I've just been talking to someone who wanted to sell me contextual advertising. After going round that, I suggested an idea that turns this on it's head.

I want to get an RSS feed of the latest ads that have been placed for a particular Keyword. The example we used was "Wifi". If I'm tracking Wifi by taking a whole set of RSS feeds both from single sites and from news aggregators like Google News, Topix, del.icio.us and flickr I'd really like to also take a feed of latest Ads in that area. Because that will give me an additional view of the market and should lead me to information about new products and services in the area. From the advertiser's point of view, I'm a high value customer who's shown specific interest in that keyword and so I'm actually much more likely to click through to find out more information.

What was interesting was that the guy on the phone had a really hard time getting his head round that because he was so concerned about the impact and how it would work around their current business model. Now as well as getting higher quality impressions in front of a customer who has self selected for interest in that keyword, you've also cut out having to pay the site publisher who displays them.

Somewhere in there, he said that Overture (and possibly others) provide a (possibly private) XML feed of the highest value ads for a particular keyword. Which means that they are very close to being able to offer this already. The XML just needs reformatting into RSS format.

So when is an advertising company going to think outside the box and start offering this? I'm sure there's some problems around click through fraud, and republishing bu they don't feel insurmountable given that Overture, Google and others are already providing ads for RSS that end up being displayed in RSS readers rather than on websites.

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[ 17-Jun-05 5:19pm ] [ , ]