Friday, January 14, 2005

Targeting and online newspapers

Steve Outing at Poynter Online suggests that online newspapers should put carefully selected, targeted classified ads on to their article pages.
    It's the same concept as Google's AdSense, which puts Google text ads on websites, with the ads complementing article content. Those bicycle classifieds might show up on sports and recreation stories, for example. Classified-ad buyers could even bid on placement, a la the models of Google AdWords and Overture.
It's surprising newspapers aren't doing this more already.

Readers aren't coming to newspapers just through the front page. Web feeds and deep linking means that readers are often coming directly to article pages.

When they come, it's a perfect time to show them a bunch of interesting and relevant other content. "Here's the article you want. Want to know more? Here's a few related articles and links to related areas of our site. And here's a few of our classifieds and local businesses that might be useful."

The article page could be like a mini-front page, but focused around the article. It could be a selected view into the newspaper, surfacing parts of the newspaper relevant to the article, hiding parts that are not. It could help readers learn more, draw them in, and show them what the paper has to offer.

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