Category Archives: advertising

AdPlugg Can Now be Used for AMP Ads



AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) is a technology from Google that makes your pages load faster in mobile browsers. AdPlugg can now be used to serve ads into your AMP formatted pages.

AdPlugg can schedule, rotate, and report on the ads that appear in your AMP pages. This might be useful for those who want to include ads on their website, and it could potentially get your website more traffic from mobile users.

The standard way to implement AMP is to have two page urls, one regular one and an AMP one. Mobile browsers are told to use the AMP version. Pages that adhere to AMP standard often load almost twice as fast as a regular web page. This is due to a simplified structure, improved cachability and the elimination (or deferment) of slow moving resources.

AMP points out that it has strict standards regarding what can appear on an AMP page. This is to ensure fast load times. In order for an element to appear on an AMP page, it needs to be an officially approved AMP extension.

AdPlugg is now an official AMP extension and a provider of amp ads. AMP has also integrated with the AMP WordPress plugin from Automattic to make it easy to place ads into your WordPress powered AMP pages.

There is a helpful step-by-step list on the AMP website that walks you through how to make this work. It also has a brief description on how to add tags manually or programatically for people who are not using WordPress. Interestingly, AMP has a link you can click to see what the AMP version of their post about AdPlugg would look like on a mobile device.


Flattr Plus Seeks to Revolutionize Web Monetization



Flattr Plus logoOne of the most common ways for websites to generate income is to post ads. Today, many people use ad blockers so they won’t be annoyed by all those ads. Flattr Plus provides a way for people to support their favorite websites and use an ad blocker at the same time.

Flattr Plus, which is currently in beta, was created by Flattr and Ad Block Plus. It is expected to launch at the end of this month. In short, Flattr Plus gives people an automated way to make micropayments that support the creators of the web content that the person engages with the most. You set a budget, and Flattr Plus’s algorithm automatically distributes the right amounts to the right sites.

According to E-Commerce Times, Adblock Plus and Flattr together get 10% of what is donated. It also reported that consumers need to provide a method of payment and specify how much they are willing to contribute to their favorite sites. A person can choose to make one-off donations or regular payments.

Flattr Plus solves the problems with existing micropayment solutions. In previous micropayment schemes, users had to manually fund single articles. The Flattr Plus algorithm automates that process.

Flattr Plus has information for publishers (or content creators). It states that the algorithm ensures that payments will be based on actual engagement with a website rather than just visits. Flattr Plus will work with all publishers and content creators who already have Flattr.

Flattr Plus has a really cute video that explains why it is needed.


Everyone Hates Ads that Cover the Screen



Google App Interstitial adWhat do you do when you visit a website that allows you to view the content for a second or two and then covers the entire screen with an ad? If you are like me, you rush to close the browser. A (very narrowly focused) case study by Google reveals that people are not a fan of those types of ads.

Personally, I hate it when websites give me two seconds to look at the article I wanted to read, and then cover the entire screen with an ad. It’s a confusing situation to be in, for about a second or two, until I realize what happened.

Where did that article go? Oh, it’s been buried beneath a huge ad. The next thing I do is close the browser. It’s quicker than trying to figure out where to click on the ad to make it go away. I don’t want to waste time searching for an x to click when I could be visiting a different website that has the same information that I wanted to read about.

I don’t use my phone to surf the internet, but I’m certain that if I did, I’d be equally eager to evade those annoying “in your face” ads. And, I wouldn’t be alone. Google did a case study on their mobile ads for the Google+ app. They used interstitials that covered the screen in an effort to make people aware of their app. They had a feeling that they should remove the ad, but wanted to gather data about it before doing so. Here’s what they found:

9% of the visits to their interstitial page resulted in the “Get App” button being pressed. Some of those who clicked that button already had the app. Some of them never followed through and installed the app. I suspect that these clicks were from people who were just trying to get the ad out of their way.

69% of the visitors to their interstitial page abandoned the page. These people didn’t go to the app store, and they didn’t continue to use the Google+ mobile website. In other words, they were annoyed by the ad that blocked what they wanted to see, so they went somewhere else.

Google then chose to remove the interstitial ad, and replace it with a Smart App Banner. One result was that 1- day active users on their mobile website increased by 17%. They have since retired the annoying interstitial ad that was chasing users away from their website.

If there is a moral to the story, it is this: If you want people to visit your website – don’t cover the entire website with an ad seconds after a person decides to give your website a try.


Annoying Advert In News Story



Newspapers. I know that you are having a tough time of it at the moment, but here’s a way to make sure that I never visit your website and never buy your newspaper ever again. It’s easy, just insert an advert into a news story and force me to click on it before you show me the rest of the story.

Here’s what you get at the start of the story.

Annoying Advert

After clicking on the correct answer, you now get the rest of the story and an inserted promotional video. How annoying is that? Even worse, you have to click on the correct answer. Clicking on a wrong answer gets you further patronising information about the programme.

Annoying Advert 2

You can check it out for yourself here.

Goodbye Belfast Newsletter – as “the world’s oldest continuously published English publication”, you should know better.


Hachette Will Start Selling Books on Twitter



Hachette logoYou’ve probably seen tweets from authors who are trying to get their book in front of the eyes of their Twitter followers. Soon, some authors will be able to use Twitter to do more than that. Hachette is about to start selling some of its books through Twitter.

How will this work? Hachette is partnering with Gumroad (a company that helps people to sell stuff on Twitter). Those that want to purchase a book via Twitter will use Twitter’s “Buy” button to do it.

This, of course, means that people won’t have to leave Twitter and visit Amazon in order to buy the book they want. It also means that authors on Twitter who have a lot of followers will have an easy way to sell their books directly to their fans.

It seems to be a bit of an experiment on Hachette’s part. The book publisher has selected three authors, who each have a lot of followers on Twitter, for its first round. An exclusive limited edition gift will be included with the purchase of each book. It is a little something extra that Amazon cannot offer. One can assume that if the first round is deemed to be successful, there will be more to come.

On December 11, Amanda Palmer’s book The Art of Asking, will be available to buy through Twitter. She will include a page from the original manuscript from her book. It will have notes on it from both herself and her husband Neil Gaiman (who was her editor).

Two more books will become part of the Twitter in-stream sale on December 15. Former astronaut Chris Hadfield’s book You Are Here is one of them. You might recognize this astronaut from his viral YouTube video in which he sang David Bowie’s “Space Oddity”. His “extra” is signed, original, photos.

The third book is from The Onion. It is titled The Onion Magazine: Iconic Covers that Transformed an Undeserving World. Those who purchase it through Twitter will also get notecards compiled by The Onion’s editors that show their 12 favorite magazine covers.


Promoted Pins are Coming to Pinterest



Pinterest logoIt was only a matter of time. Pinterest is going to start adding Promoted Pins into their website. This idea has been floating around since May of this year but has not gone into effect across all of Pinterest yet. The Promoted Pins are intended to be “tasteful, transparent, relevant and improved based on your feedback”.

Pinterest is going to update their Privacy Policy on October 19, 2014. You can view what that update will include right now. These changes will only affect Pinterest users in the United States.

There are changes coming to how Pinterest uses the data it collects from Pinners. Most notably, they will start showing users ads that “you might be interested in”. Another change says: “Online advertisers typically use third party companies to audit the delivery and performance of their ads on websites and apps. We also allow these companies to collect this information on Pinterest”.

Would you like to opt-out of having Pinterest share your information with online advertisers? They suggest that you can do that by opting-out of Google Analytics by installing Google’s Browser Opt-Out Add-On. Or, you can change your account settings by shifting two boxes from “Yes” to “No”.

Opt Out of Promoted Pins

Pinterest notes a few things you should be aware of. The Promoted Pins can include “a pixel or similar technology” that can be used by companies to find out how well their Promoted Tweets are doing.