And for something a bit different but still sure to be popular – Duncan also emailed me a link to a press release of a new Mommy blogging collaboration over at Mommy Bloggers.
Google have launched another new product – Google Base – a place for submitting content. I’m still trying to get my head around so here’s how they describe it themselves:
‘Google Base is a place where you can easily submit all types of online and offline content that we’ll host and make searchable online. You can describe any item you post with attributes, which will help people find it when they search Google Base. In fact, based on the relevance of your items, they may also be included in the main Google search index and other Google products like Froogle, Google Base and Google Local.’
One of the keys to Google Base as I see it is the ‘attributes’ feature (looks a lot like ‘tags’ to me).
Content seems to last a maximum of 31 days
The content already submitted includes reviews, car sale ads, recipes etc
They have the ability to upload content a page at a time or many pages at once – and it seems via RSS. What is uploaded can end up in Google’s main index, Froogle or Google Local depending what it is. I’m interested in the RSS feature but a little unsure why anyone would want to upload large amounts of information in this way if they already have a feed being published elsewhere.
A few other questions spring to mind that I can’t see answers to yet in their FAQs.
I’m not sure what their URL will be – osm.com and opensourcemedia.com are both taken. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
More big blog network news today with Yahoo agreeing to distribute Gawker Media’s Blogs. Reuters reports the news:
Yahoo said it will post “dozens” of stories per day from Gawker Media’s blogs, including New York-media gossip blog Gawker, U.S. political gossip-focused Wonkette, Hollywood insider’s guide Defamer and popular technology blog Gizmodo.
The deal follows Yahoo’s decision in October to begin displaying commentary from online journals or blogs alongside traditional news stories.
Pretty significant news.
Loren has news over at Search Engine Journal about Yahoo Publisher Network adding RSS Ads to it’s beta test. We spotted the advanced warnings of this a few weeks back but now it seems to have become available to all beta testers in the program.
It’ll be interesting to see if it has any better results than Adsense RSS ads which for me have been quite a non-event.
After 48 hours – my Google Analytics stats look like they are finally coming to life with some actual information.
It might be time for me to go do some Analysis…
Chitika eMiniMall publishers – Do you want the good news or the bad news first?
The Bad News
Chitika have just announced on their blog a few minutes ago that today they’ve had to make a few changes to their eMiniMalls system in response to working with their advertisers.
It must be a fine balancing act looking after the needs of advertisers and ensuring that they’ve got good conversion rates and responding to the needs of publishers who want good click through rates.
It looks like things might have been tipped a little in favor of the publishers because they’ve just announced that some of the text previously on Chitika eMiniMalls as a live link to advertisers (and therefore a paying link) will be made into static text. This is to combat the curiosity clicking that some advertisers are getting which don’t convert to sales.
The upside of this is that advertisers should see an upswing in their conversions – the downside is that publishers will no doubt see a downturn in their CTR.
The Good News
On the upside of the equation Chitika have announced a two week bonus for publishers. Starting today they will be giving publishers a 10% bonus on top of their normal earnings until the end of November to help compensate for the changes.
This means that while CTR will decrease that the already generous click values (update: this is my experience in my niches where click values are pretty good – I’ve been reminded in comments below that in some niches this is not the case – point taken) will increase for the next 2 weeks – especially timely at this time of year which is usually a good time for publishers of ad systems like Chitika and Adsense.
Other good news is the announcement of coming features in the coming weeks:
1. An option to set alternate urls – this means those of us with a readers from non supported countries (clicks from many Asian countries are not accepted) can set things so that when someone from a country not supported by Chitika reads your blog they don’t even see the Chitika ads but instead could get an ad served that has more chance of conversion.
2. Geo targeting: Visitors from UK will see matching deals from UK merchants – this should lead to better conversions for advertisers and publishers alike. There’s nothing like seeing a pound sign instead of a dollar sign next to a price if you’re a UK reader.
As a publisher I’m a bit disappointed in the news of an impending decrease in CTR – I’m hoping it won’t be too much. But on the flip side (my wife calls me the eternal optimist) keeping advertisers happy is a key ingredient in any advertising system – without them we earn nothing so hopefully this will not only retain current advertisers in the system but attract new ones in which in turn should increase the bidding price for ads and increase the long term profitability of participating in the program for publishers.