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#1 whitemark

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Posted 26 April 2005 - 12:17 PM

Jensense reports that Bloggers are buzzing about AdSense beta testing in RSS feeds on the Longhorn Blogs.

Q: What is Google doing?
A: ...  I can tell you that this is a pilot program for a new AdSense product that Google is looking into. ...

Q: Is anyone else currently testing this technology?
A: No. Right now LonghornBlogs.com is the only site running this test ...

Q: How are you putting ads in the feeds?
A:  I can't talk at all about implementation yet ... I CAN tell you that it isn't using Javascript.

Q: When can I start putting ads in MY feeds?
A:  IF Google decides to launch this product, you can expect to see a wider public beta in the next few weeks ...

[Source:  Longhorn Blogs - AdSense in RSS - Explained]

Popular feed publisher Feedburner also informed today that it has now implemented support for Google Adsense on feeds.

As has now been widely reported, Google has launched a trial program enabling AdSense in RSS, and FeedBurner has implemented support for this capability. Google is currently testing this program with just a few publishers, but as the program becomes more widely available, and your Google AdSense id is approved for use with RSS ads, FeedBurner will take care of the rest as part of our suite of services ... We will activate our Google AdSense service as the trial expands beyond the initial pilot group of publishers.

[Source: Burning Questions - Google AdSense Support]


Since the ads are images mimicking text ads, it doesn't show up in the Opera feed reader. Yet, the text, 'ads by Google' remain:

Posted Image
(If you can't see the image go to http://img138.echo.c...googlead1sc.gif )


This is how the ad look like on Blogline:

Posted Image
(If you can't see the image go to http://img138.echo.c...googlead2ji.gif )


Yahoo also has been beta testing Overture ads in feeds for some time now. I liked the earlier Overture ads better as they blended better with the posts and hence were less obtrusive:

Posted Image
(Image from John Battelle's Searchblog from the post News: Overture Testing Ads Rolled Into RSS)

#2 bwelford

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Posted 26 April 2005 - 06:09 PM

Well spotted, whitemark. However I had hoped we might be able to avoid the ads there. Ah well, if you can't beat them, you might as well join them. I wonder when Google will invite us all to participate. :)

#3 bragadocchio

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Posted 26 April 2005 - 06:58 PM

I'm not sure that I welcome this either.

Some interesting material in the posts, and the comments that you pointed to Whitemark.

One of them seems to be that Google's implementation would be cost per impression, rather than clickthroughs. I'm not sure that's right, but it's interesting if it is.

The other is that when an ad is changed or updated, the RSS feed appears in people's aggregators, to have been updated. The same is true in Blog lines - even though there aren't new posts - just new ads. Breaking RSS readers to monetize an RSS feed doesn't seem like an ideal situation.

This ClickZ article has more on the subject:

http://www.clickz.co...cle.php/3495396

It describe's one small blog that has been using Google Adsense on the blog, and overture (well, that was their name three weeks ago) ads in the RSS feed.

#4 whitemark

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Posted 27 April 2005 - 12:45 AM

I have mixed views on this. While reading my feeds, I hate getting snippets or a summary of the post forcing me to go to the site to read the complete post. Web pages take a lot more time to load even with images turned off, and hence my feed reading time effectively doubles. If bloggers are purposely offering only snippets in the hopes of earning more revenue from their blogs, than I am all for ads on feeds as long as they provide the complete posts and not just summaries in their feeds. But, please, not image ads!

This reminds me of a related PM I sent to Barry a long time back (nov 2004), requesting him to provide his SEO Roundtable Blog feeds with full posts, also adding that I wouldn't mind if he had to add ads to make this possible.

... To sum it, what I am really saying is not to wait for Google or Overture to launch a 'feed ad service' before offering full posts in your feeds ...

Barry is also currently testing ads on his feeds using his own technology (combined with PHP Ads New if I am right). (Feedback: Instead of displaying ads on every post, just display them on the long posts. And perhaps offer a little variety using Amazon.)

... and overture (well, that was their name three weeks ago) ...

Yes, I remember Yahoo rebranded it to something, just can't seem to recall the new name. :)

#5 sebastienbillard

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Posted 27 April 2005 - 03:19 AM

I would personnaly hate that an RSS feed display such ads. A such one should be of exceptional value to stay in my aggregator. Adsense is great for website as it is not too intrusive, but in a aggregator it would eat too much space imho.

#6 whitemark

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Posted 28 April 2005 - 01:41 PM

It appears that Google once sent a cease and desist to someone who implemented a method to place Google Adsense to his blog feed - removing google ads from RSS.

Reports of more blogs testing Google Adsense in their feeds are coming in. Weblogs Inc. too have incorporated this.

What does this mean?

Well, it means we know we can make money off of our RSS feeds and that we can justify providing you - our readers - with free "full" feeds to our content ... What it also means is that people who have been stealing our content are now going to be stealing it with advertisements in it ...

[Source: Google AdSense for RSS running at Weblogs, Inc. (All emphasis mine) ]

That's an interesting point he makes - ads will makes it harder (not impossible ofcourse) to steal the content.

... but in a aggregator it would eat too much space imho.

The RSS image ads are indeed very intrusive. One ad implementation I liked was to place the ads in random long posts. The reading flow was a lot easier this way - you can read the short posts quickly, and by the time you finish a long post one does feel the need to take a short 2-3 seconds break anyway; an ad nicely fills this distraction. You do justice to both your readers and your advertisers ...

#7 whitemark

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Posted 24 May 2005 - 08:38 PM

Barry loses a reader from his popular blog because of the Ads in the feeds. Will the protests really trickle ... I can see a future Greasemonkey script coming up ...

#8 Guest_rustybrick_*

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 08:02 AM

I don't understand, I was clear that I would be testing it for a short period of time. I agree, it looks ridiculous to show that many ads in the abridged version. I have commented at Anthony's blog.

Let me ask you, do you think I should get rid of the abridged feeds and only give full entry feeds with ads? Or should I just put the ads in the full entry ads and leave the abridged rss feeds ad-less?

#9 Adrian

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 08:14 AM

Heh, I blogged about this myself this morning after seeing 9 new items from your feed Barry, and another feed having lots of short entries with the ads too.

Since then I've spotted another feed which does full text posts using the ads, and find that a lot more pleasing (if seeing advertising is ever actually pleasing.

I take it there is no way to have the ads only appear every say 5 entries Barry? In the abridged version that would probably work better. If not, then I would at least take the ads off the abridged versions.

In a sense the case for using ads in the abridged version is less anyway. You're already trying to get readers to click through to the site to read the rest of the entry, where you already have you're normal advertising.
I see the feed ads as more appropriate to full text feeds anyway, where people may be reading all you're content, but never seeing any ads, because they don't actually visit the site.

Yours is probably a feed I would put up with it on anyway, heh, but there are some other feeds that I would unsubscribe from because of it.

#10 Ruud

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 08:36 AM

Funny, seems like the whole original AdSense discussion all over :-)

It's great that small publishers will get access to (this type of) advertisement. I for one don't mind ads: they tend to keep many things I enjoy on the web free and possible. And between all the different forms of advertisement I find AdSense to be the least annoying - even enjoyable; it's more spot-on than pop-ups, float-throughs, Flash banners, etc.

Between full feeds and excerpts I prefer expanded excerpts. Long enough to really get a taste for the article, vs. just a teaser to get me to the site, and short enough to not be re-used out-of-the-box elsewhere.

#11 Guest_rustybrick_*

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 09:08 AM

Thanks for the feedback. Personally, I think abridged versions are annoying in general, with or without ads. So I am kinda leading towards giving the RSS reader full entries (which I have available now at /index-full.rdf

But if you guys like the abridged version, I'll just wipe the adsense off them.

#12 Adrian

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 09:34 AM

Um, adbridged versions can be useful. I'm following 80 feeds with bloglines now, it's nice to have some feeds, epsecially those with lots of updates, made fairly easy to scan so I can click through those I want to read in full. I'm finding Opera's right click and "Open in background page" very useful recently to open several links to stories I want to read in full.

According to Bloglines you've got 244 people subscribed to it, so may not be the best move to just remove the abridged version, heh. I'd probably make people more aware of the full text version (can't see it linked on your site) and take the ads off the abridged version for now, and see how it goes.

#13 Guest_rustybrick_*

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 10:00 AM

Well, I wouldn't remove it, just convert it to a full entry one. I have two versions of the abridged, both have about the same number of subscribers at bloglines. The full rss one has very few but I do not tell people about it.

So what I am doing right now is removing the ads from the short versions and publicizing the full RSS version.

#14 Guest_rustybrick_*

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 10:04 AM

Done. :D

#15 whitemark

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 08:27 PM

Hi Barry. I like that you always put your readers first and go the extra mile to consider their needs too. Here's my thought on the subject:

+ I don't think people will mind 1 or 2 ads daily (depending on the number of posts you've posted) in the smaller excerpt feed. Preferably you can put the ad in the last post of the day.

+ In the full feed, John Battelle's Searchblog used a technique where certain posts having less than a fixed number of words didn't display Amazon or Overture ads. Only the long posts displayed the ads. Maybe you can try that too. (Though I don't remember many of your posts being short :). He used Feedburner to do it.

+ This is just me - I would prefer the ads were not distracting, but blended in with the post. The "block of blue" in the Google Ads is a constant reminder that there is an Ad in the feed, and to turn off the 'noise', I feel the urge to turn off all images in my browser ...

#16 Guest_rustybrick_*

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 06:10 AM

Thanks whitemark.

Removing them completely from the abridged version is sufficient, no?

Regarding how distracting the ads are in the full feeds. I expect Google will allow me to modify size, and colors soon.

#17 whitemark

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 10:52 AM

Removing them completely from the abridged version is sufficient, no? ...

Everyone loves a no ad zone ... but you provide a great service too. Actually I think the initial problem was just finding the right balance between the ads and the posts. An ad in every post is ok in the full post feed but in the abridged feed, an ad in every post is very, very noisy.

But 1 ad for (say) every 4 or 5 posts won't be that distracting. (It would be more effective too ... readers won't be able to blank it out as easily. It would also give you an incentive to write more posts too :).

(Ofcourse, this is just me ... maybe you should hold a readers poll?)

#18 Guest_rustybrick_*

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 02:22 PM

I'll just keep them out of the abridged versions.

I try to write between 4 - 7 new entries a day. Hope that is enough. Sometimes its hard to find good threads on a daily basis. :)

#19 AbleReach

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 05:20 PM

+ In the full feed, John Battelle's Searchblog used a technique where certain posts having less than a fixed number of words didn't display Amazon or Overture ads. Only the long posts displayed the ads. Maybe you can try that too. (Though I don't remember many of your posts being short :). He used Feedburner to do it.

I like this. I don't mind adverts that look like resources, as long as they're in proportion to the amount of content. If an ad doesn't look like a resource it better have class and a connection to the content. No blinking anywhere, and no hot date ads on a business blog... somehow I don't think that'll be a problem in this case. :)

Thanks for the Feedburner link.


Elizabeth



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