Tag Archives: Ads

Once Again, “Old Media” Gets Web Advertising Wrong…

The Online Publishers Association is calling for new, more intrusive ad formats to combat banner-blindness.

A large-scale intrusive format is absolutely necessary in today’s market,” said Adam Kleinberg, chief executive of Traction, a San Francisco ad agency. “With the economy and the move to digital, the marketers are demanding a return on investment in every campaign.”

The association, which includes big names such as CNN, CBS Interactive, IDG, Condé Nast, New York Times, and NBC Universal, cites the impending death of their old media as a need to find a way to better monetize their content on the web.

The first of the formats being proposed is “Fixed Panel,” with recommended dimensions of 336×860 pixels. It will look “naturally embedded into the page layout” and remain visible as you scroll, plastered to the side of the page. The second is “XXL Box,” recommended to be sized 468 pixels wide by 648 high. It is to have “page-turn functionality” and the ability to show video. The third is known as “Pushdown,” with a starting display size of 970×418, “which opens to display the advertisement and then rolls up to the top of the page.”

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BuySellAds WordPress Plugin

I’ve previously talked about the distinguished BuySellAds banner marketplace. The network makes it much easier to sell ad space on your website, and has proven to be an excellent alternative to directly making deals with advertisers.

Thaya Kareeson of Omninoggin.com has put together a great WordPress plugin to make it easier to add the BSA ad code to your site. (As if pasting a bit of JavaScript wasn’t easy enough.)

The Buy Sell Ads WordPress Plugin, once installed, allows you to insert an ad zone into your sidebar simply by dropping a widget in. For ads elsewhere, or if you don’t have a widgetized theme, you can use a template tag instead.

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AdSense Does Expandable Ads

Google is experimenting with a new ad format that is being run on select publishers’ sites in North America and Europe. The ever-annoying expanding ads. However, it seems that they may have gotten them right, unlike other networks.

We’re excited to introduce to you expandable ads, a new type of ad that can appear on your pages. Expandable ads are rich media ads that can expand beyond the original size of the ad unit, following a user-initiated action. This creates more real estate for the ad, allowing for more interaction from interested users. For instance, expandable ads may stream a movie trailer, show video game clips, or display various views of an item for sale.

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Monetize Your Blog Without Annoying People

Devlounge has a short article with the basics on how to monetize a blog without creating a horrifying mess and driving people away.

We’ve all seen it: websites and blogs that offer up great content suddenly becoming littered with ads. Sometimes it happens overnight- but more often than not, it starts slowly: an ad here, some Adsense there, another ad here, and so on- until the blog looks like it’s almost all ads, but you really can’t tell, since the ads look so much like the content. Sound familiar? When this happens, there’s just one thing I want to do: leave the site.

Now I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with monetizing your blog- not at all. Just that you can do it without necessarily uglifying your previously clean and beautiful site.

The tips that follow are pretty good, some of them are virtually common sense. Have a look at the article, especially if you’re new to the world of advertisements.

My advice is to use 125×125 ads, or something similar. Use Buy Sell Ads, or sell them yourself.

WP125 1.3.0 Released

The WordPress 125×125 ad management plugin has just got better, with yet another release. Version 1.3.0 fixes a few bugs, and adds some useful new features.

New features in 1.3.0:

  • iCalendar subscription – Want to keep tabs on ad expirations better? Subscribe to them through Google Calendar, iCal, Outlook, or any other major calendaring application.
  • Localization support – Now you can have WP125 in French or Spanish, should you have your WordPress installation set to display one of the two languages. (I am responsible for the Spanish translation, so feel free to criticize my most likely poor grammar…) If you wish to help translate WP125 into a language that you know well, the .POT files are in the /translations directory.
  • Dashboard widget – A WP 2.7-compatible Dashboard widget is now supported. It shows a table of the current active ads. You can hide/show it like any other Dashboard widget.

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Buying Advertising For Your Blog

One way to give your site a boost is to advertise. Chances are, you probably already know of some options to do so, but are they good ones? If you’re on a budget, what are the best places to advertise?

Personally, I don’t think globally buying AdSense PPC ads is the way to start. You want to target your ads a bit better than that. I have a few suggestions to try if you want to get the most for your investment.

Search Ads

Want to get a leg-up over your competitors? Try advertising in Google results.

Google Sponsored Link

Now unless you have a lot of money, you probably won’t be able to afford premium placing, which is quite pricey apparently, but you could buy some keyword-targetted pay-per-click ads to the left of the results. Not everyone looks at the ads, but more than enough do.

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Anti-AdBlock Plugin

Thaya Kareeson, maker of the useful WP Greet Box Plugin, has just released Anti-AdBlock, a WordPress plugin that detects if the user is running the AdBlock Plus extension for Firefox and displays a message “humbly asking them to support your website by turning off their AdBlock software.”


The plugin allows you to customize the message to be displayed and the accompanying image. The box will, by default, log a cookie to prevent the box from showing again after the first visit, though you can set it to show more than once. Also, the message can be set to not display until a user has visiting more than X pages on the site, and it is set to a reasonably high number by default; a nice touch.

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What You Need to Know About Blocking Ads

Thaya Kareeson from Omninoggin recently pointed me in the direction of a site called AdBlock.org, a site that seems to have a similar view of of ad blockers as my own.

Adblocking software is a response to abusive activity by advertisers.

It’s the continuation of what amounts to an arms race between advertisers and adblock software developers. If the cycle of ad blocking and more agressive advertising continues, ultimately we all lose in a classic “tragedy of the commons” scenario, where overuse of a common resource can cause it’s ruin.

At adblock.org, we’re interested in discussing the issues, and pushing for all parties to stop the battle and work toward cleaning up the advertising mess that’s been created on the Internet.

They hit the nail on the head. Ad blocking software came into existence because of bad advertising practices. Badly designed ads, once that were intrusive and useless to the reader, drove people to a method of escape: Block the ads.

But not all ads are bad. The ads most people think of are the ones from major banner ad networks, and the Pay Per Click ads from providers such as AdSense. Those are the ones most people have a problem with, because they all too often provide little value to the end user, and lessen their experience on the website.

What of the other ads? Not every ad is as bad as the rest. What of the unobtrusive ads sold directly to advertisers, without a middleman ad network, ones carefully approved for lack of annoyance. What of the ads from the new breed of smaller, caring ad networks, such as Buy Sell Ads?

Not all ads are created equal, which is something people don’t seem to understand. Yet it is vitally important. Websites are supported by the advertisements that they run. Without the ads, many sites would cease to exist, and they certainly would if ad blocking went fully mainstream.

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How to Keep AdBlock From Hiding Your Ads

One of Firefox’s more popular extensions is AdBlock Plus, an add-on that can stop ads from showing as you browse the web. There are two ways to use it. You can selectively kill ads that are so annoying that you can’t stand them (e.g. the ones that float over content or play audio), or you can install a filter subscription that will automatically block any ads that fit the extensive criteria.

Now I like AdBlock, don’t get me wrong. I use it selectively, to remove ads that I find offensive or that hinder my use of a site too much. However, I don’t blanket-block ads like many people do. Why? Because the ads pay for the sites that produce free content for my consumption. I don’t like the flashing “Click here for a free iPod” ads any more than anyone else, but not all ads are like them. There are some ads that just sit there quietly, promoting a product that I don’t mind being shown. Those ads, the reasonable ones, are the way ads should be. They benefit the site, the advertiser, and ideally the reader. AdBlock only came into existence because of the annoying ads, the ones that give online advertising a bad name.

Imagine my indignation when I realized that the “EasyList + EasyElement” filter for AdBlock (one of the most popular filter subscriptions) was automatically blocking the 125×125 ads in my sidebar. I go through a lot to put those ads there. I work hard to make sure that they are unobtrusive, and I spend a fair bit of time communicating with companies to make ad deals. Not only does blocking them cheat the advertisers out of what they are paying for, it hurts my chances of them continuing to advertise.

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AdSense For Domains

It was only a matter or time.

Domainers have long put AdSense blocks on their parked domains, in an attempt to make some extra cash off the higher-traffic ones. This practice is technically against the AdSense terms of service, and isn’t really fair to the advertisers, but Google had not done anything about it. After all, they get a cut of the deal.

Now Google has made available, to all users of the AdSense network in North America (other continents to follow), AdSense for Domains, a “legitimate” way to monetize parked domains.

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