Monday, May 30, 2005

Personalized advertising on Findory

Findory launched our personalized advertising engine today.

This early version is built on top of Google AdSense, but these are not normal AdSense ads. They are not targeted merely to the content of the page, but to the individual behavior of each reader.

For example, my personalized Findory front page right now is showing me ads for load balancers and networking equipment. If I load the home page again, it then shows me ads for help with filing patent applications. These ads are unusually relevant and useful for AdSense ads, a good match to my specific interests in business and technology.

Other examples across Findory are also interesting. The top ad when I looked at Findory's page for the popular weblog InsideGoogle was an ad for Google Enterprise Solutions. The ads for a news search on "Star Wars" were appropriately related to Star Wars. The advertising on our science news page included products for science teachers.

Just as Findory's personalization engine matches content to interested audiences, our personalized advertising matches advertisements to interested people. After all, at its best, advertising is a form of content. It is useful when it is relevant. When it is not relevant, it is annoying. We firmly believe advertising should be useful, not annoying.

At Findory, we launch early and often. Our advertising is no different. This release is an early, first step for our personalized advertising engine. As we learn more, we will refine our algorithms, enhance the personalization, and improve the relevance. We will make advertisements helpful and useful to our readers.


newton said...

Google News does not have ads. As I understand it, and correct me if I'm wrong, this is because the news outlets would bar Google News from using their content if they put ads around it. See also the Bloglines ad brouhaha. How is this different? Do you expect objections from some of your content sources, and how are you going to deal with that?

Greg Linden said...

Hi, Newton. We see news sources and weblogs are our customers. We want to make them happy with a steady stream of traffic. We drive traffic to them by matching our interested audiences to their content.

I'm not sure why Google News doesn't have ads. I believe Eric Schmidt (CEO, Google) has said that they don't see it as a priority, preferring to spend their time adding new languages, sources, and features.

I doubt it is the reason you mention. Similar sites, such as My Yahoo, do have ads on them already. Perhaps a few sites would ask to be removed from Google News if they launched ads, but Google News drives huge amounts of traffic to news sites, and the vast majority of sites seem to want to be included.

My understanding of the issue with Bloglines' proposed advertising was that the ads would have been next to the full content of the articles from many weblogs.

Findory only shows excerpts. People click through to read the content, sending traffic and revenue to the sources. This seems to work quite well. We've had several bloggers tell us about the substantial increase in readers they saw after being listed on Findory.

Anonymous said...

My understanding of the issue with Bloglines' proposed advertising was that the ads would have been next to the full content of the articles from many weblogs