinion, two things work against the model.

  1. People who read feeds are “content scanners”. Given the mind set when scanning feeds, which is to quickly identify content worthy of exploring further, I’m not convinced users will be likely to click on ads.
  2. Feed ads are located at the bottom of content snippets. If the snippet is compelling enough, users are likely to click through to the content before reaching the ads. If they’ve read all the way to the bottom, in most cases, they’ll have read enough and move onto the next item in the feed reader.

Now having said that, I have actually clicked through on several ads in Feeds before, so assuming I reflect even some of the feed reading marketplace – there is some scope for advertisers want to tap into this medium.

The key to making the most of advertising in feeds – is compelling ad creative. Creating interesting AdWords ads is always important, but Feed audiences are even less engaged than general searchers…so you have merely milliseconds to capture their attention.

So if you’re going to try out Google’s new Feed based advertising, my advice is to look at the headlines on all ads – and give them a serious critique.

Think milliseconds and judge for yourself – do your ads spark interest and compel a user to click…if not, it’s time for a rework.

If you want to find out more about the new AdSense for Feeds – here’s the launch video courtesy of the Inside AdSense blog.

Rene LeMerle Rene is the marketing manager of - a global search engine marketing company. He also leads the marketing for - a web 2.0 style community for online and digital marketers. Rene has been in the industry since 1997 with much of that time spent helping businesses embrace the best of the internet and digital world.

View Rene LeMerle's profile

Discussion (2 - comments)

Apart from confirm my suspicion that Google arn’t putting real resources into anything other than advertising these days – I think this is a really bad idea.

By Adam G - August 21, 2008

I tried adsense for feeds.Though I have already a Feedburner account, Google provided me another feed address for my blog.The new one is not working. So, I didnt change my old feedburner.I cant understand how to configure this.

By Sagar - August 26, 2008

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