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Saturday, June 02, 2007

Feedburner Acquisition Expands Google's Internet Advertising Hegemony

Google's acquisition of Feedburner will, undoubtedly, increase their already increasing Internet advertising market share. I was reminded of Google's search engine dominance a few days ago while looking at a few minutes worth of natural search traffic stats for a client:

search engine traffic
(BTW, if you don't have a good way to track keywords from search engine traffic, try my firm's free search engine tracking script). That Google is expanding RSS ads distribution by acquisition rather than organic growth is a little peculiar considering they already have AdSense for Feeds. However, that launched in 2005 and never appeared to gain much traction, even with support from Feedburner. Part of the motivation for the deal appears to be better integration with AdWords. I do hope they either create a new network on the AdWords system for RSS ads or else run them on the content network, rather than expanding the AdWords hidden ad network. For some odd reason, the latest Google annual report lumps AdSense for Feeds in with AdSense for Domains:
Google AdSense for Domains and Feeds. Google AdSense for domains allows owners of undeveloped domains which receive traffic from users typing generic terms into browsers or search to generate revenue from relevant advertising. AdSense for feeds is a free program that allows publishers to monetize their feeds—user-subscribable content streams containing structured data such as stock and financial information, web log posts, and weather reports—through text ads targeted to the content of the feed. Like AdSense for search or content, Google shares the majority of the advertising revenue from AdSense for domains and AdSense for feeds with the domain owner or feed publisher.
That's the only mention in the annual report. I'm guessing AdSense for Feeds isn't adding much to the bottom line. Acquiring Feedburner will certainly reignite (no pun intended) that program. I wonder how it will be integrated into AdWords, though. Anybody know if it will simply be a part of the content network or if it will be a separate product within AdWords, sort of like Google Audio Ads?

One last thought - I wonder if Yahoo! or Microsoft considered buying Feedburner. With its ubiquity, this would have been a good defensive move to limit Google's expanding Internet advertising dominance. Consider this answer in the Feedburner acquistion FAQ:
Q. Given the dramatic growth of feed-based content in recent years, how much advertising market share does Google hope to gain from this acquisition, both immediately and over time?
A. While we don't release specific projections, we think there is great value in feed-based advertising. As more and more content emerges on the web, users are looking for an easier way to aggregate that content. We think we can create opportunities for advertisers to reach their target audiences while maintaining a high quality user experience.
Another clever move by Google to cement its Internet advertising hegemony. How will Microsoft and Yahoo! respond, I wonder?

Blog Tags (make your own w/ TagBuildr or TagMuse but only after enjoying a game of TagMan): , , , ,


Anonymous Caydel said...

Richard - you've been tagged:

Sat Jun 02, 01:45:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Richard said...

Thanks for the tag, Brian. I'll check out the memes. Might respond from my TagMan blog, since it's about tags, albeit of a different sort. ;-)

Sun Jun 03, 05:40:00 PM EDT  

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