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Are you ready for inline advertising?

You’re already buying paid search ads. And contextual ads. You’ve even dabbled in local search and maybe even demographics. But are you ready for inline ads? A few companies hope you are.


While Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft duke it out for the bulk of paid search ad dollars, the little guys are innovating. Inline advertising is what it sounds like: contextual ads that appear as inline text links in the middle of a paragraph.
Several companies are pioneering this new form. Vibrant Media has an inline ad offering, as does MIVA, a longtime paid search vendor formed by a merger of eSpotting and FindWhat.
I spoke the other day with Chrysi Philalithes, MIVA’s Vice President of Global Marketing, who is excited about MIVA’s new Monetization Center, which offers a self-serve ad market for inline and other ads. MIVA inline advertising Check out a live example of MIVA inline advertising or just look at the picture to the left.
You’ll see that the word futbol is underscored twice, indicating that MIVA has dynamically chosen that word as a paid link for one of its ad network participants. For the advertiser, inline ads work the same way that contextual ads do—the advertiser bids on a keyword, submits the ad copy, and pays the rate bid for each click.
The difference is on the delivery side. The first step in delivery is the same—the ad network analyzes the text on the page to decide which purchased keywords ought to trigger ads. But the rest of the experience is different. Unlike contextual ads, which are displayed off to the side as the page is displayed, “inline ads are more unobtrusive”, Chrysi says. No more than five inline links are highlighted on a page and the ads are not shown unless the visitor mouses over them.
Time will tell whether inline ads are the next wave in paid search advertising, but with increasing pressure to monetize content, inline ads provide a way to increase the number of ads on the page without removing any content.

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Mike Moran

Mike Moran is an expert in digital marketing, search technology, social media, text analytics, web personalization, and web metrics, who, as a Certified Speaking Professional, regularly makes speaking appearances. Mike’s previous appearances include keynote speaking appearances worldwide. Mike serves as a senior strategist for Converseon, an AI powered consumer intelligence technology and consulting firm. He is also a senior strategist for SoloSegment, a marketing automation software solutions and services firm. Mike also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of SEMPO. Mike spent 30 years at IBM, rising to Distinguished Engineer, an executive-level technical position. Mike held various roles in his IBM career, including eight years at IBM’s customer-facing website, ibm.com, most recently as the Manager of ibm.com Web Experience, where he led 65 information architects, web designers, webmasters, programmers, and technical architects around the world. Mike's newest book is Outside-In Marketing with world-renowned author James Mathewson. He is co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (with fellow search marketing expert Bill Hunt), now in its Third Edition. Mike is also the author of the acclaimed internet marketing book, Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules, named one of best business books of 2007 by the Miami Herald. Mike founded and writes for Biznology® and writes regularly for other blogs. In addition to Mike’s broad technical background, he holds an Advanced Certificate in Market Management Practice from the Royal UK Charter Institute of Marketing and is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He also teaches at Rutgers Business School. He is a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research. Mike worked at ibm.com from 1998 through 2006, pioneering IBM’s successful search marketing program. IBM’s website of over two million pages was a classic “big company” website that has traditionally been difficult to optimize for search marketing. Mike, working with Bill Hunt, developed a strategy for search engine marketing that works for any business, large or small. Moran and Hunt spearheaded IBM’s content improvement that has resulted in dramatic gains in traffic from Google and other internet portals.

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