Google announced plans to give AdSense publishers a new way to generate revenue by allowing multiple Google-certified ad networks to compete for display ad space on their sites. This means that AdWords advertisers may end up having to pay more competitively, while AdSense publishers could reap the benefits.
Google explains the concept in the following video:

"You may remember that we began to accept display ads served from qualified third-party vendors over a year ago, which helped increase the number of display ads competing on AdSense publisher sites," says Google Business Product Manager Sean Harvey. "With this new change, participating ad networks can also bid in our auction to appear on AdSense sites. This new capability will help you generate the most profit for every ad that appears on your site, whether the ads come from AdWords advertisers or Google-certified ad networks."

The networks themselves are ad agencies and companies that partner with advertisers and publishers to buy and sell ads on sites they don't own. AdSense publishers will now be able to allow advertisers from these networks to compete directly with AdWords advertisers for their ad space. The ad networks:

- Connect advertisers with publishers

- Provide access to additional inventory not currently available with AdWords

- Adhere to Google's standards for user privacy, ad quality and speed

Reporting and payments will still run through AdSense as always, and available ad formats will remain the same as they have been for AdWords. Publishers will still have control over which networks can show ads on their pages, and they can choose to opt out of receiving ads from specific networks, or all networks.

Allow and Block ad networks
Right now, the feature is only available to publishers in North America and Europe, but Google plans to rolling out to more places in the future.

How this will affect your business?


Google and Bing Image Search optimiziation.

Todd Schwartz "Behavioral data shows that consumers engage deeply in Image Search tasks, with nearly double the page views per query on average as we see in the more text-centric core search experience," says Schwartz. "Looking at the consumer research, our analyses show that images on a traditional search results page are a big driver of consumer satisfaction, especially for task related queries like buying products, catching up on celebrity gossip, or planning a trip."

"This is one reason why we are seeing images both on the main search results page and within the Image Search verticals," he adds.

A study from Microsoft found that consumers can process results with images 30% faster than results with text only. This data highlights why image search optimization should be of concern to webmasters. In theory, the more you can control your presence in relevant image results, the more traffic you are likely to get.

Schwartz shared some recommendations for image search optimization from Bing's top image developer:
- Name image files appropriately – For improved relevance, make sure that the file name describes the image appropriately.

- Alternative image text (alt text) matters – For increased optimization, make sure photos are properly described with alternative text tags, and ensure that test within any images is also

- Watch frame breaking – Sites that attempt to break frames make it more difficult for the image to display correctly within search. Make sure you’re testing your site against the search engines.

Of course Bing is just one piece of the search market puzzle, and not the biggest piece by any stretch of the imagination, but the search engine's presence is being felt, and it is growing. If that Micosoft Yahoo deal goes through, it will grow very significantly, when Bing results start appearing in Yahoo searches. It still won't be getting Google's share, but it will be much more significant.

For more tips on being found in image searches (on both Bing and Google) read this article. For more on being found in Google's Image search as well as various other Google search engines, check this one out.


Google introduced a feature to Gmail, which allows users to email their task lists. This can be done by simply choosing the new "email task list" option found in the actions menu.

When a user clicks on this option, Gmail will open a new compose window with the contents of your current task list. It works in each task list view - My Order, Sort by Date, and Completed.

Gmail tasks

"So to email your mom to explain why you've been so busy and haven't been able to return her calls, just choose 'View completed tasks' from the Actions menu, then 'Email task list,’ and send away (Note: this may not be very convincing if you haven't actually checked anything off your list recently)," says Google Software Engineer Michael Bolin.

Gmail's tasks feature graduated from Gmail Labs earlier this summer. At that point, a print option was also added.


Sometimes .coms are Just as Relevant

Some UK Google users have noticed that search results pages are showing more results from .com sites these days, than in the past. They are used to .co.uk sites getting better rank, and assuming that they are more relevant to their geographic location.

Certainly in some cases the .co.uk site would be more relevant to a UK searcher, but that is not always the case. Google's Matt Cutts has posted a video in which he answers a question on this subject from a user. The question was:

Why are the UK SERPS still really poor with irrelevant non UK sites (US/Aus/NZ) ranking very high on Google.co.uk since early June?

Cutts says it is true that searchers in the UK will see more .com results, and that is simply a product of Google getting better at determining geographic relevancy.

As Google gets better, they're more willing to show .com results if they're relevant to the country. "If the best result for a British searcher is something that ends in .com, we still want to show that to that British searcher," says Cutts.

According to Cutts, this is a change that Google will not likely reverse, although he does encourage users to let them know if they see such results that aren't relevant, because they would want to improve this.

The bottom line is that Google is just learning more these days about what sites are associated with what countries, and they're better at detecting it. The goal is to supply relevant results.

As a bonus, Cutts posted to his blog that he's already received some criticism about his answer in the above video and responded:

There’s a couple effects going on:

- first, we’ve been making changes that make it much more likely to see .coms in the UK. I’d say that’s 80-90% of the changes that people are seeing. Most of the generic TLDs (.com, .net, etc.) that are showing up now are .com sites like tescofinance.com and churchill.com that are relevant to the UK even though they don’t end in a .co.uk.

- I’ve been following some of the examples people have pointed out. I remember kiva.org in particular was mentioned and that probably is off-topic for the UK. I dug into that one, and it was an unrelated ranking experiment that was going on that we changed.

Now we know for sure that .com are the best domains for buying for your niche,i don't believe this bull from Matt..from now on just buy .com domains ;)


Google announced that its TV advertisers now have access to the new AdWords interface. Users will be able to access the old one for a while, but by the end of the month, they will have no choice but to use the new one.

TV advertisers that aren't already familiar with the new interface will want to get acquainted. They can start with the following video:

Google lists the following features as being helpful for making managing TV campaigns easier:

- The Traffic Estimator tool is now integrated into the core campaign summary view

- Historical bid guidance will be available when researching networks and programs to add to your campaign

- New filtering capabilities allow sorting campaigns by custom dayparts, days of the week, and current bid

- Custom dayparts are much easier to build via the new drag and drop network/daypart selector

"We're excited to finally unveil the new interface which hopefully addresses the feedback we've heard from our advertisers over the years," says a post from the Google TV Ads Team. "But we're not done yet -- the new AdWords interface is built on an infrastructure that lets us develop features more quickly than in the past, so you'll continue to see new features launched regularly in the coming months."

Google has a microsite set up where advertisers can get better acquainted with the new interface. There are also training videos.


Google is updating the default font faces associated with specific AdSense ad formats. The decision to do so is based on findings that different fonts perform better with different formats.

"In the same way that you regularly try out changes to your AdSense ads to increase your earnings, we're also constantly looking for new ways to help you earn more," explains Arlene Lee of Google's Inside AdSense Team. "We've been analyzing the performance of the three available font faces (Arial, Verdana, and Times New Roman), and have found that each font performs best in different ad formats due to factors like character width."


The changes will only apply to ad units that have "AdSense Default" selected as the font face, and are in languages that have Latin-based characters like:

- Croatian
- Czech
- Danish
- Dutch
- English (US and UK)
- Finnish
- French
- German
- Hungarian
- Indonesian
- Italian
- Norwegian
- Polish
- Portuguese
- Romanian
- Slovak
- Spanish
- Swedish
- Turkish

AdSense ad units are mostly set to Arial as the default, but a few are in the Verdana font. The new defaults Google is launching include the following:

728x90, 336x280, 120x600, 120x240

Verdana: 300x250, 160x600, 468x60, 250x250, 234x60, 125x125, 180x150

Times New Roman:

While Google is changing the defaults, the company still encourages users to experiment with fonts on their own. There is no reason why other fonts might work better for your own ads.


Alhlou says there is a quote from Albert Einstein that C-level executives, marketing managers and analysts should keep in mind when it comes to establishing and nurturing a web analytics culture in their organizations. That quote is:

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and, not everything that counts can be counted."

Alhlou is the president of E-Nor, and he presented at an analytics session at SES this week.

With that in mind, Alhlou provides the following seven practical tips:

1. One size fits none

You need to understand and identify what is important to the organization. Time, money, and resources are limited, so you must use them wisely.

2.Know your audience

Don’t try to impress your boss with a radar map or a 5-dimentional motion chart. The following is an example of what not to start off with, unless your management is very "visually inclined."


3. Help your audience understand

Try to help your audience understand the basics. Start off with some common web metrics, and then move into task completion/conversion concepts.

4. Plan to integrate cost data

This refers to click spend, banner ad costs, etc. Have a model for ROI (return-on-investment) calculations.

5. Don't forget non-web Leads

Your site visitors are not all the same. Some of would buy online or submit a form online, while some just like to call and speak with someone. Bring phone data into the mix.

6. A CRM system

For lead generation sites, a CRM system is must. Classify your leads into categories (high quality leads, junk leads, etc.) and bring this insight back into your campaign conversion and ROI calculations. It's one thing to get 10 leads @ $1000 from campaign A, it is a totally different picture when 7 of these leads are junk!

7. Tie it all together

Tie it all together into business metrics that C-levels and business owners/managers can relate to. At the end of the day, it is not about visits, pageviews, conversions! It is about revenue and net profits!

I would like to thank Feras Alhlou for sharing these tips with my readers. There's no question that analytics can make a great impact on marketing, and if you work in a company that isn't doing all it should be in this department, these are some good tips to help change that.


Google has introduced a set of new ad templates for its Display Ad Builder tool. The templates, which Google refers to as "elegant" reside in the "general" category.

"These templates have ready-made buttons and backgrounds that give each ad a cohesive look and feel," says Dan Friedman of Google's Inside AdWords Crew. "More specifically, the backgrounds use subtle gradients and the new buttons have unique shapes, icons and color treatments. The goal of these ads is to make it as easy as possible to create high-quality ads in a matter of seconds without having to use complex graphics software."

Display Ads templates

With some of the new templates, advertisers need only upload their product image and write some text, and the template pretty much takes care of itself. For the design-impaired, it's a good way to easily create a decent looking ad.

In addition, most of them seem to cater to "clickiness," meaning they make it easy for a call to action to inspire a click. aka. You can make money online.

To use the templates, just click Display Ad Builder on the Create an Ad page in AdWords. Google Display Ads features over 90 different templates. Google offers a display ads tutorial here.


You probably have heard stories about businesses that will pay you just to drive around with an advertisement on your car, but do these opportunities really exist? And, if so, how do you find them?

They're called "free car" programs or "get paid to drive" promotions. These programs do exist, although they aren't as plentiful as they once were. The key is knowing where to look and having what it takes to make you an ideal advertising driver.

How it works

Here's the basic premise of the "paid to drive" concept: A company seeks people -- regular citizens, not professional drivers -- to go about their normal routine as they usually do, only with a big ad plastered on their car. The ads are typically vinyl decals, also known as "auto wraps," that almost seem to be painted on the vehicle, and which often cover a large portion of the car's exterior surface.

The car owner is then compensated, usually a few hundred dollars per month, which is essentially a "rental" payment for letting the company use that space. In the past, there's also been a "free car" version of this concept. The company provided the driver with a new, prewrapped car. In this situation, the drivers usually didn't get any cash; their payment amounted to the free use of a new car. However, companies quickly discovered that giving away a bunch of free cars didn't make economic sense, so few still take this approach, says Drew Livingston, president of Free Car Media in Los Angeles.

What does the company get out of this type of ad strategy? Lots of exposure. The auto wraps tend to be colorful and eye-catching and attract lots of attention. Plus, it's a form of advertising with a captive audience, meaning people who are stuck in traffic and can't avoid seeing the wrapped car alongside them, Livingston says.

The companies usually select drivers who live in desirable locations such as high-traffic, urban areas. A company's ideal driver can vary depending upon the target demographic they want to reach, according to Brandon Clarke of DrivenMedia, a Phoenix-based advertising company that specializes in creating branded vehicle campaigns for clients. For example, a tech or electronics company may seek drivers who live on or near college campuses, so as to gain exposure with the college crowd.

The vehicles in these programs are often equipped with GPS tracking devices, so the companies can make sure the drivers spend sufficient time in the desired areas.

'Paid to drive' primetime

Paid-to-drive programs were very popular five to 10 years ago. Gas was cheaper, and people were spending more time on the road. There were plenty of Web sites devoted to these programs, including many fee-charging sites that acted as a middleman and promised to connect willing drivers with companies seeking vehicles for their ads.

Then, fuel prices spiked and people weren't spending as much time in their cars, Clarke says. At the same time, online advertising became the rage.

Current opportunities

Still, there are opportunities out there, if you know where to look.

Livingston says his company's client companies still have plenty of campaigns running nationwide. Business slowed slightly right before the recession but returned when the economy started going south.

"Consumers are seeking ways to make money, while companies are cutting back on spending for television campaigns and looking for more affordable advertising strategies," Livingston says.

On average, Livingston's clients put about 800 to 1,000 wrapped cars on the road.

Like other similar companies, Free Car Media serves as a matchmaker. Interested consumers register at MyFreeCar.com and then are notified when they meet the criteria a client seeks in potential drivers.

Drivers are paid an average of $700 to $900 per month, with campaigns usually running a few months long. Drivers use their own cars which are fitted with the wrap. "They don't actually get a free car," Livingston says. "But the monthly payment is generally enough to cover their auto expenses like car payment, gas, etc., for the month, so that's where the name comes from."

It doesn't cost anything for drivers to sign up, and Livingston warns people to avoid any sites that do charge a fee.

"There are a lot of unscrupulous companies that want to charge you $20, $30 or more when you can get this information yourself for free. I get calls on a weekly basis from people who are upset because they were scammed," he says. Livingston says that anyone who is directed to his site after paying a fee to another service should demand a refund.

Adding to the confusion, many of the sites -- legitimate and questionable -- have very similar names, often some variation of the words "free" and "car." So it's important to check out the Web site carefully, watching for any mention of fees or membership costs.

Finding drivers

Clarke says his company puts a lot of effort into recruiting brand influencers, or drivers who are a perfect fit for the client's target audience.

"Recent engagements have focused on family-oriented and consumer driven advertisers who are generally trying to create awareness within a specific region among active moms with active families," Clarke says, adding that busy soccer moms would make perfect driver candidates for these campaigns. "With active families being such a coveted demographic, incorporating their vehicles is ideal since they're getting tremendous exposure parked in the pick-up line at school, at the Saturday morning soccer games, etc."

There are important criteria for driving candidates. "Background, driving record, employment verification, personal interview, as well as having mandatory minimum auto insurance coverage are part of the vetting process," Clarke says. "We're also looking to incorporate an online personality assessment tool and a short online defensive driving course."

Interested drivers can sign up for opportunities at Drivenmediaonline.com. "We compensate drivers within a range of $300 to $500 per month, with incentives and other engagements that allow them to earn more," Clarke says. "Our typical campaign lasts three to six months, with the time frame and vehicle type being the primary factors for determining their monthly compensation."

So imagine that you have a big sticker saying "Google Is Your Friend" on you car,imagine....:)

Comments are welcome.


Google may have a huge lead over its competitors in terms of market share, but the search giant isn't resting on its laurels. A next-generation infrastructure codenamed "Caffeine" has been unveiled, and it's already available for individuals to test.

Fair warning: don't expect Caffeine to introduce natural language recognition, search results from Twitter, or anything else too fancy. Matt Cutts cautioned, "The Caffeine update isn't about making some UI changes here or there. Currently, even power users won't notice much of a difference at all. This update is primarily under the hood: we're rewriting the foundation of some of our infrastructure."

Still, he continued, "[S]ome of the search results do change, so we wanted to open up a preview so that power searchers and web developers could give us feedback."

Head over to http://www2.sandbox.google.com if you intend to take Cutts and Google up on their invitation. Keep an eye on characteristics including accuracy, comprehensiveness, and - perhaps especially - indexing speed. Then, if you've got anything constructive to say, use the "Dissatisfied? Help us improve" link at the bottom of the page and include the term "Caffeine" in your response.

Initial impressions have, as you can see below, been mostly positive.

Caffeine is likely to hit the mainstream in the near future. Cutts referred to this sneak peek as "a preview of how the search results will change over the next few weeks and months."


Probably the most important step in getting your site found in a search engine is the one in which the search engine crawls it. There are things that can be done and things that can be avoided to make this process as painless as possible for the search engine, which will in turn, make it as painless as possible for the webmaster.

Since Google dominates the search market share by such a large market share, it is always a good idea to listen to what they have to say about such matters. So when they post a presentation with tips on optimizing crawling and indexing, you'll probably want to pay attention.

Google has done just that, highlighting things to stay away from, and things you can do to enhance your site's crawlability. Here is that presentation with specific examples of URLs.

"The Internet is a big place; new content is being created all the time," says Google Webmaster Trends Analyst Susan Moskwa. "Google has a finite number of resources, so when faced with the nearly-infinite quantity of content that's available online, Googlebot is only able to find and crawl a percentage of that content. Then, of the content we've crawled, we're only able to index a portion."

"URLs are like the bridges between your website and a search engine's crawler: crawlers need to be able to find and cross those bridges (i.e., find and crawl your URLs) in order to get to your site's content," continues Moskwa. "If your URLs are complicated or redundant, crawlers are going to spend time tracing and retracing their steps; if your URLs are organized and lead directly to distinct content, crawlers can spend their time accessing your content rather than crawling through empty pages, or crawling the same content over and over via different URLs."

If you want to get crawled faster by Google, you should remove user-specific details from URLs. Specifics of this can be viewed in the slideshow. Basically, URL parameters that don't change the content of the page, should be removed and put into a cookie. This will reduce the number of URLs that point to the same content, and speed up crawling.

Google says infinite spaces are a waste of time and bandwidth for all, which is why you should consider taking action when you have calendars that link to infinite numbers of past/future dates with unique URLs, or other paginated data.

Tell Google to ignore pages it can't crawl. This includes things like log-in pages, contact forms, shopping carts, and other pages that require users to perform actions that crawlers can't perform themselves. You can do this with the robots.txt file.

Finally, avoid duplicate content when possible. Google likes to have one URL for each piece of content. They do recognize that this is not always possible though (because of content management systems and what have you), which is why the canonical link element exists to let you specify the preferred URL for a particular piece of content.


Facebook is now acquiring FriendFeed. Now you're really not going to want to overlook it.(Old news)

If your business didn't have enough reasons to set up a FriendFeed account before, it has a very good one now. Last week, FriendFeed launched its real-time search feature. Results for this roll in when something that fits the query is posted somewhere. Think Twitter Search, only covering a bunch of services.

If you're unfamiliar with FriendFeed, it allows users to add their updates from pretty much any service on the web into one stream. For instance, I could include my How to make money articles, my Make money online articles, my tweets, my Facebook status updates, my Digg activity, my YouTube uploads, my Flickr uploads, etc. all in one stream where people can go or subscribe to if they want to stay up to date on all things GuruMonetizer or Ervin H.

Clearly, there is plenty of potential for such a tool from the business perspective. Look at all of the services you can add to the stream:

Services on Friendfeed

There are a number of real time search engines out there right now. They seem to be coming out of the woodwork in fact. Most of them cover more than just Twitter too. Twitter kind of kicked off the whole real-time search party, and tweets are definitely a big part of the picture, but there is activity going on everywhere on the web. The whole web is pretty much social now. Everyone can publish anything they want, and they have tons of sites to use to do so.

FriendFeed is about consolidating all of this. That's what draws users to it. FriendFeed is more than a search engine obviously. It is a community. In fact, it's more than a community. It's a community for communities. Even as it draws from sources all over the web (as specified by the users), the conversation continues right within FriendFeed's own interface.

People are going to FriendFeed just as if they would Facebook. That is where FriendFeed's new real-time search stands out from other real time search engines. People are still using Google for search. If they want to find out what's happening "right now" they probably go to Twitter.

A more accurate picture of what is going on "right now" however, can probably be found at FriendFeed. Out of the real time search engines out there, FriendFeed is the one that already has an established (and growing) community behind it. People are using it. Now that its real-time search functionality is here, expect people to use that plenty.

FriendFeed Real Time Search (pause)

FriendFeed has climbed significantly over the last year in terms of unique visitors. There is a good chance it will continue to grow as the web continues its trend of becoming more social and people look to consolidate their social media streams.

So the more FriendFeed grows, the more people will realize that they can search in real-time throughout content across Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and all of the others shown in the image above. The only problem with this is that the results will only come from what is being shared via FriendFeed.

That's where you come in.

If you do not have a FriendFeed account and have all of your relevant accounts and postings going into your stream, you will be missing out on appearing in users' real-time searches.

This may become less of an issue when Google finally begins offering up real-time search. People are going to be using Google when they want to search for something for the foreseeable future. Once they add real-time search into the fold, I would imagine it will be the first place many turn for that as well.

We know it's coming, but we don't know when. Co-founder Larry Page has publicly acknowledged that it's something the company has to do. Actually, Marissa Mayer, VP of search product and user experience was just talking about the importance of real-time search again.

But for the time being, FriendFeed may be at an advantage in the real-time search space as far as looking at real-time info from across the whole web, and not just what people are saying on Twitter. At the very least, it should make for an important tool in the real-time search toolbox, which as a whole, is very important for online reputation management.

Following are a few other articles worth reading for getting a better understanding of some benefits you can get from using FriendFeed, beyond just the real-time search aspect:

- Why You Should Use FriendFeed

- 10 Ways to Get more Out of FriendFeed

- How to Use FriendFeed as a Collaborative Business Tool

- How Bloggers Can Use FriendFeed Effectively


Smartphone users now have their own version of YouTube. The company says that smartphone users with "capable" browsers like the iPhone, G1, and Palm Pre can access the mobile site.

Dwipal Desai"As more and more people are using the browser on their smartphones for checking email, visiting websites, and even accessing YouTube, we want to make sure that we provide the best possible YouTube experience on your mobile browser," says YouTube Product Manager Dwipal Desai.

Users can log into their account, view their favorites, and find and share videos just like normal. "It's part of our mission to create the best possible YouTube experience for you, whether you use the site on your computer, in your living room, or on the go," says Desai.

To access the new mobile site, just go to YouTube.com from your mobile phone. From there you'll be taken to a new website designed specifically for your mobile device.

This version of YouTube is not available on all devices, keep in mind. According to some people commenting on YouTube's announcement, it doesn't work on the Blackberry Bold, or the Sony PSP, to name a couple.

It's gong to be wise for YouTube to be optimized for as many devices as possible, especially now that it has its own AdSense-type program. The site is also catering to new a lot more these days, which could increase demand for the site for users on the go.


Digg is putting a new spin on targeted advertising. It is always the goal of advertisers to target their ads as well as they can, but when you advertise with Digg, it will cost you if they're not relevant enough.

Digg announced earlier this year that it would be introducing ads. It was hard to tell if users would find this to be a good idea or not, but the concept behind the ads seems quite user friendly. The ads are clearly marked as such, and users get to vote them up or down just like regular Digg content. Digg explains how it works to Digg users:

Your Diggs, buries and clicks influence a quality score that determines how often the ad gets displayed, and ultimately how much the advertiser pays per click. The more you Digg an ad, the less the advertiser will have to pay; the more an ad is buried, the more the advertiser is charged, eventually pricing it out of the system. The success of this system depends on your participation and feedback, as it will help advertisers to create the best possible experience for the Digg community. Our goal with Digg Ads is to encourage advertisers to create content as compelling as organic Digg stories, and to give you more control over which ads you see on Digg.

Screenshot of Digg Ads in action

Advertisers pay less, the more popular their ad is. The less popular it is, the more they pay. To be successful with Digg's new advertising program, you're really going to have to offer what Digg users want. That means knowing what Digg users really like. So basically, you have to offer some kind of Digg-related product. After all, Digg stories are usually the ones that get dugg the most. I'm kidding (at least half kidding).

Either way, it will pay to really get to know the Digg community before just going for it and advertising your product. Study what kinds of stories are most popular. Get a feel for the kinds of content Diggers like. Then evaluate your product against that. Is it something that is really going to get votes with this crowd? If not, you're going to be better off spending your advertising dollars elsewhere. The less the Digg community likes your ad (or product), the more you're going to have to pay to advertise it there. There's not a whole lot of point to paying more for less enthusiasm.

Digg has begun rolling out the ads and they will appear in rotation in various places around the site. Right now, they're only testing them, so many users will not see them yet.


Izea has launched thier paid tweeting service (discussed in the original article) on its own site at SponsoredTweets.com.

Sponsored Tweets

Original Article: Will advertising kill Twitter? Probably not, but it might kill the popularity of the Twitterers tweeting the ads if some consideration isn't put into it.

The concept is nothing new. Don't like the ads you are getting in an email subscription? You'll probably unsubscribe. Don't like paid posts on a blog you read? You'll probably stop reading. I don't see why the same principal wouldn't apply to Twitter.

Word is that popular blogger Perez Hilton is making big-money deals to do some paid tweeting. Some will be quick to point out that this kind of behavior will ruin Twitter, but really, it will just piss off Perez Hilton's followers at worst. If it pisses them off enough, they'll just stop following him. At best, he is selective with his sponsored tweets and does not alienate his audience, and makes some nice bank while he's entertaining his fans (not that he isn't already doing that).

Perez - Please don't spam us!

Here's some stats about Hilton's blog audience from his own advertising page:

Twitter Ads Perez Hilton averages 250 million impressions and 10.5 million unique readers per month.

* 88% female
* 9% age 18-20
* 70% age 21-34
* 14% age 35-45
* 90% have attended college
* 60% earn $60,000 or greater (HHI)

On Twitter, he has 1,008,960 (at the time of writing) followers. And look at what Facebook and Twitter have done for his traffic. It's no wonder sponsored tweets from him would be attractive to advertisers.

Of course there are others out there doing this already. Heard of PayPerPost? Izea, the company behind that offers services where advertisers can pay for sponsored tweets, complete with unique tracking URLs and everything. Marketers pay for Twitter advertising campaigns on a Cost Per Click (CPC) basis.

URL for Twitter

Izea says its sponsored tweets are all marked with the hashtag #spon. This can lead to scenarios like this where many people are retweeting sponsored tweets:

Blockbuster sponsored tweets

Could this annoy followers? Sure. You're taking your following into your own hands when you go the sponsored tweet route. I don't think this will ruin Twitter for the followers as much as it could for the ones tweeting the sponsored links if they are not considerate with their sponsored tweets. It's a reputation issue. Do you want to be known as the guy pushing ads on people all the time?

Quality and audience factor in as well. "Sponsored" often comes with a negative connotation attached to it, but it isn't always a negative, even from the reader's point of view. If you are tweeting a sponsored link for a something your followers might actually be into, I don't see why they would mind.

Choose your tweets carefully. This is a good rule to live by sponsored tweets or no sponsored tweets. And if they're sponsored, you better mark them as such, or you are bound to alienate people. I'm not sure where the FTC stands on paid tweeting, but that could be a whole other set of problems.

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