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November 30, 2009

UK regional paper publisher to charge for web access

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Local news publishers in the UK have had a fairly hard time of it recently, hit by falling readership and reduced advertising revenue, but now one of Britain’s largest regional newspaper publishers is to begin charging users to read full stories on six of its titles’ websites.

Johnston Press will charge £5 (about $8) for three months full access to content on the Worksop Guardian, Ripley & Heanor News, Whitby Gazette, Northumberland Gazette, Carrick Gazette and Southern Reporter.

Readers who don’t wish to subscribe will be given access to excerpts and then encouraged to buy the paper copy to read the full stories. read more

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November 24, 2009

Google turns to algorithms to create better-looking ads

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The constant push to make ads more visually appealing — reducing the effects of ‘ad blindness’ and helping them to convert better for advertisers and pay more to publishers — continues, as Google announces a pending deal with the Californian startup company Teracent.

Teracent specialises in machine-learning algorithms which have been put to use on the image ads of Google and its partners.

The example given in the announcement shows a standard, human created ad (left) and a similar ad that’s been picked in real time from thousands of different creative elements by these algorithms.

google-teracent-ads

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November 13, 2009

Fwix launches local news revenue-sharing service: AdWire

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adwire-logoWith the increasing number of publishers creating hyper-local sites, it’s no surprise that services such as AdWire are springing up to allow them to add a new stream of relevant advertising and earn revenue.

AdWire, from Fwix, is a local news distribution system which allows web publishers to add widgets to their sites that will provide local news and ads.

AdWire serves up news based on particular categories that a publisher sets, but it also takes visitors’ geography into consideration when serving content, hopefully keeping stories relevant.

Ads are served in between main content. read more

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September 23, 2009

LiveJournal allows Google AdSense on premium accounts

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livejournalI’ll admit that I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to blogging platforms, and my view of LiveJournal isn’t the rosiest. Then again, the platform does have 22 million registered bloggers, so it’s certainly not to be passed over.

The Russian-owned blogging platform will now allow its premium (i.e. paid) users to embed Google AdSense ads on their blogs.

The “Your Journal – Your Money” system means that LJ users with an AdSense account can add customised ads to their blog, in much the same way as any other AdSense publisher would. LiveJournal says it won’t take any of the profits (and if it’s based on individual AdSense accounts, how could it?) read more

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August 27, 2009

Google opens AdSense to multiple ad network companies

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Google has announced that AdSense publishers will soon be able to choose whether to accept advertisements from other ad network companies, as well as AdSense itself, in a change to how ads are served.

Any network that is Google-certified — that is, the ad company adheres to user privacy, ad quality and speed standards — can bid for ad positions previously exclusively available to AdWords advertisers. read more

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August 25, 2009

Huffington Post to Expand With Tech, Sports and Books Channel. The future of News Blogs?

arianna-huffingtonAccording to Dylan Stableford, over at The Wrap, Arianna Huffington has plans to expand the Huffington Post with 3 new channels: books, technology and sports.

With this move The HuffPo, which started as a political blog, seems to prepare for a new times and is readying itself to become a main online magazine, newspaper. This move, already made by other blogs, fe. The Inquisitr might redefine the online news environment if Murdoch, and other conglomerates, continue their plans to put up paywalls.

In times when traditional news outlets are becoming smarter online and are competing directly with blogs for traffic, fe. by linking out directly to similar topic stories at other traditional media online presences like the BBC Online does, the news of paywalls is probably the best news since the crash in advertising revenue for blog and blog network owners. The battle for traffic can be won over the next two years, because even though mainstream outlets have recently endorsed blogging, their blogs are the first ones to suffer from the economic downturn. Paywalls will only help bloggers and probably result in even more financial loss for traditional outlets because if we learned one thing from the internet it’s that News should be free. read more

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July 23, 2009

Is online ad pricing improving again? One organization thinks so

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One of the many casualties of the economic downturn has been online ad pricing, but analysts at an ad optimization company now believe we’ve turned a corner.

Improve Digital/PubMatic has released data which suggests that ad pricing may be on the increase, after record lows in 2008.

ad-cost-graph

Reporting at the beginning of the year, PubMatic reported that Q4 2008 ad pricing was nearly half that of the previous year, yet in every month since the start of this year ad pricing has grown between three and 17 per cent, with a total growth of 35% since December. read more

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May 1, 2009

Google to run AdSense webinars for publishers

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Google has announced that it’s to hold a series of AdSense training webinars, based on feedback received from publishers. They’ll be interactive, allowing attendees to ask questions of AdSense professionals, and focused on improving revenue.

Topics covered will include using custom search engines with AdSense, using AdSense effectively (optimisation), a general product overview with focus on product updates that have been rolled out over the last three months, and two webinars about Google Ad Manager.

There is limited space on these so interested publishers need to sign up quickly via the AdSense help centre.

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April 23, 2009

Google developing category filtering for AdSense ads

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Google has announced that it’s launched limited beta testing of a new feature: the ability to filter certain categories of advertising so that they don’t appear on a publisher’s site at all.

Google says that this is one of the top requests from publishers, explaining:

Category filtering will give publishers the ability to block ads that fall into specific categories such as dating, religion, and politics. Regardless of how ads are targeted, they’ll be filtered if they’re within one of the selected categories. We’ll also show the percentage of recent revenue that ads in each category generate, so publishers can predict how filtering selections will impact their revenue.

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March 4, 2009

Twitpay comes out of beta: send money via Twitter

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twitpay-logoTwitpay, the service which allows you to initiate payments to any user via Twitter, has just come out of beta and is now available for anyone to use.

The concept is as simple as posting a tweet that reads something like “@ev twitpay $1 because Twitter is awesome”. In partnership with Amazon Payments, you can send anything from $0.01 to $50.

Twitpay makes its money by charging a nickel for any transaction over one dollar. When someone chooses to make a payment, Twitpay makes a note on both the sender and recipient account. read more

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