Tag Archives: Advertisements

Google Rolling Out Asynchronous AdSense Ads

Remember when BuySellAds started using non-blocking JavaScript to load advertisements on publisher’s sites? It made a huge difference in the speed pages took to load, since the ads wouldn’t load until all of the important stuff was done.

Google is finally doing the same with AdSense, with new asynchronous ad-serving code that is currently being used to load ads quicker in Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer 8. (They plan to expand to support other browsers after they’ve ironed the kinks out of the new script.)

The old show_ads did lots of work: loading additional scripts, gathering information about the web page it was running on, and building the ad request to send back to Google. The new show_ads has a different job. It creates a friendly (same-origin) iframe on the web page, and starts the old script with a new name, show_ads_impl, running inside that iframe. The _impl does all the heavy lifting, and in the end the ads look exactly the same. But there’s a substantial speed advantage: many things happening inside an iframe don’t block the web browser’s other work.

Publishers don’t need to change anything; Google took care of everything on their end. Supposedly it should shave off about 12% of the time it takes for the page to load, since the ads won’t hold up the page while they load.

BuySellAds Coming to OS X Applications

This has been in the works for awhile, but Mac AppStorm is reporting that BuySellAds is finally putting ads in OS X applications. If you have a Cocoa application, you can use an API to inject ad zones into your application. The ad zones appear in the BuySellAds marketplace just like any website, but the ads will be pulled-into your program. Bodega and the Kiwi Twitter client are both using the ads.

This is something that I have been wanting to see for some time. We have already seen a few free internet-connected applications, such as Evernote and Tweetie for Mac, supported by Fusion Ads and The Deck. It’s cool to have BuySellAds, a less exclusive network, offer a similar option to developers.

My big question is: will this work for iPhone apps? Cocoa and CocoaTouch are similar frameworks, and it would be interesting to see BuySellAds as a potential competitor to iAd and AdMob. (iAd is simply perfect for the iPhone, though. Plain banners can’t quite compete in that regard…)

Apple’s iAd Platform the “Most Progressive Thing to Date” in Online Advertising

“We feel pretty strongly that this is the way to capitalize on where the mobile Web is heading,” said Chad Jacoby, a senior manager of Nissan’s media operations. “What iAd promises is the most progressive thing I’ve seen to date” in digital advertising.

Advertisers and developers alike are very happy with Apple’s iAd platform. Developers like that they get paid a lot more than they would through other networks and advertisers like that users are much more likely to interact with the advertisements. Applications running iAds are seeing CPM rates as high as $25.

Dictionary.com said on Wednesday that the amount it could charge for its ad space had increased 177% since it enabled iAds in its iPhone app, and CBS Mobile Senior Vice President Rob Gelick said the company’s six apps — including apps for CBS Sports, CNET, and GameSpot, were seeing up to $25 CPMs (the cost advertisers pay for an add to appear a thousand times.)

On the other end of the scale, advertisers are reporting a much greater user engagement. Users spend more time with the iAds than with ordinary banners, and they are much more likely to “click” them. It can be expected that people would spend more time with the ads, seeing as the whole point of the platform is to provide information and entertainment without leaving the confines of the app. Ordinary display ads whisk the user away as soon as they click.

Nissan, which created a multilayer interactive ad for its electric LEAF car, said customers spent an average of 90 seconds with the ad — 10 times longer than interaction times for comparable online ads. Moreover, people chose to “tap” on the Leaf iAd five times more frequently than they clicked on regular online display ads for the Leaf.

If you haven’t seen an iAd yet, be sure to see this YouTube video of the Nissan ad. It shows-off the benefits of the platform (from the perspective of end users) pretty well.

I have high hopes for the iAd network, both as a blogger interested in seeing the advertising industry shaken-up and as someone getting started with iPhone application development.

iAds: Apple Reinvents Mobile Advertising

One of the things Steve Jobs announced in the iPhone OS 4.0 keynote was Apple’s new advertising platform, “iAds.” It’s something I have high hopes for. I think it will promote the development of more free applications.

What’s so special about iAds? For starters, clicking on one of the small banners doesn’t take you out of your application. It just opens an overlay with an HTML5-powered “mini application” from the advertiser, which you can then exit at any time.

The page displayed when you tap an advertisement is very interactive. Video and sound can be streamed to you, freebies like iPhone wallpapers can be downloaded. You can even play little HTML5 games.

Another example Jobs showed-off a few times was using the location tools to help find nearby store or movie theater locations. Imagine clicking a Pizza Hut or Dunkin Donuts ad and having it show you where to find the nearest franchise location.

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Ars Technica’s Ken Fisher on Ad Blocking

I’ve written at length before on the subject of ad blocking and how it hurts your favorite websites. My diatribes have been a little strongly worded in the past, which may blunt the effect I intended them to evoke. Fortunately, a much larger site than I has published an article on the subject, and their article, I believe, does a better job at explaining the publishers’ side of things.

Ars Technica’s Editor-in-Chief, Ken Fisher, recently penned Why Ad Blocking is devastating to the sites you love, a piece that presents, quite well, the facts of what ad blocking does to a website.

There is an oft-stated misconception that if a user never clicks on ads, then blocking them won’t hurt a site financially. This is wrong. Most sites, at least sites the size of ours, are paid on a per view basis. If you have an ad blocker running, and you load 10 pages on the site, you consume resources from us (bandwidth being only one of them), but provide us with no revenue. Because we are a technology site, we have a very large base of ad blockers. Imagine running a restaurant where 40% of the people who came and ate didn’t pay. In a way, that’s what ad blocking is doing to us. Just like a restaurant, we have to pay to staff, we have to pay for resources, and we have to pay when people consume those resources. The difference, of course, is that our visitors don’t pay us directly but indirectly by viewing advertising.

Whether you block ads or not, I encourage you to read the full article. Even if you think you have made-up your mind on the matter, you should still see what the editor of one of the largest (and highest-quality) tech news sites has to say.

When someone blocks ads on a website they frequent, they are taking money from a company that has to somehow pay its employees and provide funds to run servers. It may not be a pleasant fact, but it is a fact nonetheless. I don’t know about you, but I don’t relish the idea of paying subscriptions for websites.

I don’t ask that you give-up ad blocking entirely. (After all, how would we have survived the pop-up infestation of the ’90s without resorting to blocking them?) I do, however, encourage the adoption of less aggressive blocking rules, and that you whitelist your favorite sites.

BuySellAds Introduces Asynchronous Ad Serving

BuySellAds, the ad network that I use on Webmaster-Source, has introduced a cutting-edge ad-serving feature. Their new asynchronous ad serving script dramatically speeds up page loading times, as the browser doesn’t have to wait around for the ads to load.

Todd Garland, the founder of BuySellAds, hopes that other networks will follow suit with their own asynchronous solutions, resulting in a faster internet.

If the major ad networks like Google AdSense, Yahoo! Network, AOL Advertising, as well as the popular ad serving products such as Google AdManager and OpenX converted their ad code to be non-blocking, the internet as a whole would become an order of magnitude faster. I genuinely hope that the larger ad networks will step up to the plate and follow our lead on this. A faster internet is a happier internet. This is a big deal.

I’m already using the new ad code here, as are many of the sites in the BuySellAds marketplace.

BuySellAds Announces “Premium” and Pay Per Click Ads

BuySellAds has announced two new ad programs that are currently in beta stage: “premium” banners and Pay-Per-Click text ads.

As you know, we have traditionally sold display ads at fixed 30-day rates. It is important to note that we are not abandoning the sponsorship model at all, it is still our core business. However, there has been a growing need for both advertisers and publishers to have more options. Premium and Pay Per Click are the first additional options we are releasing in a series of innovative developments that we have to come.

The Pay-Per-Click ads are a type of ad zone that resembles an AdSense block vaguely, with the most noticeable difference being that the ads have icons next to them.

BuySellAds Pay-Per-Click ads“Premium” banners are network ads. An advertiser can pay a minimum of $2,500 to have their banner syndicated across any sites in the BSA network that run the banners.

Payouts were not discussed in the post, as the new ad zone types are still in beta. Both of the new ad types have one major advantage though: you don’t have to worry about advertisers booking ad spots on your site, as they’re network-wide.

As a user of BuySellAds, I will be watching this with great interest.

The New York Times Accidentally Serves Malicious Ads

The New York Times was unwittingly serving-up a rogue advertisement last week that would install malware disguised as antivirus software when it appeared in the rotation.

The malware seems to be one of the many variants of the infamous Antivirus2009, which goes by many names, but does the same thing overall: It locks-down your computer and pretends to be an antivirus application that you need to pay $30-$760 for it to remove the mess of nonexistant malware that it claims is on your computer. (When, in fact, the only malware is the faux antivirus software itself, which does all sorts of terrible things.) Paying the fee to the authors of the ransomware does not earn you any relief from the software either, it simply opens you up to more extortion.

The last I heard, The New York Times staff were looking into finding the rogue ad, which contained some Flash scripting to redirect to the malware site. (This sort of problem is in no way unique to The New York Times. Every once in awhile a rogue ad slips through the approval process and ends up in a major banner network.) This brings up an interesting topic of discussion…

Online publishers need to move away from running Flash-based banner ads. There, I said it. By dropping ads built with Flash, you make it a lot harder, in not impossible, for malware to be spread through said advertisements. As valuable as Flash is for online video and games, it’s the root of all evil when it comes to ads. You can’t spread malware through a JPG, GIF or PNG image, and you can’t make ads that talk, play video, or fly across the screen either. Whenever someone complains about an obnoxious ad, chances are it’s Flash.

Update: It turns out that the ad was sold not through a third-party network, but through The New York Times’ internal sales department. The malware distributor posed as a legitimate company (Vonage) and then delivered the malicious ad code after paying. You can read the full details on NYTimes.com.

Further Reading

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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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.