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In Text Ads – Can IntelliTXT Make Good in the Blogosphere?

News that Vibrantmedia has received $25 million in fresh funding has renewed interest in their form of advertising. Why does IntelliTxt cause so much heated debate?

Bloggers are often keenly interested in another revenue stream. We are especially interested if this revenue stream can play alongside our existing advertising rather than replace it. It seems to me you could quite happily use IntelliTxt along with Adsense and Chitika. The question is, will IntelliTXT be good for bloggers?

If you are new to IntelliTxt the way it works is quite different from what we have grown used to. Rather than the advertising appear in the blog borders and fringes of our content, the way IntelliTxt works is to analyse your copy and replace certain words with JavaScript links. These links are then given rollover tooltip like popup layers which show the advert and a link through to the advertiser. They are kind of like adsense ads that appear in the copy when rolled over. You can see a demo here.

I have to believe this is an opportunity for bloggers so we do need to take a good look at this. There is no doubt in my mind that next year we will see more and more of this appearing on blogs we visit.

Amy Valenzuela is quoted on Threadwatch as saying

Vibrant Media has never proclaimed that IntelliTXT ads are the best fit for blogs, currently blogs represent less than 5% of network.

You could take this to mean that they are not interested in bloggers. Personally, I take this to mean the blog market is an untapped resource that, newly invigorated with $25 mill, they will be going after with gusto. This could be extra cash in your pocket.

So what’s the problem?

If you were to run IntelliTxt on your blog any one of the words or phrases in your post could become an advert providing it wasn’t already a link. This merging of content and advertising is where the debate begins. Where does the content end and where does the advertising begin? Many complained about Forbes using this type of advertising. Opponents say this crosses the line.

I don’t see a problem with it personally. The links are quite obviously visibly NOT normal hyperlinks. I’m not even sure the claims that people are deceived has any weight when the self same people are formatting adsense so it looks like navigation or content.

What do you guys think?

Would you be willing to give it a try with your audience or would you not touch it with a ten foot pole and a bottle of bleach?

Author: Chris Garrett

Chris Garrett is a content marketing and blogging coach and co-author of the Problogger Book with Darren Rowse.

One thought on “In Text Ads – Can IntelliTXT Make Good in the Blogosphere?

  1. The links are quite obviously visibly NOT normal hyperlinks.

    That’s what you think. Personally, I get fooled by them from time to time, and I’ve written a few books about the web. I can’t imagine Joe Average User is able to distinguish them very well. Link color and underlining schemes vary, and when I see an emphasised word I expect to be able to click on it for more information.

    I think they’re very annoying – especially on blog-like sites. For example, if I saw a link with the word “AdSense” here on Performancing, I’d expect it to go either to Google’s AdSense site or to something you guys have written about AdSense. When I find myself on “The rich jerk’s 31 amazing AdSense Tips” after following the link I won’t be amused.

    I think using IntelliTXT really reduces a site’s credibility. It certainly makes me think less of a site, even more than a pop-up ad would.

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