A Traffic Based Weblog Advertising System

You've all heard of ad servers that do the job of serving ads on websites. Weblogs pose and interesting challenge to that method of ad delivery. First off, much of a weblogs traffic goes to pages (posts) other than the home page. And not even to the top of the page the post is in but scrolled down to the actual post. This is due to the practice heavy practice of "deep linking" used in the weblog world. What good does ad advertisement do at the top of the page when most visitors are never going to see it because they have been "auto scrolled" down the page?

As the addition of an advertising component to Adrants is considered, this situation was clearly demonstrated on Adrants yesterday. Slate wrote an article about a post on Gawker that then linked to a post on Adrants about the PUMA Ad Sensation. Traffic to Adrants sky rocketed. Ten thousand visitors, in fact, yesterday and 3,000 so far today. Normal daily traffic is between 500-800 visitors a day. If Adrants had an ad program up and running that placed ads only at the top of the page, the advertiser, and Adrants, would have lost out big time on that bonus traffic. Worse, those ads would be counted as served impressions when, in fact, they would never be seen. Not a good ad strategy. What is needed is the ability to "embed" ads (graphic and/or text) dynamically within individual posts based on traffic level so that any ad is always "served" to the most highly viewed area of the site.

I'm sure technology exists to accomplish this but I bet it is far beyond the price point of most weblog operators. Sure, you could do it manually but that would be highly inefficient. Some sort of combination of server log info and ad serving technology would seem to do the trick. Does this exist? Has anyone heard of something like this? Please, do tell. Currently for blogs, there's BlogAds, Google AdWords and TextAds. None of which, if I understand their technology correctly, is designed to address this issue.

Another weblog specific issue that poses a problem to ad delivery is RSS (or Rich Site Summary) delivery of weblog posts. This technology allows weblog operators to send out each post, via a special RSS link, to a newsreader. A newsreader is a piece of software that is used to read these RSS link so the person does not have to continually visit the weblog to see if a new post/articles has been added. Just enter the RSS link into your newsreader and wait for the posts to roll in.

The advertising problem? Again, if no one actually goes to the actual weblog to read the article, any advertising on the page will never be seen. Just like the above mentioned "traffic based" ad delivery system, there needs to be a technology capable of "attaching" ads to RSS newsfeeds as they are sent out. Again, this could be done manually but it would be very inefficient. Perhaps the simple auto-attachment of a Javascript might do the trick.

Please feel free to add to this conversation in the Comment section below.


by Steve Hall    Apr-16-03   Click to Comment   

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