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Published on Monday, 19 March 2007
Late last week I was invited along to the Melbourne session of the Google Web Publisher's Forum, primarily dealing with Adsense and Adwords marketing. Along the way, I made some notes.

The primary issue in any web advertising on a site is cannabilising and leaking of users away from relevant content. However, when considering web advertising, that is usually between 1 to 2 percent of users. This actually makes it cost effective for support and training sites, such as Absalom Media, to rely on advertising as part of the viable business model.

The complex nature of return traffic vs new traffic is also an issue, especially if 80 percent going away somewhere, which is what brochureware services online suffer from in spades. In this way, the  Google Ad Auction figures out which is best revenue, best context for the site. Adsense allows targetted ad for a 'local' sales team inside the local community.. You can have a US related product for a US user on an Australian site, which is a good thing.

The other piece of Google arcana relates to design and ad branding.

The suggested route is to experiment and trial. Heatmapping of Adsense ads through something like CrazyEgg is also beneficial. And that brings it back to the users on your site.

What are they doing and saying ? On the site? Revenue for non-converting customers track what is the beneficial long tail for the advertiser.  Blending the ad colours balance and contrast also helps as Absalom Media got good feedback that the ad styling I've done thus far benefits the site. The size of click throughs matters.

The revenue model equals conversion of content and traffic and implementation and keywords. Experiment and maximise the revenue through change and contrast. Adwords do 'pay for position'. Monetize training  helps, as Absalom Media seeks to provide training on Joomla!, Mambo and other content management systems. 

Monetisation of cannibalisation can actually work. This is because the eevenue share = more than 50% goes to the publisher. It doesn't fluctuate and remains the same, never has, and never will, according to the Google mavens. The split is always stable, in benefit to the publisher. Adsense should always been free as it would starve Google out of the ad market if it went paid.

Added into this mix is that the subscription model of site is failing, so it's logical that the content needs to be paid for, via advertising. UGC and all other forms of Web 2.0 needs some form of monetising. Obvious choice is Adwords and TLA, as these do not resort to popups  or 'cheap' animated ads (Hit this button to win an IPOD). Adwords advertising success stories do happen.

Opportunity cost: Are we going to lose a relationship with an advertiser into Adsense? Probably not, but they may turn up in Adsense anyway. Alternative ad networks do not target content correctly at times.

I'll post my notes from the L'Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival sometime tomorrow.. which was yet another networking event.
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