Monday: 16.May.2005

Vibrant Media IntelliTXT contextual keyword advertising

Was surfing the web last week, when I came across double-green-underlined words (forget which site). So I clicked the "what's this" link, which led to this page.

Turns out it was of an advertising program. Since the Google thing went so well, I decided to apply for this other .. to see what gives. Can't hurt to get a little info, right? Today I got the following letter:

••• continued •••

Thank you for your interest in Vibrant Media and our contextual ad product, IntelliTXT. It does appear that your site would be a good match for our technology. I have entered your site into our ad sales approval process which takes one week. I doubt there will be any problem with having your guides accepted into our program. While we wait for the approval to come back, do you have any questions for me? I have attached an agreement for your review and a sign up form which has all contact and bank information as we pay by direct deposit into your bank account.

I look forward to working with you.

Warm regards,
Sr. Manager, Business Development
Vibrant Media

Since I'm so new with Google, having just recently implemented their ads here, I decided to ask them if they would have a problem with their ads being displayed along with IntelliTXT ads. Their prompt reply:

Thank you for your email.

We do not permit Google ads to be published on web pages that also contain what could be considered competing ads. This would include all content-targeted ads, such as IntelliTXT, as well as text-based ads. We do allow affiliate or limited-text links, but we do not allow text-based ads that either directly mimic or attempt to be associated with Google ads.

Our intent with this policy is to be as fair to our advertisers as possible and to maintain the integrity of the AdWords and AdSense
programs. This means limiting the other types of ads that AdSense publishers display along with our ads.

For additional questions, we suggest you visit our AdSense Support site at If you're unable to find an answer to your question on our site, please feel free to reply to this email.

The Google AdSense Team

This is bad news for Vibrant Media. Being excluded by Google seems like nowhere's-ville in the web ad market. But I don't see the problem, cuz both these companies only pay for *clicks*. If nobody clicks, then it doesn't cost anything extra, except for maybe the cost of the server & bandwidth to serve the ad .. but that can't be very much.

So I got to doing some research and discovered that their biggest client, Forbes, ditched them because their (Forbes') editors complained.

I actually thought their ads were reasonable. They didn't flash or flicker. If you don't bother them, they don't bother you. And they had great relevancy. Even the Scumware site didn't have anything bad to say about them. Nothing gets installed on your system and you can even filter their ads with Zone Alarm Pro.

This interview here quotes the CEO of Vibrant Media as saying:

The advertiser is getting very relevant, targeted placement. I think advertisers very much like the idea their advertisement is not going to be a distraction or an annoyance, but it’s going to be very relevant. The advertiser therefore gets click-through rates of 24 times that of normal banners and skyscrapers, according to our research.

24 times? Did you see that reference? Hard to believe. That's a remarkable number.

If I were a gambling man, I'd be tempted to short Vibrant Media's stock, because it does not seem to me that you can play the ad game outside of Google's domain and thrive. Google owns the Internet.

Oh, here's a site that uses IntelliTXT. Maybe that's some kind of sign. Notice they display no Google ads. But I have seen sites displaying *both* AdSense & IntelliTXT, but I think that's just because they don't know. Rotten Tomatoes also uses IntelliTXT.

Here's a list of 8 companies that do contextual advertising, including Google & Vibrant Media.

If you want more info, here is a Google search pre-configured for the query: Vibrant+Media+IntelliTXT+contextual+keyword+advertising

UPDATE: The Sr. Manager called the house and left a message, wanting to discuss some questions I had about implementing their ads. That's professional. Nothing like a real person to talk to. She had a real nice voice, too. Kinda sexy.

Maybe I could do something like put their ads on *some* of my pages, just to see how they do, and remove the Google ads on those pages. Cuz you know how I like to play with new stuff.

Posted by Rad at May 16, 2005 12:51 PM


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