Advertising in Context
I’ve written a fair amount about contextual advertising (adsense, yahoo publisher network, etc) and behavioral advertising (tacoda).
Contextual advertising is when the ads are targeted against specific content.
Behavioral advertising is when the ads are targeted against a specific person who has exhibited a certain behavior.
Contextual advertising is content-based advertising.
Behavioral advertising is people-based advertising.
They are both effective and I believe they result in more relevant advertising which benefits the consumer.
I also believe that we are just seeing the beginning of how powerful these targeting techniques can be.
One of the things that needs to be considered with both techniques is where the ads are placed.
If an ad is being targeted against specific content/context, it should be placed near/in the content that is providing the targeting and it should stay connected to the content as it gets mashed up, syndicated, etc.
If the ad is being targeted against specific behavior, it should not be placed near/in specific content, it should be associated more closely with the environment in which the person is consuming the content.
Which leads me to blog posts. I have been running adsense and yahoo publisher network on this blog for a while. These ads are in the right sidebar. I’ve had them near the top, above the fold, and currently below the fold. They are in a tower that usually has three or four ads in it. And its never clear which ads are being targeted against which blog posts. I think that is very sub-optimal.
I much prefer the way the ads are displayed in my feed at the end of the post. The ads in my feed are not particularly targeted at this time, but they can be and they should be. If I write a post about the new Flaming Lips record, then there should be an ad for that record at the end of my post. If I write a post about Adsense, there should be an ad for Adsense at the end of my post.
And if my posts end up somewhere else as a result of being resyndicated, then the ads should stay with them and remain in context. The ads should be as much a part of the post as the permalink, the comment link, and the date.