WordPress launches PPC network to beat AdSense

By Rachel Hand topicIcon PPC

Blog yourself rich

WordPress.com has announced the launch of WordAds, a new display ads programme that will give bloggers a slice of the revenue.

WordAds is the result of a partnership between WordPress.com and Federated Media, announced in October 2011. Involvement is optional, and bloggers who want to participate need to fill in an application form - only those with enough traffic and quality content will be accepted. The chosen blogs will feature premium display ads powered by Federated Media, and the user will earn an undisclosed percentage of revenue from each click.

The programme is therefore very similar to Google's AdSense display network, which brought in 27 per cent of the company's revenue in Q3 2011. However, in the official announcement yesterday, WordPress advertising lead Jon Burke revealed that WordAds was purposefully designed as an alternative to AdSense:

"We've resisted advertising so far because most of it we had seen wasn't terribly tasteful, and it seemed like Google's AdSense was the state-of-the-art, which was sad. You pour a lot of time and effort into your blog and you deserve better."

Anti AdSense

Although WordPress was initially launched in 2003 as a blogging platform, it has become the most popular content management and publication system on the internet. An Alexa survey of the top 1 million websites found that 14.7 per cent use WordPress, while the company believes 50,000 new WordPress-powered sites come online every day. The WordPress support page now states that AdSense, Yahoo and other ad platforms are "not allowed on free WordPress.com blogs".

Mark Baker, online marketing manager at theEword, commented: "For blog owners, the introduction of WordAds is long-awaited good news. However, it's brave to shun the Google PPC system, especially when so many professional marketers and site owners are already comfortable with it. Of course, it remains to be seen what makes WordAds 'better' than AdSense."