Saturday, July 01, 2006

Prepublished Contextual Ads

I am a huge advocate of contextual advertising. The industry has grown rapidly since the introduction of Google Adsense. I also believe webmasters should not rely entirely on third parties to serve up the ads. If you are a blogger or content publisher there is a method to instantly monetize your content while giving your advertisers excellent long term value.

How is it possible to instantly monetize content?

I propose you sell what I call ‘prepublished contextual ads‘. Here is the process explained step by step.

Step 1: Advertisers start a reverse auction displaying each page they would like to promote along with their desired anchor text. Additional information such as budget and content quality may be added.
Step 2: Bloggers and content developers then decide if they have a site containing content that matches the advertisers request. If so they simply display a link to their content along with a bid price.
Step 3: The advertiser then analyzes the bids and decides which writers will provide the most value. They may decide to go with higher bids if they perceive the content to be noticeably more valuable.
Step 4: The writers then develop and publish the content with the required embedded contextual link or links. Afterwards they contact the blogger for payment. If payment is not received within a set period of time they may simply take down the link and notify the community of the lemon advertiser.
Conversely, if the content is poor the advertiser may require revisions in order to meet the set standard. If revisions are not made the advertiser is not obligated to pay.

What does this mean for the publisher?

Instant monetization of content! What could be better than that? Traditionally content publishers have slowly monetized content through advertising networks. To speed up the process publishers need to toss in additional ads which in turn reduces their credibility and the overall value of their content.
Nothing is stopping publishers from adding an adsense ad or two on top of the prepublished ads. Think of it like this. You are breaking even by selling prepublished contextual ads and virtually turning an instant profit on additional ads.
Ultimately this means publishers can spend more time developing solid content and less time promoting that content.

What does this mean for the advertiser?

There are several huge boons to acquiring permanent contextual ads within prepublished content.

1) Initial exposure - Generally new blog posts or articles receive a decent amount of initial exposure through RSS feeds or social bookmarking sites.
2) Placement - Would you rather buy a footer or a contextual link? I don’t know about you but when I read an article I pay little attention to anything outside the meat of the context. Sometimes I see a link within that article that references something I may want to check out later so I open it into a new window, finish the article, then come back to it. The only time I will even consider looking at the footer is when I am interested in what script the site was designed on.
So without doing research I would have to assume contextual ads pull a much higher click through rate than footer links and they receive considerably more exposure than backend links.
3) Long term - Obviously a permanent link is much more valuable than one that is displayed for a short period of 1-6 months.
4) SEO value - This may be the most under appreciated value of contextual links. Highly relevant contextual ads with optimized anchor text pass a lot more authority than other text links. This quite simply means more search engine traffic.


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