WordPress Takes On Google


WordPress.com recently announced the launch of WordAds, a display ads initiative that will cut bloggers in on a percentage of revenue. The program is similar in many ways to the highly successful Adsense program from Google.

WordPress advertising executive Jon Burke explained that WordAds is specifically designed to offer bloggers an alternative to Adsense, stating, “We’ve resisted advertising so far because most of it we had seen wasn’t terribly tasteful, and it seemed like Google’s Adsense was the state-of-the-art, which was sad. You pour a lot of time and effort into your blog and you deserve better.”

WordAds is a teaming of WordPress.com and Federated Media, originally announced in October 2011. To participate, bloggers must fill out an application form. Not all candidates will be selected. Applicants must have high quality content and good traffic. Those that make the cut will be fed premium ads from Federated Media. As users click on the ads, the blog publisher will receive a cut.

WordPress started as another of many blogging platforms when it debuted in 2003. Its simplicity and accessibility has allowed it to grow rapidly. Now they estimate almost 50,000 new WordPress sites start online every 24 hours. Alexa.com estimates that almost 15 percent of the top 1 million websites are WordPress configurations. The platform has morphed into the most popular full-fledged content management system on the web.

Mark Baker of theEword stated, “For blog owners, the introduction of WordAds is long-awaited good news. However, it’s brave to shun the Google PPC system, especially when so many professional marketers and site owners are already comfortable with it. Of course, it remains to be seen what makes WordAds “better than Adsense.”

“WordPress.com contributors epitomize the idea of passionate and influential publishers on the independent web,” Deanna Brown, CEO of Federated Media, said when the planned program was originally unveiled to the trade press in October. “They have ardent followings and they present information in a very focused conversational format, which is exactly the type of media offerings found in the rest of our existing portfolio. They really are an excellent fit for us.”

“The addition of Federated Media to this arsenal means more revenue opportunities for WordPress.com, its content creators and brands,” TheNextWeb.com said on their site.

Over on the WordPress.com blog, Burke wrote, “advertising on your blog is not for everyone or every blog, but when done right advertising should not be a distraction from your message or make you seem fake. There is zero incentive for WordAds bloggers to write about the advertisers so there is no conflict.”

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