With XML and RSS being thoroughly embraced by the web community, capitalizing financially from content syndication is the next logical step. In what would seemingly follow the Moreover.com format, Yahoo has announced that they are planning on offering an advertising service that will allow for sponsored links to be placed within syndication feeds.
With RSS advertising becoming a more viable option, would you consider displaying PPC ads in RSS feeds? Discuss at WebProWorld.
Plans for Yahoo’s new RSS ad service was revealed at John Battelle’s Web2.0 Conference during a Q&A session. According to Yahoo chief operating officer Dan Rosensweig, RSS advertisement will be supervised by Overture. Commenting on Yahoo’s interest in syndication advertising, Rosensweig said in a Ziff Davis article, “Absolutely. We’re in the advertising business and in the business of creating incremental value.”
Currently, Yahoo provides RSS feeds on a major portion of their content, including YahooNews (something Google is still working on). Using Overture in RSS advertising continues the content syndication embrace that began in earnest when Yahoo redesigned their MyYahoo service. The new MyYahoo will allow members to feature a number feeds from favorite sites and blogs on their personal homepage.
Chris Tolles, vice president of marketing at Topix.net, a search engine that recently began featuring RSS advertising, commented on Yahoo’s interest, “This would be a huge win for our industry. At Topix, we have gone from less than 1 percent to 20 percent of our story clicks coming from RSS feeds. Being able to monetize that could be critical to our network.”
Reaction to Yahoo’s announcement was mixed. On WebmasterWorld, poster Nigritude stated his misgivings: “I really don’t want to see ads with my RSS, that’s one of the reasons I use it. But I know marketers want to monetize everything… [because] RSS gets traffic they feel the need to show ads… Only a matter of time before a good reader comes out that suppresses the ads.”
Forum members aren’t the only ones with reservations about ads accompanying RSS feeds. RSS co-author Dave Winer feels that advertising with syndication feeds will diminish their value. However, WMW poster Adfree offered this counter point, “… Logical step, the ones with the most substance will win, or specialized for very targeted approaches. Not a big surprise really.” Considering how RSS use is increasing daily, having feed readers include relevant text ads seems to be a natural step.
If Yahoo start including relevant advertising within RSS feeds, how might this affect you as advertisers and business owners? Simply put, RSS advertising would increase the amount of web real estate available, giving potential PPC advertisers additional outlets where their ads can be displayed. With concerns of dwindling space, Yahoo’s upcoming service can only help.
A recent WebProNews article featured an analysis from Net//Nielsen concerning shrinking web ad space. According to the article, “The report gave suggestions concerning what areas PPC-driven search engines (Yahoo, MSN, Google, Ask, for starters) could improve in order to increase the supply of necessary inventory to accommodate more advertisers.” RSS advertising provides some of this much-needed space. It also gives PPC users more options with which to advertise.
Because most RSS feeds are topic-based (ebusiness, search, gadgets, etc.), the odds of your ads reaching a desired audience should also increase. This type of advertising wouldn’t be as keyword dependent, because the content of the feed would be what triggers the contextual ads. Considering things like the proliferation of RSS feeds, and specifically the increase in Topix’s traffic, RSS advertising seems to be a very viable advertising option.
If Yahoo follows suit, RSS ads will probably appear on top of the feeds, similar to Feedster, in the familiar text style. As of now, there has been no word of when Overture will begin its RSS ad service.
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