Google has filed an application with the US Patent and Trade Office (USPTO) for embedding advertisements into syndicated RSS and Atom feeds.
The USPTO application was filed by Google employee Nelson Minar approximately 18 months ago. It's titled "Embedding advertisements in syndicated content."
According to the abstract, the patent deals with a method for "incorporating targeted ads into information in a syndicated presentation format in an automated manner." Beyond just RSS and Atom feeds, the method described also pertains to syndicated formats that are XML compliant.
Google will likely face prior art challenges on any patent award. The company rolled out the beta version of its AdSense for RSS offering to all publishers in May, but the firm was not the first to introduce RSS ad insertion to Web sites and advertisers. Pheedo and Kanoodle are among the networks with longer-standing offerings.
The abstract explains that the automated ad insertion process keeps the ads "current and timely," and it describes the tracking of user response to embedded ads "in an automated manner for billing." Additionally, it makes reference to earlier patents on technologies that target ads based on content and keywords.
Google has been testing its contextual ads for feeds since at least April of this year.
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