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WordPress’ Google potshot: users deserve better

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WordPress is in a tie-up with Federated Media to try and offer it users something better than what it calls Google’s ‘sad’ AdSense.

Its new WordAds program is now open for registrations, with advertisements provided by Federated Media.

However, the new program isn’t a free-for-all: it’s only open to “publicly visible” blogs with custom domains, and selection “based on level of traffic and engagement, type of content, and language used on a blog” – this last probably designed to protect sensitive advertisers against being placed next to too many profanities.

In the blog post announcing WordAds, WordPress’ ad lead Jon Burke unloaded on Google: “it seemed like Google’s AdSense was the state-of-the-art, which was sad. You put a lot of time and effort into your blog, and you deserve better than AdSense,” he writes.

“Creative minds aren’t satisfied being digital sharecroppers on someone else’s domain”, he continued; “you want … a space that you’re proud of”.

The launch of WordAds culminates a tie-up first announced by Federated Media in October. The pitch to advertisers includes “content curation” and “conversation targeting”, along with offering advertisers the opportunity to create sponsored content posts (this last one could be regarded as a blight as much as an opportunity, with many “independent” blogs adopting the old-media practice of “advertorial”). ®

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