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Using Tags To Advertise

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Someone has taken Steve Rubel up on his tagtextual advertising idea and built a proof-of-concept site to demonstrate how it could work.

Canadian programmer Patrick Ryan wants to ride the wave of contextual advertising via tags before everyone else gets in on the fun. At least that’s what he said on his TagTextualAd FAQ online in answering the question “Why would I want to buy advertising on your site?”:

Because this will be the first ever. It will get a lot of attention through the blogosphere and conventional media. The more people visit the site through the publicity of it the more the tagtextual words will be clicked on. Companies are forever looking for new ways to advertise so it’s best to get in at the beginning.


Rubel was ruminating about the concept in January 2005 on his MicroPersuasion blog, as Ryan noted:

As tagging takes off, the next step will be for all of these sites to monetize this content by launching contextual advertising programs, perhaps powered by Google Adsense. This will give the marketer new ways to reach engaged consumers by sponsoring tags across one or more sites that carry folksonomies. I call this “Tagtextual Advertising” and it’s a coming.


Ryan listed work at an ad agency in his background, and said click-through rates for text ads were much higher than for graphical ones. His site differs a bit from Rubel’s idea, as TagTextualAd.com would have particular tags within the tag cloud’ lead to a sponsored tag.

Ryan described in the FAQ how this would work for advertisers:

So anybody will be able to purchase a series of letters (a word) and have those words link to their website. This will help companies to be identified by their brand but also by a generic word. For example, a car company could purchase the word car or automobile. All ads will be kept on the website for at least 5 years.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.

Using Tags To Advertise
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