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Facebook To Rival Google AdSense? Intelligent Ads Will Know What You Like

By on May 16, 2010

When it comes to online advertising, those in the know seem to be confident that Facebook will soon launch it’s own display advertising network and open it up to third party publishers.

Chris Dixon, co-founder of Hunch.com, has shared his thoughts and some interesting insight into the two different types of online advertising at play.

1. Intent Harvesting

Domain investors will recognize intent harvesting as it is the same concept behind a generic domain name. When someone types in RumCakes.com, for example, then you can be fairly certain they want to buy rum cakes.

Text advertisements found on Google search results are intent harvesting as the user is actively looking to find a specific product. Amazon and Google are the dominant players, so much so that Yahoo closed down it’s publisher network.

Publishers have noticed the steady decline in revenue from AdSense / traditional PPC.

Could innovations in advertising bring revenues back up? Continue reading.

2. Intent Generation

When a website visitor is not actively looking to purchase a product (as when they may be reading a blog post, using an application or being entertained) then the goal of an advertiser is to generate interest and influence the visitor.

Display advertisements like this have a notoriously low click through ratio of around 1% despite demographic segmentation.

Dixon predicts that this type of advertising will increase rapidly in the coming years as brands continually look to increase awareness across the web.

How Facebook & Google Are Revolutionizing Online Ads

Google and Facebook may soon rock the intent generation segment by empowering ads with more advanced data.

The Like Button

Facebook recently launched it’s developer tool set that allows website publishers to place a “Like” button on virtually anything. This social sharing feature generates some website traffic for the publisher.

Facebook will soon be able to paint a beautiful picture of everything their members like.

That is very powerful data to behold. Dixon gives the example of knowing that a user liked Avatar would be useful when looking to advertise Avatar 2.

Even while not actively browsing Facebook.com, users will remain logged in to their account and can be served highly targeted advertising on third-party websites.

Retargeting / Remarketing

Google AdWords advertisers are now actively remarketing display ads to site visitors based on previous activity.

For example, an advertiser could target a user who had previously visited their website by following them as they browse other sites on the Google Content Network.

The diagram below makes it much easier to visualize.

Reports by advertisers have shown very positive results with ad remarketing.

As for Facebook developing it’s own advertising network, we will have to wait and see just what happens. I suspect we won’t have to wait very long.

If you’ve enjoyed this article, test out the like button first-hand!


About Mark Fulton

Mark is the Founder of DotSauce Magazine and a full time web developer, domain investor, SEO and online marketing professional residing in North Carolina, USA. Visit MarkFulton.com for information on freelance website development, SEO and consultation services.