12 Sep Missing link? In-text ads swap clutter for context
The prevalence of online banners and text ads have made all but the most annoying online ads nearly transparent to online users. To stand out from the crowd, some marketers are turning to a simple, relevant and transparent advertising format: the text link.
With in-text ads, hyperlinks are inserted into ordinary website content around keywords in order to trigger advertising.
IntelliTXT, the in-text ad platform developed by Vibrant Media, finds keywords on participating web pages and replaces with with hyperlinked versions of the keyword. On mouseover (hovering the cursor over the hyperlink), an advertisement related to the keyword appears as a pop up that can contain everything from simple text to advanced multimedia. Vibrant Media works with leading advertisers worldwide such as Microsoft, Apple, Sony, and Warner Bros.
When users mousover an in-text ad served by Kontera’s network sites, they trigger a pop-up ad. Advertisers can purchase in-text ads on a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) basis across Kontera’s entire network of websites. Kontera also offers regional targeting for advertisers that wish to reach users in specific states, cities, and DMAs.
Like Konetera, Amazon also integrates pop-up ads on mouseover that includes product name, image, rating, and price.
The benefits of in-text ads aren’t without cost, though. Sites using in-text ads tend to load slower (as in-text ads are integrated) and can make pages less user-friendly. For example, as users scroll down the page, they may inadvertently cause ads to flash on/off. And, while the ads begin subtly as text links, some users are offended by the sudden appearance of uninvited multimedia ads in the middle of their computer screen. Ryan Block of EnGadget describes in-text ads that use popups as “abhorrent.”
“Keyword popovers are possibly the most obnoxious and obtrusive form of web advertising around,” Block said. “It’s even worse than popups, because at least those can quickly be cleared out…”
A less risky, and more promising use of in-text advertising is available without the use of popups. LinkXL allows marketers to purchase the text or words in the natural content on websites with related themes which then link web browsers back to the marketer’s website without using a popup.
In addition to attracting customers without use of pop-up ads, this approach allows marketers to organically grow their website’s link popularity and search engine ranking by gaining incoming links that search engines can’t identify as ads.
Recent articles by Troy Janisch
• Troy Janisch: Universal Search impacts Google results on large scale
• Troy Janisch: Clicks that stick: Re-targeting users that leave your website
• Troy Janisch: See how they run: Radio ads and Google
• Troy Janisch: Making the transition from Web 2.0 to Web 2.007
• Troy Janisch: Viewing the Internet as a free-for-all can be costly
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