Google is reportedly looking at buying Feedburner for a reputed $100m dollar as an route to get in on the growing RSS feed advertising business.
RSS is a way of pushing out the content from blogs and other news-driven websites onto other sites, or RSS readers, a little like email readers. This is a great way of promoting your site, and getting more readers. An example is how this blog is shown on the Affiliates4u.com site.
By taking the content off the page of the original website and displaying it elsewhere, it eliminates some of the opportunity for bloggers to earn advertising revenue from their own sites. The flip side is that by publishing the site to a wider audience they will attract more readers to the original site.
The RSS advertising provided by Feedburner allows you to embed adverts as part of the feed itself, even though they may not be shown on the original site.
More ad dollars for bloggers, or just another route for seo spammers to clog up the internet and lower the value of Google’s content network even further?
Marketers have long been eyeing up RSS feeds as a great way into the readers inbox, but forget that the reason they are so popular with users is that they are anonymous and can be turned on and off at will, unlike some of the torturous processes needed to get off many email lists.
The best blogs are ones which give useful insight and opinion, uncluttered by a need to make advertising revenues with every eyeball. Whilst commercial publishers are likely to leap on this with gusto, the cream of the crop of bloggers are likely to leave it untouched.