I am not a fan of these In-Text ads, as you know. I think they’re intrusive, misleading and undermine the whole concept of linking, which is what has brought the Internet this far. One of my concerns is that since these ads rely on hooking up with particular words in the text, questions have to be raised about whether the provider of that text (I’m trying not to say “content” here) is skewing what they write to raise the number of words that ad sponsors have signed up for.
So I couldn’t help wondering whether it was the case here, on the blog of one Joel Comm, Internet marketing guru and expert on making the most out of, er, Internet advertising. The post is actually a (quite justifiable) rant against the smug robotics of your average cashier and attendant in stores who are programmed to ask “Are you finding everything okay?” whenever they see a customer who isn’t actually dead. But I couldn’t help wondering whether Joel’s rant had a secondary purpose when I noticed a lot of the words he was using — MP3 players, video games, dryers, stock — were contextual ad triggers for Kontera, his in-text ad provider of choice:
Legitimate rant? Or clever revenue-raising ploy? You decide.