25 September 2009

In Text Advertising and Google AdSense: Is that a good match for your site monetization?

AdSense is not enough?
It's no secret that AdSense represents an evolution from the distracting and non-targeted web ads of the past. Using the power of Google, AdSense ensures your site's ad content "jives" with your site's overall theme and visitor demographics.

Still, what if you could take things a step further by transforming your site's content into its own ad platform? That's exactly what Infolinks has done. The perfect complement to AdSense, Infolinks uses In Text Ads - and transforms your site's copy into ad copy in a matter of seconds. Better yet, there is no risk, it takes no space of your site, no commitment, you don't have to alter your site's content and your site will become profitable right away.

According to Infolinks Vice President Tomer Treves, "Infolinks In-Text ads complete the contextual web ad experience initiated by AdSense. Plus, it only takes a minute to get going and we don't hold you to any long-term commitments - it couldn't be simpler."

What is InfoLinks?
InfoLinks is an in-text advertising service that allows you to quickly and easily make money off your website’s content.  In-text advertising is when certain keywords on your website are used as a means of advertising. The advertisements appear in a link form which when clicked will bring you to the advertisers website or product page. These types of advertisements can be very useful and can also generate revenue for the publisher with very limited work. InfoLinks acts as a middle-man that makes the arrangements with all of the advertisers so you don’t have to, letting you, just focus on earning money.

Infolinks, Inc. is a leading provider of In Text Advertising services, working with online content publishers worldwide. Infolinks enables website owners and publishers to benefit from premium highly relevant In Text ads. Established in 2007 and backed by Primera Capital, Infolinks leads the industry with the most attractive business model and guarantees the highest revenue sharing basis to all partners. Since the incorporation of Infolinks, thousands of websites have been integrating their In-Text ads and the Infolinks team takes pride in making the process effortless, easy and immediately profitable.

In Text Advertising Appearance
Perfected by online advertising powerhouse Infolinks, this cutting-edge contextual ad service is the next step in complete website monetization. In Text ads look almost identical to embedded hyperlinks - only there's one key difference. When you look at an in-text ad, you'll notice a double line under a keyword within your site's overall copy. When users hover their pointer over the word, an ad bubble that relates to the keyword appears. If the users are interested, they click on the ad to go to the advertiser's site. It couldn't be simpler!

AdSense and InfoLinks: Does it work for the same page?
Yes, you can monetize your website with in text ads together with Google AdSense ads. AdSense has become such a standard monetization tool that you can see it alongside any other method of online advertising. With a trusted in text ads provider you can be sure that there will be no technical clashes with AdSense ads, and also, Google does not have anything against in-text ads.

Will In Text Ads affect AdSense Revenues?
No, in text ads do not affect AdSense revenues. The possible reasons are probably based on the nature of the click through rate (CTR). It seems that the type of visitor that clicks on a banner-like ad from AdSense (these ads surround the text) is different than the type of visitor that clicks on the in text ads within the content. They don’t replace one click by the other and therefore there is no influence on the earnings. One exception to this general statement is that when in text ads are just added to an existing website, they sometime get more attention than usual for a short while, but as the double underline links become more familiar, it all goes back to normal.

How much Revenue can In Text Ads add on top of AdSense?
This is a tricky question since earnings from online ads differ widely depending on many different factors. Based on the feedback of the users, who already implemented both advertising types on their pages, in most cases, with a good in text ads provider, your website revenues should not be less than half of the AdSense revenues (on top of the AdSense earnings). If you get less than that, you should look closely in the in text ads optimization approaches for the better site monetization.

More reasons to add In Text Ads to your Google AdSense equipped page
As we mentioned earlier, in text ads are not an AdSense alternative, but an AdSense supplement.
If you are already using AdSense ads on your website, it means that you’ve acknowledged the fact that ads are going to interrupt your visitors’ attention while they browse through your content. In fact, with the growing portion of flash banners within AdSense ads, they become more and more intrusive, grabbing your visitors’ attention away from the original content. If so then adding in text ads on top of AdSense is both logical and beneficial. In text ads are not as jumpy as flash banners, they are opened only upon your visitors’ active choice (when they hover over with the mouse), and they add substantially to your revenues. In text ads make sense together with Google AdSense.

Warning over In Text Ads use!
While most of the internet observers are giving positive feedback on the In Text Ads usefulness and future potentials, I want to present an opposite point of view to make the topic evaluation more leveraged.

At a first sight this advertising method represents a good way for online publishers to generate some money from their websites. But some experts think that you should stay away from it because it might be considered as quite an intrusive form of advertising, going against the main principles of web usability.

The hyperlink navigation structure is one of the most basic and most important features of the Internet. You should think twice before messing up with it. Check out the words of Jacob Nielsen, a web usability guru:
One of misery design’s most insidious recent examples is the idea of embedding links to advertising on the actual words of an article using a service like IntelliTxt. By sullying the very concept of navigation, such ads not only damage the user experience on the host site, they poison the well for all websites. Such links make users even less likely to navigate sites, and more likely to turn to trusted search engines to guide them to the next page.

Probably, the best way to test the concept is to run it. At least, I am going to try it first just on one of my sites to see, what is the income level, how can that affect to the general traffic, repetitive visits, bouncing rates, etc. Based on the evaluation results, I am going to make the final decision, is that good or bad for my blogs.

Sources and Additional Information

15 September 2009

What are the Most Popular Platforms among Top Bloggers?

I use Blogger for all my blog hosting needs. I have heard that there are some other blogging platforms, and the most competitive to our Blogger is, definitely, WordPress. I even reviewed the differences in one of my posts, but overall for me the blogging world was divided between two ruling blogging platforms with small fractions of all others, having a limited, mostly local, influence, like Live Journal in Russia. Maybe, it is the same for you? But also maybe it is time to at least consider more professional solution?

Pingdom performed a very interesting research of which platforms are chosen by the top 100 blogs according to the Technorati rating. Note that there is a notable distinction between blogging services and self-hosted blog software.

  • Blogging services are online services like Typepad, Wordpress.com and Blogger, where a third-party is handling the blog software and hosting for you.
  • Blog software is the software you use when you set up and host the platform yourself (using Wordpress, Movable Type, etc).
Review the diagram so you can get a quick overview of which blog platforms (and CMS) are the most popular among the top 100 blogs.

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Blog software (self-hosted)
As you see Wordpress is the most-used platform among self-hosted blogs, which perhaps isn’t a huge surprise. It has more than twice as many blogs in the top 100 as Movable Type, the blog platform that came in second place.
  • Wordpress is used by 27 blogs in the top 100.
  • Movable Type is used by 12 blogs in the top 100.
  • Only 8 of the top 100 blogs use a custom-made blog platform.
  • Drupal is the only general-purpose CMS with any presence worth mentioning, with 4 blogs in the top 100.
Blogging services
Though Wordpress is more popular among the self-hosted blogs than Movable Type, the situation is reversed when it comes to the blogging services based on these blog platforms. Typepad (based on Movable Type) is more popular than Wordpress.com (based on Wordpress). Blogger comes in at third place.

That’s at least if you count the commonly available blogging services. If you also count the AOL-owned Blogsmith that is used by Weblogs, Inc., that ends up having almost as many blogs in the top 100 as Typepad, leaving Wordpress.com and Blogger in a distant third and fourth place.

Traditional media like Entertainment Weekly, CNN and Wired often use blogging services for their blogs, and most seem to have chosen Typepad.

  • More than one third of the top 100 blogs use a blogging service.
  • Typepad is used by 16 blogs in the top 100.
  • Blogsmith is used by 14 blogs in the top 100.
  • Wordpress.com is used by 5 blogs in the top 100.
  • Blogger is used by 3 blogs in the top 100. (Including, of course, The Official Google Blog.)
Wordpress and Movable Type as a whole
If you combine the hosted and self-hosted versions of Wordpress and Movable Type (i.e. include Wordpress.com and Typepad as well), they dominate, claiming 60 of the top 100 blogs.
  • Wordpress + Wordpress.com have 32 of the top 100 blogs
  • Movable Type + Typepad have 28 of the top 100 blogs.
Blog networks
Interesting is that two big blog networks have taken a large chunk of the top 100 blogs. In addition to these, Wired has created a small blog empire of its own.
  • AOL-owned Weblogs, Inc. has 14 blogs in the top 100. All use Blogsmith as a blog platform.
  • Gawker Media has 8 blogs in the top 100. Gawker Media uses its own, custom-made blog platform for its blogs.
  • Wired’s blogs are plentiful as well. There are 9 Wired blogs in the top 100, all using Typepad.

10 September 2009

Monitor your Blog Activity with Free Woopra Account

When you are running your website or blog, you need to keep the fingers on the pulse of your readers and visitors. One of the best free tools for this purpose is Woopra - the world’s most comprehensive, information rich, easy to use, real time Web tracking  and analysis application.

Woopra delivers the richest library of visitor statistics in the industry, and does it within an unmatched user interface designed to be aesthetically pleasing as well as highly intuitive. The application consists of a small script on your page and additional downloaded tool for your PC.

Woopra shows your visitors as they come in (with all usual details such as browser, country, referral site, etc..) and navigate through your site, tracing the visited pages.

Woopra comes in handy to check which of your posts propagate visitors through your site rather than have them bounce off after the first read.

Woopra also offers the standard summarized and graphed page visits, referrals, user characteristics. And everything in real time! Handy comes in the user tagging tool, alerting you when a particular user comes in, which allows you to catch the spammers an easy way.

Main Features in Details

Live Tracking and Web Statistics

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Woopra’s revolutionary server architecture, combined with its intuitively designed client software, enables seamless tracking of visitors. Webmasters can track over 40 different statistical events and analytics. Never before has so much information been instantaneously available to Webmasters.

Most analytical and site statistics are updated once a day at the least, or several times during the day. With Woopra, you get live track of visitors coming and going and moving through your site. You get the stats now.

Real-Time Analytics

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Woopra redefines Web Analytics by enabling instantaneous information transfer combined with the ability to immediately act on each action. Woopra changes website management discussions from “how should we change things in the future” to “what should we do right now?”

Webmasters can respond faster to sudden influxes in traffic and help monitor trends in search and traffic patterns. Woopra helps web owners generate content based upon customer needs and trends now, not after the fact.

Deep Analytic and Search Capabilities

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Woopra breaks the Web statistics mold by allowing lightning quick search functionality along any data point in the system. What information do you need to help you manage and develop your site? Specific user names, IP addresses, geographic locations, user browsing data, visitor history, visitor paths, arrival and departure points - what do you want to know?

The data is searchable. Using the Search panel, you can reach into the data to find specific information about your site’s visitors, learning more about your site’s demographics and loyal readers. Woopra simply digs deeper.

Rich User Interface

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Woopra’s interface was designed to display information clearly and efficiently, without upsetting the balance between design and function. Links to data and various pageviews are easily recognized and accessed. As the program runs on your computer, there are no delays in the response time as comes with web-based programs.

Woopra’s interface is designed to be flexible, with plans for future development of various color schemes and themes. The information is at your finger tips to access a wealth of statistics and data about your site and visitors.

Manage Multiple Blogs and Websites

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Woopra creates a one-stop service for monitoring all your blogs and websites. Through the quick site tabs at the top of the Woopra panel, you have one-click access to your registered blogs.


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Woopra enables websites with both “proactive” and “reactive” chat functionality. Webmasters can remotely initiate sessions with visitors, or embed “Click-to-Chat” buttons within a site to accept inbound requests. This breaks the virtual wall between visitor and webmaster. Customer service sites could offer personal service directly through the Woopra interface, with no installation of software by the visitor. Woopra breaks down the barriers of the static web.

03 September 2009

Twhirl - desktop client for the popular microblogging platform Twitter

Twhirl is a Twitter client, written in Adobe AIR, that enables you to manage multiple Twitter accounts from your desktop. You can view and post tweets (with spell checking), read direct messages, get notified of new messages, manage your followers and more. The program also allows you to post images via TwitPic and can automatically shorten your URLs via a variety of services. Other features include the ability to search tweets using Twitter Search and TweetScan, and follow topics in near-real time with saved searches, as well as support for cross-posting to Jaiku, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and other sites. Twhirl supports multiple Twitter accounts and also laconi.ca, Friendfeed and Seesmic accounts.

This is multi-platform software, running on both Windows (2000/XP/Vista) and Mac OSX.

Note that Twhirl uses the Adobe AIR runtime and can be installed and used on every system for which AIR is available. Currently, AIR 1.0 supports Windows (2000 SP4, XP SP2 and Vista) and Mac OSX (10.4.9 or newer, 10.5.x). You can download and install AIR from http://get.adobe.com/air.

Main Features:
  • remembering login credentials on user’s computer
  • all-in-one timeline with tweets, replies and direct messages
  • configurable auto-updates for the timeline
  • displaying user’s latest 20 status updates and direct messages sent
  • sending status updates
  • sending replies to other users (with quick buttons on others’ statuses)
  • sending direct messages to other users
  • showing user’s friends and followers
  • deleting own status updates and direct messages
  • input area can be hidden (configurable auto-hiding)
  • multi-account support
  • keyboard shortcuts
  • sys tray / dock icon support
  • audible and visual notifications
  • viewing and (un)setting favorites
  • (un)following users
  • auto-updating the program
  • changeable color schemes
  • searching for public tweets (powered by terraminds)
  • filtering the timeline.
You can get more information, and download the software from the developers website: http://www.twhirl.org/


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