New Models Needed in Web Advertising

RedHerring have a report on an advertising panel at Web2.0 that looked at how web ads can be improved. This is something that interests me greatly. I think for the most part, even Adsense, which arguably does a good job of tailoring ads to users, is not even 20% as effective as it should be.

For example, Google’s AdSense program, which places contextual ads on sites and shares revenue with bloggers, can be improved by engaging publishers and their audiences, blogger and media guru Jeff Jarvis said at the Web 2.0 Conference in San Francisco.

“Google is at the lower level of the value chain now. We can raise the value chain and get more money,” said Mr. Jarvis, who led a panel entitled “Web 2.0 Ad Models.”

Google’s Matt Cutts, one of the first engineers on the search engine’s advertising team, agreed.

“There’s a ton of room left for experimentation,” he said. “If someone comes up with something better than AdSense and kills it, the world will be a better place.”

Matt responded to that in a post that puts his words in better context

What I mean by that is that competition makes things better for users and publishers. If someone comes along and competes fairly and does a better job than Google (on search, or on advertising, or on AdSense)–good! That means the world of users is getting a ton of benefit. If Google takes its eye off the ball in core areas such as search and advertising, and then someone else does things better: it’s still a win for users. Just to be clear, I think Google is keeping a very sharp focus on our core areas.

Well, all well and good. You’ve gotta respect [i]that[/i].

So where are we headed?

Or, more importantly, where should we be headed? Personally i think ads need to not just engage the user, but draw them in and allow them to [b]participate[/b]. I think we should be taking “markets are conversations” quite literally, and you’ll hear more from me on that shortly i think…

So, come on. Let’s hear it eh? Where should web ads be headed now?