As you’ve probably heard, Google is testing AdSense within RSS on a single site.
I love the idea of being able to include a Google AdSense ad within my RSS feed and watching the money roll in. At least in theory. Once ads proliferate in RSS feeds, ad-blockers within RSS aggregators will proliferate. Just look at this prototyped ad-blocker for RSS Bandit that Torsten developed.
Another issue that comes to mind is that the audience for web ads is not the same audience for rss feeds. I have a theory that those who find my site via a Google search are more likely to click on an ad than someone who is subscribed to my RSS feed?
Why is that? It boils down to the fact that a subscriber via RSS isn’t likely to be in the middle of a search for a particular piece of information while reading my blog as would a Google user. Rather, I suspect that he or she is a friend or a geek wondering if I’ll finally be inspired someday to write something worthwhile because I once wrote something interesting enough some time ago that encouraged this person to add me to his or her aggregator and now only inertia keeps this person from unsubscribing. But I digress.
Unfortunately, I don’t have any hard (or even soft) numbers to back this claim up because I don’t have ads in my RSS feed. Recently I was linked to on Scoble’s link blog which jumped up the number of aggregator views, while my web views remained constant. Likewise, my tiny advertising revenue for that day stayed constant as would be expected because those who read my blog via an aggregator aren’t likely to take their time to look at the actual site and click on an ad. I’d love to know what the effect would have been had my feed included an ad.
When I post something that users find via Google, my web views jump as does my advertising revenue, which makes perfect sense. I’ll be watching with interest to see how Google’s experiment with Longhorn blogs does and if they end up rolling it out to everyone. I’ll certainly experiment with it to see if my conjecture is correct unless I get a backlash from commenters saying they’d rather not see it in personal blogs. Thoughts?
As for my advertising revenue in case you were wondering, I’m strictly a small fry, though I do make more than enough to pay for hosting.
[Listening to: 3-2-1 Fire! - Fat Boy Slim - Fatboy Slim: Live On Brighton Beach (4:34)]