Adsense now in RSS format

April 28, 2005

There have been a number of reports concerning the appearance of Google AdSense ads in an RSS feed of note. While this particular service appears to only be in a testing phase, it does demonstrate Google is finally embracing RSS, at least in an advertising sense.

The AdSense/RSS ads were first noticed on the feed for LonghornBlogs.com, and have since been reported throughout the blogosphere. While there has been no official word from Google explaining their position concerning text ads appearing in subscription feeds, the fact remains that they have been seen and reported on.

Of course, when people notice something of this magnitude being initiated by Google, everyone seems to get excited… except for the people who don’t want to see any advertising on the web whatsoever (and there are quite a few of these folks). However, once word got out about RSS AdSense ads, many relayed their desire to feature AdSense in their feeds, those who want their Internet ad-free notwithstanding.

Because the outcry was so loud, LonghornBlogs issued a post discussing the appearance of AdSense ads in their feeds. The post features a simulated Q and A, which explains quite a bit:

Q: What is Google doing?

A: I can’t talk a whole lot about this yet. I can tell you that this is a pilot program for a new AdSense product that Google is looking into. Like all of their tests, it may disappear for a while, or be discontinued altogether.

Q: Is anyone else currently testing this technology?

A: No. Right now LonghornBlogs.com is the only site running this test. That will probably change in the next few days as their other alpha testers bring their systems online, but for now, we’re it.

Among the bloggers who commented on this developing situation, Chris Pirillo, AKA the Lockergnome, offered these thoughts:

Oh, it’s pretty much official now – Google is putting AdSense in RSS. Take a look at LonghornBlogs (run by my good friend, Robert McLaws). Specifically, their feed. It seems to work in every other aggregator except for NewsGator (or, I’d imagine, anything based in Microsoft Outlook). This is a huge win – and much more newsworthy than their announcement earlier today (concerning recent AdWords/CPM changes)…

Although the RSS ads are still served by Google/AdSense, there are structural differences between these and the ads that normally appear on web sites. Normally, AdSense ads appearing on static sites are served via a snippet of JavaScript code, which resides in the site’s source HTML. However, because compatibility issues with RSS dictate an alternate method for delivering these ads, Google is displaying their ads by using normal HTML code.

A look at LonghornBlogs’ RSS feed reveals the necessary HTML, which ends with:

Ads by Google

Obviously, once word gets around, many people will want to jump on board. However, the lack of any official word about RSS advertising via AdSense indicates this service is very much in its initial testing stage. Which means if Google is unhappy with the performance of RSS ads, they could very well scrap the entire project.

Although, the blogosphere’s desire to use ads of this nature, especially coming from Google, is quite understandable. As pointed out by Jenstar of JenSense.com, these ads will certainly help bloggers who are looking to capitalize monetarily from their blogs. With the use of RSS subscriptions continuing to grow as they are, featuring the non-obtrusive advertising offered by AdSense can only benefit those bloggers looking to make money.

A comment made in the talkback section of Pirillo’s post indicates AdSense non-obtrusive advertising continues. According to Drew Olanoff of Gmail4Troops fame, Google’s ads are appearing at the bottom of the feed; just the place people who tolerate advertising would like to see them…

Update: According to the FeedBurner.com blog, as adoption of AdSense in RSS becomes available, FeedBurner will update feeds that are apart of their service (provided you want them to perform this for you). Their post reads:

Google’s AdSense implementation is based on editing your source feed template. FeedBurner makes it simple to implement the AdSense service if you can’t or don’t want to edit your source feed templates, or you just want additional flexibility in determining frequency of ads, ability to prevent ads on short posts and other ad control mechanisms for your feed.

We will activate our Google AdSense service as the trial expands beyond the initial pilot group of publishers.

_________________
Chris Richardson
Writer, WebProNews.com

Via Web Pro News

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