The newest wave in the Google Adsense and Overture are ads in RSS Feeds. While on the surface this seems like a novel idea, there are some underlying problems associated with it.
It sounds perfect. I am currently writing about Ads in RSS feeds, now in a perfect world the ads that are associated with my blog should match in content. Theoretically that is how they are supposed to work. I was reading an article today by Richard McManus entitled “Ads in RSS should be measured by branding value, NOT click-through” and found it very true. Assuming bloggers are posting quality content they are bringing value to their subscribers which in turn should drive advertisers to advertise with them. That way the same association with the blog is passed onto the advertiser.
Unfortunately that is not the case currently with Ads in feeds. Whats worse is I have even noticed the lack of relevance of ads on blog pages, home pages, and even informational pages. What kind of association is that going to have on the advertiser? What kind of impact is that going to have to the reader? What benefit is it of the blogger to have them if they are not fulfilling their purpose. Now while I do not have ads in my RSS feeds yet (they are coming), I am quickly drawing to the same conclusion Richard did:
but the conclusion I’m coming to is that click-through ads are the wrong business model for RSS feeds. Further, unless Google and Overture can hook me up with advertisers that closely fit my niche and who are willing to forgo the pay-per-click model in favour of a brand-based impression model – I’m not sure I want to continue with Google ads in feeds. Particularly if all the ads have the same bland look.