WordPress Launches WordAds, Takes Aim At Google Adsense

For years bloggers have been waiting for an option to add advertising to their WordPress.com blogs to no avail, in fact the main reason I stayed away from WordPress.com is because of that. WordPress has put forward a new product called WordAds to solve that problem and they kick it off with a bold statement calling Google Adsense “sad”.

WordPress’ advertising executive Jon Burke executive says:

“Over the years one of the most frequent requests on WordPress.com has been to allow bloggers to earn money from their blog through ads. 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.”

Wow, that’s big talk coming from a company that’s never stepped foot in Advertising prior to this. I’m interested in seeing what WordAds has to offer that is so ground breaking that they can call Adsense sad.

What is known so far is that the opt-in ad program will be available exclusively to WordPress.com bloggers, though I’m pretty sure somewhere down the line they’ll release a plugin; most likely via JatPack.me for WordPress.org users.

The percentage of ad revenue paid to bloggers is unknown. When asked what the ad revenue is split between WordPress and publishers was, founding developer Matt Mullenweg responded, “Our primary goal is to create something that rewards bloggers for their hard work and the quality of their work, and do so at a higher level than generic Adsense would, not optimize around a particular revenue share.”

The WordAds program is not a free for all, to qualify for the program, blogs must be publicly visible and have a custom domain. Applying to the program doesn’t ensure acceptance; WordPress will choose participants based on the type of content, and traffic/engagement levels. This is natural when launching a new ad platform.

Where Are The Ads coming From?

As it is right now, Federated Media has partnered with Automattic and in conjunction with their recent acquisition, Lijit Networks, Inc. Together, they said, the companies are able to offer brands content curation, sponsored posts, and conversation targeting to help marketers reach more targeted audiences across the blogosphere. This could be a big deal for advertisers and publishers alike.

At the moment this really isn’t a competitor to Adsense per say, since it’s only available on WordPress.com which didn’t serve Adsense ads in the first place so it’s not like it’s going to hurt them. Though this could be a big incentive for many who use Blogger to move to WordPress.com’s superior blogging platform, since one of the big reasons people use Blogger is because it can serve ads.

Lets see what WordAds has to offer.