Tuesday, February 27, 2007

An Ad Challenger to Google and Yahoo?

Yesterday's New York Times ran an interesting story about a new online advertising firm that has been winning some customers from Google AdSense. The company, Quigo Technologies, runs contextual texts ads (those ubiquitous short "Ads by Google" that appear around articles and blog entries) but unlike Google, provides a much more transparent experience for advertisers.

The Times article notes that some big advertisers such as ESPN.com and FoxNews.com have moved to Quigo because the service gives them more control over where their ads run. Yahoo and Google's model, on the other hand, gives advertisers little say on what sites they would like their ads run on, and according to the article, doesn't even give advertisers a list of the sites where their ads do run.

"Quigo, by contrast, gives advertisers not only the list of specific sites where their ads have appeared but also the opportunity to buy only on specific Web sites or particular pages on those sites," says the Times. "It also allows media company sites like ESPN.com and FoxNews.com a chance to manage their own relationships with advertisers."

Google downplays the influence of Quigo, as you'd expect. But the article quotes a Google spokesperson as saying that in the coming months their advertiser reports will begin listing the sites where each ad runs.

Should be interesting to see how this all shakes out. I've seen a number of odd and inappropriate ad placements on Web sites, and I think the options Quigo brings to the table can only help advertisers, bloggers, and readers.

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