long-term sponsors. It's a new type of contextual link advertising and we think it is important to the future of blogging as a business. For our wider audience, some of whom operate websites that are monetized through advertising, the background may be interesting.This month we are offering some additional value to our
How Does It Work?
Here is an example:
The sponsor's name is clickable and points to the sponsor's landing page.
All that our sponsors have to do is provide us with up to three "trigger phrases" that define their business. A phrase can be a single word or two linked words. For example:
- Hosting (single word)
- Dedicated server (two linked words)
- Web hosting (two linked words)
Think of these as search terms. It is search advertising within ReadWriteWeb. More importantly, it is in context, in posts that are relevant.
The idea is (a) to offer value to our readers by providing advertising links in the context of what they are reading and therefore more likely to find of interest, and (b) to offer a higher level of engagement to our advertisers, resulting in both more branding impressions and click-throughs.
Background on the Technology
We experimented with this manually to test whether the theory made sense and whether both readers and advertisers got some value from it. As you can imagine, doing this manually is difficult at any level of scale. So, we hunted for a technology partner who could build what we envisaged. This was not a simple technical challenge. What is easy for a human to do (read an article and quickly determine which phrases are most relevant) is quite hard for a search engine to do.
We needed an engine that would return ranked/scored results. We decided to limit the number of ads to three per post. Any more would detract from the reader's experience. We imagined that such an engine could come up with more than three matches for a sponsored trigger phrase in a single post, so we needed the engine to return the three most relevant sponsored trigger phrases.
That raised the bar considerably.
Our Partner: Hakia
We were delighted to find a partner that could jump this high bar. Even better, the partner is also a ReadWriteWeb sponsor (so it will have its own sponsored trigger phrases matched by the engine). Our partner is Hakia.
For those who don't know Hakia, check out its semantic search engine. It was a meeting of minds from the start. When we outlined our vision of what we wanted, it was clear that Hakia was headed in the same direction. Becoming partners to make it happen was a natural decision. Increasingly, we see our ability to partner effectively as being a core competency. We build our business with partners and couldn't imagine it any other way. Hakia clearly shares this partnering philosophy and competence.
Together with Hakia, we have big plans for what to do with this in future. We see it as something of a native revenue model for blogging. As always, we are keen to hear your feedback in the comments.
Interested in being a ReadWriteWeb sponsor? ReadWriteWeb is one of the most popular blogs in the world and is read by a sophisticated audience of thought leaders and decision-makers. Email our COO Bernard Lunn for all the details.