Friday, May 30, 2008

In-text Advertising

Has anyone noticed these advertisements within articles? Look at this:

I was reading an article about Radiohead on MSNBC, one of the sites that is using this, and noticed these links within the article. This link, particularly, for "concert," was what I expected to be a link to a previous article regarding that particular concert (as most in-line links do). When I scrolled over the word, however, this advertisement popped up for HP. Clicking on "concert" leads you to the HP site. First of all, what does printer ink have to do with a concert? Fortunately, the other few of these "in-text advertisements" were loosely relevant to the words that were linked, but is this kosher?

I think it's a decent idea in moderation, as long as the advertisements are relevant. Linking what the writer described Radiohead's songs as (beauty) to skin-care products is not relevant. When I'm reading about "beautiful" music, I don't think, "man, I wish I was beautiful like this music," nor does any right-minded person, so the advertisement is ineffective aside from the person who gets tricked into immediately clicking on the word and just happens to get hooked in. I was kind of annoyed that this particular "concert" link deceived me into thinking that I could find out more information about a concert, but fortunately I am atleast weary enough to scroll over a link before immediately clicking. After experiencing this, I'll probably become even more weary.

Keep it relevant. If the writer is talking about Radiohead's first album, "Pablo Honey," link that to Amazon or some other site that sells the album. That could be an effective advertisement. Don't crowd articles with useless trickery. You won't have to worry about my blog participating, even if I supported it - apparently it's for sites with atleast 500,000 pageviews/month...I don't think I'm quite there yet.

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