Text Sells

TEXT SELLS on the web, because people go online in the active pursuit of information, and flashy imagery too often distracts rather than informs. Ad-like images get tuned out by users, but text can’t help but get read (try looking at a page of text without reading). Google was one of the first to really capitalize on this fact (and the power of search intent) with their AdWords program, and over time the simple text-ad spread to other major sites like Amazon and the Onion. But now the text-link-sellers have begun to move in on the blogs and other thin/niche/nano-media. Henry Copeland has had his BlogAds service running for a while now, but his space is getting crowded quick. Just last week Matt Haughey pointed out the appearance of Google-like text ads on BlogSpot blogs mere days after Google’s acquisition of Blogger. Today Phil Kaplan‘s new text-link service MarketBanker is getting written up on ZDNet, and he’s talking up blogs.

Henry’s been doing a good job so far of differentiating BlogAds from Google’s text ads, but he’s gonna have a tougher time going up against MarketBanker. Both middleman services take a 20% cut, but MarketBanker’s service is more automated and seems easier to set up, if less personal. Ad formats differ and pricing structures differ, and we’ll have to wait to see which is the more effective and profitable package. Henry’s definitely more plugged into the blog world, but will that be enough to stave off this kind of competition?