Do you use Kontera?

After over an year of exclusively running Google AdSense on one of my sites, I bit the bullet and signed up for Kontera ContentLinks.

So far all I’ve done is add the ad code and change the link color (at the suggestion of the account manager) to differentiate the Kontera ad links from regular links.

In the last week that Kontera ads have been live on the site, I haven’t been too impressed by them, for 4 reasons:

  1. Inline advertising creates a break in the reader’s reading pattern – it’s a deliberate interruption that can serve to piss off regular readers.
  2. After years of getting angry at previews, there are times when I get the same feeling if I mouse-over one of the ContentLink ads.
  3. Linking keywords to ads is a problem in itself, as the algorithm may link off-topic words to ads and reduce ad relevance.
  4. I haven’t seen the depth of ad inventory for the football news sector in Kontera as I have in Google AdSense.

#4 I can live without and #3 (relevance) has improved, and I think it will improve even more in the future.

It’s #1 and #2 that bother me.

Revenue-wise Kontera is nowhere near to what AdSense is bringing in, but then again I’ve only been using Kontera for a week and have spent a long time optimising the site for AdSense (without compromising (too much) on user experience though), so just looking at earnings (or even CTR and ECPM) is unfair at the moment.

When I first started showing AdSense ads on my sites, it made me very uncomfortable. Now it’s a natural extension of any site I’m setting up.

I don’t think I can come to the same decision with in-text advertising, but who knows?

I’d be interested in hearing your experiences with Kontera and especially if you’ve had success with it.

13 thoughts on “Do you use Kontera?

  1. My concerns are similar. I’ve been using Kontera on a trial basis for about 3 weeks or so, after a fair amount of dithering about whether to do so. The earnings, which I found weren’t too impressive to start with, have been steadily dropping in that time. Now that I’ve just switched over to a self-hosted blog, I’m not too sure that I’ll take Kontera with me to the new URL. The disruption to the reader and the (shaky at best) relevance of the ads are my major concerns. And don’t you think, on some blogs, it can look a bit… cheap and desperate?

  2. Mention to them that you’re already using Kontera on the site and wanted to see if the earning potential of IntelliTxt is better. The impression I got was that they’ll go all out to beat Kontera. Let me know how you got on.

  3. Funny. I applied to IntelliTxt and did not get a reply back. Any suggestions?

  4. We used Kontera for a little while and it brought in a drip of money here and there. It’s not bad. However, Vibrant Media came after us and encouraged us to sign up with their IntelliTxt program. The earnings are more than double what you get with Kontera (at least on our kind of blog).

    Although we didn’t meet the signup threshold for IntelliTxt, they were keen to take our business because we were using Kontera – just a wee hint if you’re interested.

    And I can exclusively reveal that our IntelliTxt earnings for this month are already exceeding AdSense!

  5. I think I first started using IntelliTXT in 2004 in a computer community, so I have gotten pretty used to them. But I admit in blogs, it seems to be a new thing.

    Luckily there’s always Greasemonkey 😉

  6. I have Kontera putting ads in my sidebar. Does anybody know the code to limit the range? I’ve lost the welcome email.

  7. I have been using Kontera for just a few days on one of my sites, Master Cleanse aka the Lemonade Diet.

    Actually, the pop up is only a nuisance if someone is reading along using their cursor as they might use their finger in a sweeping motion under the text that they are reading. To avoid that I simply make sure that my cursor is not in the post area when I read. So, it’s a very short learning curve. A reader who is annoyed simply doesn’t put his/her cursor over the double underlined text.

    I, too, have found that for the most part the contextual links are not reliably contextual. They simply are about the word or phrase that gets the double underline, which taken out of context, can lead to some pretty irrelevant-to-the post nonsense.

    Personlly, I agree with John Chow when he suggests that the color of the Kontera links consistent with the other links on your site. Afterall, the double underline is distinction enough. In his recently released ebook he writes:
    “You can change the ContentLink color in your Kontera ad codes. The line which controls link color is
    var dc_AdLinkColor=’#xxxxxx’. ” Where “xxxxxx” is the the HEX color code or your link color name.

    Even though section targeting is possible with Kontera, it’s the relevancy thing that is unfortunate. Section targeting doesn’t increase relevance of link particularly if the only factor they are using is: ad key word = word or phrase found on website. Bingo? OKay double underline goes here and links to over there.

    So far nothing has showed up in my post titles or sidebar. Which is a good ting. The WordPress theme I’m using on that articular “test site” has one mainindex.php so I just dropped my Kontera code in there. I’ll monitor site to see if I need to do any more.

  8. I use Kontera in conjunction with AdBrite. I find that Kontera works well enough on sites with lots of search engine traffic. However, I would agree that the intelligence of the ad placement could be much better.

  9. There’s also a question of whether the site owner feels comfortable with implementing a particular advertising system on his site or not.

    There’s also the related search option, which seems to have the same issues as I mentioned above with Kontera.

    I think the one of the problems ad networks face is acceptance from site owners who want to make more money but do not want to alienate their readers. There are several ways they can make things easier, and hopefully they will do so.

    I read something Nick wrote here almost 2 years back about AdSense not even being 20% of what it can be.

    I don’t think that contextual advertising at present is doing the job for most publishers. AdSense has flourished because it’s a) good enough and b) the Google brand that brought so many advertisers to it in the first place.

    The thing with AdSense is that you can tone down on the aggressiveness of your ad placements to improve user comfort. But apart from changing the color of the links, I don’t think you can do that with inline advertising.

    So I guess the next step for Kontera is to be more flexible – because I don’t think those popups are going to go away.

  10. Its not exactly the same type of service, but its similar for points 1 and 2 and amplified for 3 and 4.

    I think there is a lot of potential with this form of advertising, but the intelligence behind the links has to improve dramatically. I haven’t had a chance to research it as I’ve been traveling, but I think Google has a new program of this nature in beta right now also.

    In some ways this is very much like inline text link ads as well. Instead of a person manually adding an inline text link ad in the article, java script substitutes text with a link(although it holds not pagerank value and it can and will jump around from word to word).

    I think this is one of those concepts that technology hasn’t quite caught up to, yet. I would say the same thing about snap also. There are times when that service could be priceless and time saving, but it is more often than not annoying for most readers.

    All of these things might actually hinge upon some of the limitations of web browsers themselves. Maybe it will take a major innovation in web browsers before the application of this technology will be cohesive and unobtrusive or maybe like adsense we just need to be trained to like what’s best for us.

Comments are closed.