A bunch of people have written to ask whether we’re worried about Google’s purchase of Pyra/Blogger, noting that Google could start to sell ads on the blogs that Pyra hosts.
Well, just days after Google bought Pyra, Matt Haughey has discovered that Google is already running its textads on Blogspot sites. For example, check out KEH Camera Brokers ad atop this photography-oriented blog and compare it with the ads running in the right column of this Google search for “Leica.” See the redundancy?
These were not ads bought specifically to run on blogs, since no such choice exists in Google’s Adwords forms; the advertiser likely opted to allow the ads to be “syndicated” onto Google’s partner sites. (According to Googles Adwords terms, these partners include America Online, Inc. CompuServe, Netscape, AT&T Worldnet, EarthLink, Inc. and Sympatico Inc.)
Does this threaten our Blogads service? No. (That’s not the same answer I’d give to the question “are you nervous as hell?”)
For the forseeable future, we offer bloggers and advertisers certain unique advantages:
a) Bloggers get the bulk of the proceeds from their Blogads sales.
b) Bloggers get to approve every ad before it appears.
c) Advertisers get more options (images, longer text, comments.)
d) Advertisers can use words like “lowest” which are not allowed in Google Adwords.
e) Google kills ads that don’t get a 1% clickthru, so its ads are only effective for direct marketers rather than brand-builders.
We’ll scramble to keep Blogads differentiated. Google may be a brilliant and wonderfully benign company… but if it does get a monopoly on blog advertising, nobody’s gonna be too happy.