Kanoodle Expands RSS Ads to Smaller Publishers

Search and contextual ad player Kanoodle is expected Monday to expand its BrightAds self-service distribution network so small and medium-sized publishers can include ads in their RSS feeds.

The company made the announcement as the Search Engine Strategies conference got underway in New York Monday.

“We are seeing some trends specifically in the content-targeted sponsored links marketplace that make us believe this is the right direction to head, said Mark Josephson, SVP of marketing and business development for Kanoodle. “RSS feeds, blogs, and social networks are becoming a really viable channel.”

The expansion increases the inventory for advertisers on Kanoodle’s network, giving them access to more niche content on an emerging distribution platform. Though the inclusion of smaller publishers might give advertisers concerns about quality, Kanoodle says it’s very picky about which publishers it accepts. The company says it’s turned away 70 to 80 percent of applications since BrightAds launched in October 2004.

“The advertiser response to our BrightAds network as a whole has been very positive,” said Josephson. “We have very strict guidelines for the types of publishers we accept.”

Kanoodle has long been working with larger publishers to insert category-targeted contextual ads in their RSS feeds, but this expansion makes it the first of the search players to expand its feed network so widely. Both Overture and Kanoodle are working with FeedBurner to insert ads in feeds. Many other players like Pheedo, Industry Brains and RSS Ads are also exploring this opportunity.

To participate in Kanoodle’s program, publishers point the company to its existing RSS feeds. Through a partnership with Moreover Technologies, a feed aggregator and syndicator, Kanoodle inserts its ads in those feeds, providing publishers with a new URL they can give to their subscribers. Moreover will also distribute the ad-supported feeds to its clients. One issue for publishers will be that existing subscribers to their RSS feeds won’t get the advertisements, unless they re-subscribe to the new feed.

Ads will be in text format and will appear either as a separate post in the feed, or as part of an existing post. Publishers can specify which option they prefer. When someone clicks on the ad, they share the revenue generated with Kanoodle.

Kanoodle is also working with smaller publishers and RSS via its partnership with blogging software company Six Apart. The deal, announced in November, has it developing ways to insert ads in the company’s hosted blogging service, TypePad. The company says part of the relationship includes coming up with ways to put BrightAds into the feeds generated by those blogs.

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