AOL Testing Five Second “Tivo-Busting” TV Commercial on Fox

The WSJ looks at how AOL is among the first companies to test a new ad format designed to avoid DVRs that allow viewers to skip through commercials.

In a sign of how advertisers want to proceed, a five-second pod-puncher [Madison Avenue slang for “ad-break”] for America Online will air tonight at the end of certain commercial breaks during the Fox network drama “Prison Break.” AOL and its ad-buying firm, Interpublic Group of Cos.’ Initiative, insisted the ad be placed at the end of the pod, right before the program resumes — and when viewers are more apt to see it.

Apparently TV networks have been reluctant to allow advertisers to pick and choose where their commercial runs within an ad-break.

Did Body-Snatchers Steal Brett Tabke?

Who are you and what did you do with the real Brett Tabke?

Danny reports on Brett’s bold (and somewhat disturbing) move to ban all search engine spiders from WebmasterWorld. Heavy rogue spidering is the reason behind the move.

I seem to recall Brett asking Matt Cutts during WMW if there was someway to ban all spiders except for Google. It will be interesting to see if he goes thru with this or changes his mind.

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Search Catching Email as Most Popular Use of the Web

According to, search engine use is now the number two activity of web users, behind email.

According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, the number of US web users taking advantage of search engines has risen sharply since mid-2004 – from 30 per cent of the US web population in July 2004 to its current level of 41 per cent, which translates to some 59 million Americans.

I know we’re all getting excited about the growth of search, but does anyone really think that search will ever catch email as the #1 use of the web? I’ll take a close second! ;-)

Google Offers Separate AdWords Bidding for AdSense

JenSense reveals that Google is (finally) allowing AdWords advertisers to select different bids for contextual ads on the AdSense network.

What does this mean for advertisers and publishers?

On one hand, you might see advertisers finally deciding to run their advertising on the content network, since they can bid at different prices. If they decide a search click is more valuable than a content click, they can adjust their bidding accordingly when they start bidding. So this would inject ad inventory and earnings into the content network.

On the flip side, you might have advertisers who were always quite content to bid the same price across both content and search, who might now suddenly bargain basement their bids on the content network while leaving search bids at their current levels. So suddenly there is a loss of potential earnings revenue from that one advertiser, multiplied across the number of advertisers who chose this route.

Official Launch of Google Adsense Advertise Campaign

ClickZ has details of Google’s official launch of “Onsite Advertiser Sign-Up,” which lets AdSense publishers encourage advertisers to deploy campaigns on their sites.

When potential advertisers click, they’re taken to a Google-hosted page that can be customized by the publisher…Publishers can opt out of displaying the “Advertise on this site” link if they so choose. Currently, they can only customize one landing page per AdSense account even if they operate several sites.

No Blogs For You!

When you start reading Gary Stein’s article on blogs, you’ll think he’s predicting the end of blogs.

Close. As you get thru the story, you realize that Stein is merely predicting the maturation of blogs as they become simply another type of “web site”.

I don’t think it will happen next year though. I think we’ll still see the buzz surrounding “blogs” for another couple of years.

Could Google Take us Back to Banner Ads?

The New York Times looks at how Google brought online advertising out of the dark ages of banner-ads and X10 pop-unders. The article suggests that Google could turn to banner ads, once it has the infrastructure.

Some analysts view Google’s embrace of text as temporary, predicting that the company will add image advertising to its site just as soon as it can build the infrastructure. Jordan Rohan, an Internet analyst at RBC Capital Markets, said that given the fact that Google serves up 100 million search-query results a day, were the company to add a single photo-quality image to each page, the bits for each page would increase a thousandfold and the resulting load would figuratively “break the Internet.”