March 14, 2005

Sponsored Tags

In a hallway conversation with Joshua Schacter today at ETech, we spoke about and advertising and how it might be done on the site, and I suggested an idea that I really like but I don't think he was too hot on: literal "ad words" -- brand links -- sponsored tags.

One thing Google AdWords has successfully shown is that the web didn't need graphical banner ads in order to deliver effective advertising that people really responded to. Just look at Google's revenues.

What Google proved is you could reduce an ad down to a few words, and a simple link.

What I think should prove is that you can reduce an ad down to a single word and the ad'll still work. I'm thinking brand names as links. Sponsored tags. Whatever you want to call them.

Say you're browing links related to photography. Imagine if there were a list of links, just simple hyperlinks, in some offset box that said "Sponsored Tags", say underneath the "related tags" box:

Prediction: we're going to see this within the next three months on the web. Maybe not on, but on other sites for sure. (Who knows, maybe it's there already.)

Posted by brian at March 14, 2005 10:40 PM


Hi Brian,

thanks for this post. I totally agree, sponsored tags will come.

If you equate product specs attributes with tags, your idea is already in use. I think, cnet is doing this some years now, e.g.
("Quick links to Specs & Prices from these companies".

It seems, that the manufacturers are quite interested in this advertisement style...


Posted by: Ralf at March 16, 2005 03:57 AM

Isn't this essentially what Google just launched with their Ad Links program? See

Also, for an example look at their Ad Links examples:

Posted by: Ben at March 29, 2005 02:23 PM

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