To Advertise Or Not To Advertise

More from Greg on gems from CIKM:

Andrei Broder and a large crew from Yahoo Research had a paper at CIKM 2008, “To Swing or not to Swing: Learning when (not) to Advertise” (PDF), that is a joy to see for those of us that are hoping to make advertising more useful and less annoying.

Of course, folks like me dislike advertising enough that we install plug-ins like Adblock Plus and CustomizeGoogle to avoid ads entirely. I wonder if a good learning algorithm would spare me the trouble. But, more importantly, I wonder how far an ad-supported industry wants to go in making it easy for people to opt out of advertising.

By Daniel Tunkelang

High-Class Consultant.

2 replies on “To Advertise Or Not To Advertise”

A month ago you asked your readers if you should accept ads from HireReach.
They propose to post job ads corresponding to the specific interests shown by your readers’ behavior.

Assume HireReach fulfills its claims. It provides a good model to judge the promises of intelligent advertising.
Both content provider and readers should end up with a lot of blank ad space.

The reader should see only relevant ads, few and far between, which should either offer real job opportunities or at least flatter his or her own professional ego.
You, as the content provider, ought to be paid more per really relevant ad. In fact your total intake should be at least as much as if you had papered your blog with ads all over.

Intelligent advertising is all about monetizing blank ad space by leaving it blank.
It runs counter to all lessons from past (m)ad men.

Compute how much you should make going all ads.
Set how much blank space you want to carry for that price.
Try HireReach and see if they fit your formula.


Philippe, thanks for the reminder. I haven’t heard back from Steve Lewis (the Hire Reach CEO / founder) in a while, but I made it clear to him that I’m game to try this out. For that matter, if anyone else feels they can target Noisy Channel readers so well that readers will *want* the ads, I’m all ears.


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