Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Splogging: Is There Money In It?

A friend pointed me at a Newsweek article today that gives us yet another new word: splogs. Splogs are spam web logs, or blogs devoted entirely to advertising that try and suck you in with misleading links. Ugh.

Of course, you know I wish that my blog was popular enough to have that kind of problem.

It's times like these that I go read books. Sure, sure, I pay money for books, but I can be pretty certain that the only thing I'll encounter within is the story I paid to read.

Do people read blogs looking to buy things? Yes, internet shopping has taken off in the way that every single market analyst predicted that it would, but are blog readers really a good target market? I don't think so. People head to the blogosphere looking for opinions. They look for validation, or a good argument. They look for news scoops and gossip. They're not looking for unrelated, unsolicited ads.
I understand that spam works on some people, but blog readers? It seems like a bad choice of a place to waste your advertising dollars.
Here's how they work: first find a subject that draws consumers who may be valuable to advertisers on Google or Yahoo, and register for the programs that let those search companies place ads on your blog. Then set up a blog that automatically sucks in items from the news (via easy-to-set-up feeds) about that subject. If you've done it right, Google's search engines will identify your blog as a prime place for a high-value ad. Then, as Sifry says, "you can pay housewives in India to sit there and click on the ads." Because programs like Google's AdSense pay out each time someone responds to the ad, it's possible to make a bundle from this.
Oh. Well, then, never mind, it's just a scam that inconveniences people looking to read actual writing. Never mind.


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