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Adwords / Adsense in Email!
What do you think about this?
dazzlindonna

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1451 posted 5:29 am on Jan 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

Reuters News reports [forbes.com] that "Google Inc., which dominates the market for Web search, is developing a service that could dramatically extend the reach of its lucrative keyword-based advertising by linking such ads to e-mail"

I'm not sure what to think about this. It basically goes on to say that G may open its own email service (similar to hotmail, yahoo, etc), and then serving ad(s) when the mail is opened.

Part of me thinks, oh no, not more cr@p in my email to deal with. But the adsense publisher part of me thinks, hmmm...how would this help my revenues?

Any thoughts?

[webmasterworld.com...]

 

justageek

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1451 posted 11:17 am on Jan 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

Outlook Express 6 and most web based email providers don't allow javascript execution by default.

That's why it is done with just html as a hyper link or an image :-)

JAG

mlemos

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1451 posted 6:03 pm on Jan 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

Don't forget the technical issues.

Outlook Express 6 and most web based email providers don't allow javascript execution by default. I supose another email clients works the same way.

That is why I suggested that to make it work for newsletters, the publishers would have to submit the content of the newsletter before delivering, maybe using some programatic interface (Web services) and Google would return the HTML tags of ads targetted according to the newsletter content.

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 1451 posted 6:36 pm on Jan 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

That is why I suggested that to make it work for newsletters, the publishers would have to submit the content of the newsletter before delivering, maybe using some programatic interface (Web services) and Google would return the HTML tags of ads targetted according to the newsletter content.

I can't imagine Google being willing to review individual newsletters. For reasons of economy, scaleability, and corporate philosophy, Google prefers automated solutions whenever possible.

A more likely scenario is that Google would enable AdWords newsletters for its big corporate partners (THE WASHINGTON POST, About.com, etc.) but not for AdSense publishers. Or, if it did enable such newsletters for AdSense publishers, it might do so only for publishers who were already at a fairly high revenue level. Why? Because if all publishers were allowed to sign up for e-mail ads, the cost of reviewing privacy policies, etc. would exceed potential revenues in most cases.

justageek

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1451 posted 7:03 pm on Jan 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

That is why I suggested that to make it work for newsletters, the publishers would have to submit the content of the newsletter before delivering, maybe using some programatic interface (Web services) and Google would return the HTML tags of ads targetted according to the newsletter content.

This is exactly how it is done today. Very easy and has been working nicely for years.

JAG

mlemos

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1451 posted 7:17 pm on Jan 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

That is why I suggested that to make it work for newsletters, the publishers would have to submit the content of the newsletter before delivering, maybe using some programatic interface (Web services) and Google would return the HTML tags of ads targetted according to the newsletter content.

I can't imagine Google being willing to review individual newsletters. For reasons of economy, scaleability, and corporate philosophy, Google prefers automated solutions whenever possible.

You missed the point that this would not be a human based review but rather an automatic service provided by the means of Web services (SOAP/XML-RPC/whatever).

Web developers would just need to query this service once per newsletter issue to fetch the HTML tags to insert in their newsletters.

Google already provides a programatic interface to query their search engine via Web services, providing a Web service interface to retrieve the HTML for targetted ads to place in newsletters is perfectly in the spirit of Google.

mlemos

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1451 posted 7:21 pm on Jan 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

That is why I suggested that to make it work for newsletters, the publishers would have to submit the content of the newsletter before delivering, maybe using some programatic interface (Web services) and Google would return the HTML tags of ads targetted according to the newsletter content.

This is exactly how it is done today. Very easy and has been working nicely for years.

Jag, you sound like you know something that is probably not public, can you disclose the information of which public newsletter carries Google AdSense ads?

justageek

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1451 posted 8:17 pm on Jan 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

Jag, you sound like you know something that is probably not public, can you disclose the information of which public newsletter carries Google AdSense ads?

Nope. Sorry. I'll get in trouble from the mod again :-)

What I can say though is that this type of advertising has been done for quite a few years but a lot of people just don't know it. I know one company that has done it as you describe. I know Overture is about to do it and I think Sprinks did it also but I'm not sure how automated it was.

But as I said in some of my other posts is that this type of advertising works and the automated part works. The final checks that are in place are the only ones that have to be human and they are done by the e-newsletter publisher. This is because a reputable publisher will want to check the offer that is in the e-newsletter before they blast to their list. Even then there is almost always a test blast to a small part of the list. Then, it finally gets a full blast. The advertiser usually has very little to do with the process other than to have their email as part of a seed list so they can see the final product. The advertiser or their agency is the one who checks someplace like MINS for all the information needed to do the blast.

This is what Google needs to do also. To efv's point there may be some work on Google's part in the initial stages but it would be best to farm it out to an agency and let them handle it.

The reason for this is the agency can find from MINS the proper place to advertise and the automated system cannot. The automated systems I have seen can accurately determine that an e-newsletter is about maybe a Porsche. What it doesn't know that the agency will know is that the e-newsletter is talking about Porsche but the audience is not able to afford one so the system needs some help so it can show Porsche remote control cars versus Porsche dealers. This is nice because the advertisements can be much more appropriate than the standard vanilla AdSense ads because now the audience is segmented. Best of all, when the initial legwork is done then the system can be fully automated and you would be surprised how fast it can happen.

Since most folks don't know how all this works the first reaction is one of doubt from both the advertiser and the publisher but that's only because of the experience with the lack of other targeting that AdSense lacks. If it is done properly and if Google does enlist help it can be done successfully as others have done.

JAG

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 1451 posted 8:40 pm on Jan 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

The automated systems I have seen can accurately determine that an e-newsletter is about maybe a Porsche. What it doesn't know that the agency will know is that the e-newsletter is talking about Porsche but the audience is not able to afford one so the system needs some help so it can show Porsche remote control cars versus Porsche dealers.

Never mind newsletters--you've just described one of the most obvious weaknesses in AdSense Web ads. :-)

mlemos

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1451 posted 9:12 pm on Jan 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

Never mind newsletters--you've just described one of the most obvious weaknesses in AdSense Web ads. :-)

What weakness? Not being able to sell Porsches? :-)

justageek

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1451 posted 9:30 pm on Jan 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

What weakness? Not being able to sell Porsches? :-)

Not knowing the audience. No segmentation whatsoever. The Porsche was just an example. Look at it another way. If you are the Porsche dealer are you going to spend time selling ads on Nicklodien, even if the cartoon has fast cars in it, or the nightly automotive news segment. If you are a pizza shop are you more likely to have an ad work in the morning or the evening? Lot's of ways to make an ad work that are not being done currently. Not that it is always an easy thing to do but it's not being done. Nothing is being done but the contextual part and everything else learned over the years is not being deployed. Not even the niche sites are being serviced correctly. Sure sometimes it looks like it is but that's the luck of the draw.

JAG

universetoday

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1451 posted 1:33 am on Jan 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

If there was a web interface available that I could use to register the contents of my email newsletter and then get a chunk of HTML to throw back in for advertising, I would totally do it. I think this is an elegant solution, and Google should definitely consider doing it.

In fact, I'm going to suggest it to them, just so it's in their mind.

eWhisper

WebmasterWorld Administrator ewhisper us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1451 posted 3:45 am on Jan 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

Another statistical issue is daily budget. As newsletter campaigns generally have 75+% of their response rates within 48 hours of being sent, and the advertiser has no idea this is about to happen - their entire daily budget could be eaten away by AdSense without them realizing why.

This will lead to people distrusting AdSense even more, or G having to tell potential advertisers about the budget spikes and how to properly take advantage of them.

It seems that to truly take advantage of this, it will have to be seperate from content advertising in a bidding/budget way.

jim_w

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1451 posted 6:26 am on Jan 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

eWhisper

>>their entire daily budget could be eaten away by AdSense without them realizing why.

G doesn’t care about that. They said it was OK for me to have Adsense ads in my online newsletter, and ‘the advertiser has no idea this is about to happen’ when I publish it. I send a text email with a small description of each article with a link, and a link to the entire newsletter. Subscribers click in the links and read the newsletter.

charlier

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1451 posted 10:00 am on Jan 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

Another automated way to do it would be to include standard code in the newsletter that would pull down an image. The URL of the image would contain a unique id for each publisher_newsletter. The publisher sends a copy of the newsletter to google an hour in advance of sending out the newsletter to subscribers and google's software analyses the newsletter and creates the appropriate advertisement image. The publisher then just increments the newsletter id portion of the image URL for his/her next newsletter.

Visit Thailand

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1451 posted 10:38 am on Jan 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

jim_w am I right in understanding that the AdSense only appears on the pages in your site and not in the actual email you send out?

jim_w

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1451 posted 11:14 am on Jan 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

Visit Thailand

Correct.

spud01

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1451 posted 3:03 pm on Jan 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

Could be a bad idea if its open to anyone.

Imagine if spammers got hold of the google ad code an placed it in the Email blast campaign of several hunders of thoushand emails.

Coming to think of it, how would this benifit them, unless they could influence the ad content shown?

shrirch

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1451 posted 3:26 pm on Jan 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

*weird* I thought I had posted this earlier in the thread. Perhaps I forgot to hit the submit button.

One way Google could easily do this is with a trusted list of email publishers. The publishers submit their email to google who comes up with an HTML insertion based on the content, which is then inserted into the email.

How does that sound?

mlemos

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1451 posted 5:52 pm on Jan 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

Could be a bad idea if its open to anyone.

AdSense is opened to any site, but it has to be approved first.

Imagine if spammers got hold of the google ad code an placed it in the Email blast campaign of several hunders of thoushand emails.

Coming to think of it, how would this benifit them, unless they could influence the ad content shown?

This is the same for placing AdSense ads in sites. Not all propose sites are accepted.

Scarecrow

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1451 posted 11:49 pm on Jan 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

Google has only two choices: plant the ads directly in the email before it is sent, or plant a link that phones home to pick up the ad.

Both choices would seem to preclude all but e-newsletters, due to real and perceived privacy issues that personal email accounts would entail.

But even after restricting the discussion to e-newsletters, there are privacy problems. Your newsletter arrives in your email box in one of two forms: 1) an ad with a long string of apparently-unique, cryptic characters attached, so that Google can trace the click-throughs and credit or charge the accounts; or 2) a link that phones home for the proper ad, in which case the link includes a long string of apparently-unique, cryptic characters that identifies the content of that email, and the type of ad needed.

Questions I would have before trusting such an email:

Case 1: If I click on the ad that is tied to google.com, will my default browser attached to my email client offer up my 35-year Google cookie, with its unique ID? If not tied to google.com, is Google going to plant a new cookie for this new domain? Is my email address hidden in this cryptic identifier, which would allow Google to harvest email addresses and tie them to the newsletters people receive? If the email address is in that identifier, the cookie question is ten times more important. The burden of proof is on Google. It had better be an identifier that is way too short to include a compressed email address.

Case 2: All of the above, except that the whole thing pertains not to the situation where one clicks on an ad, but instead to the simple act of opening the email in the first place, which triggers the phone-home to pick up the ad. I think Google will go for this second scenario, because it gives them more information. They know when an email is actually read by eyeballs, not when it is merely sent. You can charge for eyeballs in addition to click-throughs.

It won't fly, folks. If Google had a pristine record of respect for privacy, it might almost get off the ground. But with their cookie reputation, it just won't fly.

justageek

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1451 posted 12:09 am on Jan 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

It won't fly, folks.

Maybe it won't. Maybe it will. All that you said has already been hashed out over the years with traditional advertisers and email campaigns. If any advertiser wanted the email addresses from any of the thousands of lists available today they could do it long before the blast occurs unless the list is blasted from in-house.

Google would have no choice but to 'phone home' as you say but that is true for many campaigns. This is so an accurate charge can be made to the advertiser by tracking open rate versus delivery rate. Google will have to phone home only because advertisers change rapidly and one person reading the e-newsletter would most likely see a different advertiser from day to day if they opened it on different days.

This is probably going to be one of those wait and see things.

JAG

mlemos

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1451 posted 1:11 am on Jan 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

It won't fly, folks. If Google had a pristine record of respect for privacy, it might almost get off the ground. But with their cookie reputation, it just won't fly.

If you are that worried about cookies, for your relief, cookie based solutions do not work on e-mail ads.

One problem is that many e-mail programs do not support cookies at all or have it disabled by default.

Even if cookies are accepted by e-mail programs, another problem, is that many users use e-mail programs that do not share cookies with the default browser, i.e. the cookie is accepted by the e-mail program but there is no way to pass it to the browser because the programs are not even aware of each other existence. So, the ad server does not have a reliable way of knowing which banner was displayed to figure which banner was clicked.

Therefore I think the most viable solution is for publishers to fetch the ads HTML code before the newsletter is delivered, passing the newsletter HTML content so Google can analyse its context.

Scarecrow

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1451 posted 2:54 am on Jan 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

I don't know that this is still true, but Outlook Express used to share cookies with Explorer.

Even without cookies, the "phone home" is still reliable when installed as a "web bug" sort of image that activates from the preview screen or when opened by the reader. This image will have a PATH_INFO or QUERY_STRING with a bunch of cryptic characters in it. A whole bunch.

Some of these will identify the ad that needs to be served, which could easily come back as the requested GIF, served up on the fly to satisfy the encrypted info. The click-through anchor for this GIF could include some or all of the same encrypted string, and be pre-set in the email.

Since it takes about eight of these URL-compatible characters to compress an email address if you use a lookup table, or maybe sixteen if you don't use a lookup table, you can almost bet that the reader's email address will get slapped into this string every place it appears. Currently Adsense click-throughs plant a cookie with 198 indecipherable characters in it, so 16 extra characters in a URL would not be considered excessive by Google.

If Google's main google.com cookie is linked to the email, which it probably won't be because it's much too obvious, the whole thing borders on evil. Without the cookie, it's merely personally-identifiable spamming taken to a new level, with limitless opportunities for more profiling records at Google, Inc. Maybe they'll get around to including some provisions in the next anti-spam law to cover situations like this.

And another thing: How many of the gurus on this thread call it a "newsletter" when most of the recipients would call it "spam"? How will Google tell the difference? Will they care, or will they take the money and run? Nah, it won't fly.

mlemos

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1451 posted 3:25 am on Jan 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

I don't know that this is still true, but Outlook Express used to share cookies with Explorer.

Even so, that is just one combination of e-mail programs and browsers that may only work if security settings allow the mail program to accept cookies at all.

Even without cookies, the "phone home" is still reliable when installed as a "web bug" sort of image that activates from the preview screen or when opened by the reader. This image will have a PATH_INFO or QUERY_STRING with a bunch of cryptic characters in it. A whole bunch.

Some of these will identify the ad that needs to be served, which could easily come back as the requested GIF, served up on the fly to satisfy the encrypted info. The click-through anchor for this GIF could include some or all of the same encrypted string, and be pre-set in the email.

You are missing the point of AdSense. How would AdSense show a targetted ad in a newsletter if it has never seen its content?

It is not like in Web pages where Google sends the MediaPartner bot after the first request for page where AdSense HTML code was placed to figure its context. Google just can't see the content of newsletters unless the publishers show it to them.

Since it takes about eight of these URL-compatible characters to compress an email address if you use a lookup table, or maybe sixteen if you don't use a lookup table, you can almost bet that the reader's email address will get slapped into this string every place it appears. Currently Adsense click-throughs plant a cookie with 198 indecipherable characters in it, so 16 extra characters in a URL would not be considered excessive by Google.

AFAIK, AdSense does not need any cookies to work at all. It uses inline frames that just make the ad HTML show on the pages.

I suppose that cookie is meant to prevent the so called fraudulent clicks.

If Google's main google.com cookie is linked to the email, which it probably won't be because it's much too obvious, the whole thing borders on evil. Without the cookie, it's merely personally-identifiable spamming taken to a new level, with limitless opportunities for more profiling records at Google, Inc. Maybe they'll get around to including some provisions in the next anti-spam law to cover situations like this.

I think you have been watching many conspiration theory movies! :-)

And another thing: How many of the gurus on this thread call it a "newsletter" when most of the recipients would call it "spam"? How will Google tell the difference? Will they care, or will they take the money and run? Nah, it won't fly.

Why do you think some sites are accepted in AdSense and others don't? Don't you think that Google can (and probably will) check if you newsletter publishers really have a double opt-in subscription process before accepting anybody in E-mail AdSense?

Scarecrow

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1451 posted 4:11 am on Jan 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

You are missing the point of AdSense. How would AdSense show a targetted ad in a newsletter if it has never seen its content?

Maybe I am missing the point. I'm assuming that Google will offer an email account to those interested. One option would be for mailing newsletters. You send Google the email list and the newsletter, and Google sends them out from their own sendmail server. They see the newsletter, they see the list of addressees, and they insert their code as it gets sent out.

Why would people do this? Because they want the ads to appear in their newsletter, so that they get some return on the clickthroughs. Why would Google do this? To get their cut on the clickthroughs. The "From" line can easily be inserted by sendmail as specified by the account holder. The mailing might cost you something if it's a big one, and if Google doesn't like your newsletter it will decline altogether.

mlemos

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1451 posted 5:14 am on Jan 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

You are missing the point of AdSense. How would AdSense show a targetted ad in a newsletter if it has never seen its content?

Maybe I am missing the point. I'm assuming that Google will offer an email account to those interested. One option would be for mailing newsletters. You send Google the email list and the newsletter, and Google sends them out from their own sendmail server. They see the newsletter, they see the list of addressees, and they insert their code as it gets sent out.

I can see why you are concerned. You are imagining something that was never announced.

The original news said something about placing targetted ads at the moment the messages are opened. There are not much more details than that.

What the news suggested to me is that Google is going to offer e-mail accounts to the users like Yahoo does. By being the e-mail provider, Google can display the messages to the users with targetted ads. But this has nothing to do with AdSense because AdSense is about targetted ads being placed in publishers content. This would be an extension of the AdWords market. Publishers of newsletters would not get anything from this.

What we, the publishers of sites with newsletters, are interested is to put Google AdSense ads in the newsletter issues that we send out.

Since we have many subscribers and even with Google offering e-mail accounts, most of our subscribers will probably not switch to Google E-mail, we could make money by placing many targetted ads on our newsletters but Google has to analyse their content.

To make this practical, there needs to be an automated way to do this so we can get the targetted ads tags to place in our newsletters before they are sent. Web services (SOAP/XML-RPC) is a possible solution. Another solution is to have an online version of our current newsletter issues so Google can analyse it before the newsletter is delivered to the subscribers by e-mail. What I am talking here does not invade the privacy of any user.

Mauricio



 
Msg#: 1451 posted 8:38 am on Jan 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

I've read that Google has registered googlemail.com and maybe the easiest solution is:
a) Google launchs an email list service and the Adsense publishers must open an account there
b) The publisher sends the email to the list server and there the message is readed and the plain HTML tags are included with the adequate advertisers.

Due to the email specifics, maybe advertisers could opt-in on this system.

eWhisper

WebmasterWorld Administrator ewhisper us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1451 posted 1:29 pm on Jan 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

In an e-mail response to questions from Reuters, spokesman David Krane said, "Google has a number of projects in the works to test monetization in various scenarios.

"In fact, Google's AdSense contextual ads are already used in a number of e-mail newsletters," he said

This from a CNN article [cnn.com]

Guess it's already happening in email.

sem4u

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sem4u us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1451 posted 1:40 pm on Jan 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

From the CNN article:

Google late last year purchased rival Sprinks, which had technology to deliver ads to e-mail as the messages were opened. Such real-time ad serving is important because it keeps ads fresh and insures that Google will not be giving away free ads or delivering ads nobody will see, industry participants said.

The technology sounds really interesting, but should Google really be going down the route of delivering ads in e-mails?

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 1451 posted 1:49 pm on Jan 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

One issue that hasn't been discussed is whether contextual ads would even work in newsletters. Let's say I'm the publisher of a site about travel in the American Midwest. Issue #124 of my weekly newsletter highlights articles on my site about Milwaukee, Des Moines, and the historic town of Galena, Illinois, which are also featured on the home page of my site this week.

What ads does Google display in my newsletter? Ads related to Milwaukee, Des Moines, or Galena? If so, those ads may be throwaways compared to the same ads in articles about Milwaukee, Des Moines, or Galena, because there's no reason to assume that my newsletter's readers are interested in going to those cities (as they presumably would be if they'd selected those articles on a SERP or via my own navigation links).

Of course, Google could just display the default ads that appear when it can't find targeted ads for my site ("Midwestern Bus Tours" or "Amtrak Discounts" or "Cheap Air Fares to the Midwest" or whatever). But if it did that, what advantage would its ads have over conventional ads that have been matched to the newsletter publisher's overall topic by a human being with a brain?

justageek

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1451 posted 2:01 pm on Jan 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

One issue that hasn't been discussed is whether contextual ads would even work in newsletters.

It has been discussed earlier in the thread and it does work. It's been working for years. If Google follows the accepted and proven methods then it will work for them as well.

JAG

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