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January 25, 2005

Changes to the AdSense reporting page

If you are an avid channel stat checker, AdSense has just added a few new features to their drop down menu in the reporting area of the AdSense control panel.

Before, whenever you would check channel stats when they became available, you would have to select the correct dates from the date drop down menus, as there was not a preset date range to check channel stats once they became available. I have requested an option of "2 days ago" in the drop down menu, to save people a few mouse clicks, and my wish was granted today.

Also added to the date range drop down menu, is "Last business week".

Now options in the drop down menu include:

Well done Google, I know many channel checkers who wait until midnight PST to check their channel stats will find this very convenient.

Posted by Jenstar at 02:02 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 24, 2005

Private label contextual program by Quigo

Quigo Technologies launched a private label version of AdSonar, their contectual advertising program, today.

Private Marketplace will allow publishers the ability to sell advertising on their site through the AdSonar interface, chose the advertisers that appear, and offering advertisers the ability to advertise on the sites they choose.

Quigo is also offering a different renevue split for publishers who sign up advertisers through Private Marketplace, as opposed to the rev share for those advertisers that Quigo has brought into the program. They offer full disclosure of the revenue share in the Private Marketplace Program.

Unfortunately, Private Marketplace is limited to those publishers who have at least one million page views per month. Many publishers who might have used Quigo's new program will fall under this page view requirement.

In an interview with Quigo CEO Mike Yavonditte, Pamela Parker of ClickZ News reports that AdSonar now has a higher average bid than the $.50 a click it soft-launched with.

On The Knot, the companies set a $0.50 minimum bid price, but Yavonditte says the average price has risen considerably since the product was soft-launched two months ago.

"The average bid price seems to be around $0.70 a click, which is obviously a healthy number. The marketplace will dictate where prices will go," he said.

Publishers who have signed onto Private Marketplace include USAToday.com, The Knot, iExplore, DenverPost.com and RockyMountainNews.com

Posted by Jenstar at 07:33 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 11, 2005

Highly publicized Internet Explorer fix blocks Google AdSense from displaying

Danish security company Secunia has announced an extremely critical vulnerability in Microsoft's Internet Explorer, and one of the main fixes blocks AdSense from displaying.

Their first suggestion is for surfers to drop Internet Explorer and switch to another browser. But their "alternative workaround" involves changing the set security level in IE to high for the "Internet" zone.

For the people who want to make the fix, more would be more likely to use the workaround than going through the process of finding and downloading a new browser to use (they do not name or recommend any browser alternatives to IE).

But setting the security level to high for internet zone does more than protect the surfer from this browser exploit... it also blocks all Google AdSense ads from displaying within the browser. So anyone who follows their instructions will no longer be able to view and click on AdSense. The entire ad space usually occupied by AdSense will disappear.

This is actually very similar to the problem publishers have with Norton's Internet Security, which comes free on many new computers, with the "ad blocking" feature turned on my default. Most users have no idea they even have this option turned on.

If this fix becomes widespread - and depending on how long it takes Microsoft to issue a patch for this exploit - this could impact publisher earnings. And coming right on the heels of the upcoming Adwords affiliate changes, some publishers may be set up for a double hit to their earnings.

But if Joe and Jane Average do not pay attention to any security risks to their surfing, even the red alert, critical priority ones, the impact could be quite insignificant. However, this one seems to be gaining momentum in the press, and has the potential to have a disasterous effect on publisher earnings.

If you want to see how it affects AdSense yourself, click on tools, then Internet Options, and select the Security tab. Click on Internet, select the "Custom Levels" button, then reset the custom levels to "High", then click on all the OK buttons. Then surf to any site running AdSense, and AdSense ads have vanished off all sites.

Posted by Jenstar at 10:06 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

January 08, 2005

Is the Adwords affiliate policy a pro-AdSense move by Google?

Now that the new changes to Adwords advertisers promoting affiliate programs have been announced, the changes may not directly affect ads served on the content network through AdSense. All AdSense ad inventory should remain the same, but depending on how AdSense technology approaches it, it could make a difference on what ads appear. And this move could actually be a pro-AdSense policy, particularly for those advertisers not wanting to go through the process of creating a landing page or site for each affiliate program or product.

What AdSense will not reveal, is how keywords are targeted, and has never said if more than one keyword combination is targeted on a page, in order to show the highest paying ads possible. If they do use multiple combinations, you could still see multiple affiliate ads on the same page... particularly since using multiple ad units often appears to trigger different keyword combinations for ads on the same page.

Advertisers could be inclined to turn their content network option on, in order to get traffic for the keywords, while not paying a premium for that single affiliate space open in the Google search engine results. Yes, many will be making up individual landing pages, but sometimes it is more effort than it is worth if someone just wants to test conversions for a program or see if there is interest in something. And some just can't be bothered to do the extra work a separate landing page would require.

And finally, an affiliate landing page is one more page away from the actual page that earns the affiliate commission... yet another reason why an affiliate might forgo the landing page in order to keep the direct-to-merchant route, but might not be able to get enough or any traffic through search.

So what should we expect to see from a publisher perspective? A liklihood of a sizable increase in ad inventory. And this is good news to publishers who have been concerned on what the changes might mean to AdSense income. But if AdSense only does target a single keyword combination on a single page, the opposite could occur, and publisher earnings will drop.

Because the demand for ads by publishers is only going to increase as new publishers are accepted into AdSense every day, one has to wonder if a time will come when the demand for content ads will greatly exceed the available ad inventory. Will potential publishers be scrutinized harder? Will they start hunting for terms-violating publishers and suspend them in order to free up inventory for quality publishers? Always a possible scenario, but there has not been any evidence that this is a problem even on a limited basis, and AdSense has been accepting publishers for over a year and a half. But hopefully the changes will encourage some advertisers to opt-in to content, at least on a trial basis.

Posted by Jenstar at 01:22 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 05, 2005

Black Wednesday for AdSense? Or a jump in earnings for publishers?

January 12th is the date that the new Adwords changes will take affect, that will only allow one affiliate to advertise per merchant. The impact to AdSense publisher's revenue could be significant.

Many publishers are used to seeing many similar ads on a page that lead eventually lead to the same affiliate program. But if the one advertiser per merchant also applied to content match, this could mean a tremendous loss of ad inventory for AdSense publishers to display. And for those publishers whose sites tend to display mostly affiliate ads, the income loss could be staggering.

However, if Adwords/AdSense get together on this and allow one advertiser per keyword per merchant on the search side, yet allow as many advertisers per keyword per merchant on the content side of things, this could actually result in more advertisers opting into content. If they cannot afford the bid price in search, advertisers would still have the chance of getting click throughs in content, where it could be more affordable if all the advertisers are not trying to outbid each other for a single spot in the serps.

The official announcement by Google Adwords is rumored to be Thursday January 6th, with the one affiliate per merchant rule taking effect on Wednesday Januaruy 12th. This is an issue both advertisers and publishers need to watch closely. Depending on how this is handled, and how significant the drop in earnings is for publishers, it could represent a turning point in how happy publishers are to stick with AdSense and not try out some of the other competitors out there.

Posted by Jenstar at 09:51 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

January 03, 2005

50% ROI increase in contextual advertising with Google

At Search Engine Strategies Chicago in December, Emily White spoke briefly about contextual advertising... from the advertisers point of view, and complete with a fancy power point to illustrate it.

Smart pricing was launched on April 7, 2004, amid cheers from the advertisers and jeers from a large percentage of publishers. But interestingly, since the launch of smart pricing, advertiser ROI in content has increased 50%.

In a nutshell, smart pricing estimates what the ROI would be on any given publisher's webpage for the ads running on there, and discount the cost of that ad to the advertiser, and thus the earnings the publisher would make on that click.

This means that if a page has a higher liklihood of conversion, the advertiser may pay higher than the same ad running on a page where the liklihood of a conversion is much lower. This discounting is done automatically and "on the fly".

With such a dramatic increase of ROI to advertisers, it should encourage advertisers who may have initially turned off content targeting in their Adwords account to perhaps give it another try. Advertisers will likely discover a lower cost associated with running their ads on the content network, as well as seeing a lower cost and higher ROI when compared to their ads run on content last year.

Posted by Jenstar at 10:08 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack