Wednesday, April 18, 2007

LPN – Live Search Publisher Network

Live Search have not talked much about a publisher network but I think it’s safe to assume they are working through the details. I should stress that this is an assumption – if I knew for certain, I’d be under NDA and would not be blogging about it.

I think Live Search have some pretty good ideas of what they want for “LPN” (to coin the phrase). They want to keep quality. Quality is their USP currently. One way I think they’ll do this is by allowing publishers to set their own “site visitor quality”.

As a member of LPN I could set the dial to indicate I’ve low volume but high quality traffic. I might be running a subscription based site which published research and reviews on high price basket item. We can be pretty sure that visitors to that site are very interested in that item (they’ve subscribed), are strong buyers (it’s a thought leading/review site) and are worth a lot (high price). With this setting on it would be perfectly fine if the same visitor was shown the same LPN ad many times. I know that advert is well targeted to her and so I want to keep it active.

Alternatively, as a member of LPN I could set the dial to suggest I’ve high volume but low quality traffic. I might be running an online roleplaying community (which I do). My forums would generate lots of page impressions, lots and lots, but my users could well be pre-credit card or poor (student) with little interest in buying. With this setting I would want to whisk through adverts quickly until I found a creative which caught an impulse click. Live Search would know it was likely to be an impulse click and pay me less but they would be helping me buy helping me whisk through the adverts.

Could Yahoo or Google do this? Sure. Patent pending; of course. I just suspect this is something that Microsoft happen to be focusing on.

At the start of the month, Barry Schwartz wrote that YPN was not going international. Oh, but it is. A senior Yahoo told me that would go live before the end of the year.

… but Barry is not wrong. This particular contact in Yahoo told me that YPN would go live in the United Kingdom, by the end of the year, last year. Simply put Yahoo is not rushing with YPN. Yahoo is being careful and strategic with YPN. YPN must be bullet proof when it launches. Why go with YPN when you could go with AdSense? It’s a tough but valid question. YPN need an answer – and the quality dial, as described above, is one tactic that LPN and YPN have as an answer.

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