May we be poised for the next internet gold rush? Many of us remember the good old days when you really could put together a quick landing page, just a landing page, and throw tons of cheap Google clicks at it and make a small fortune, or dynamically insert just the right computer error keyword on a direct link and sell a ton of Clickbank registry cleaners. While it will probably look a little different this time around, those days may be upon us in the affiliate marketing world again soon.
I’m referring rumblings of a Facebook Content advertising platform, network, whatever you want to call it, that may in fact be in beta testing as we speak. The information seems to be a little sketchy right at the present time as I can only find a few articles on the subject but, it only seems inevitable that this is what Facebook would want to do with its plans of world domination that may even exceed those of my affiliate manager over at C2M.
Being that Facebook has all kinds of widgets that allow you to Share, Like, comment and even log into certain sites with your Facebook account, it would be easy for developers (if they haven’t already done so) to make an advertising widget which shows some sort of FB ads. I imagine FB will want to show text as well as image ads. While the standard format of the ads we currently see on FB will probably be available, they have to come out with customizable ad sizes just as Adsense allows its users to utilize its platform fit the content of their sites.
This will be a gold rush both for advertisers and publishers as FB’s reach is some 500 million members and may be the most recognizable presence on the web today, even exceeding that of Google. Hundreds of thousands of its members either are publishers or advertisers or would be if the process were a little easier. With this user base, the process of rolling out the content platform to those interested in making money with their content and those interested in additional advertising opportunities could be accomplished in a matter of months.
Google should be concerned, very concerned, because we could literally have a new and dominating ad platform to take over the net within 3 months when FB decides to hit the start button. Obviously Google is smart and this wouldn’t be a complete surprise to them, but thinking about and preparing for it may be nothing until they actually see it in action and suddenly feel the presence of tens of thousands of Adsense and Adwords users jumping ship or at least spending much more of their advertising dollars with someone else. The days of Google’s $500 to $600+ per share stock price may be coming to an end and they may even beg the 200,000 or so Adwords users they kicked out of their program a year and a half ago to please come back.
To be certain, there are still hurdles for FB to overcome so as to make a new ad platform a dominating force to be a real competition to Google. Facebook hasn’t quite got the ad approval process consistent just yet. It is confusing, biased, maddening, inconsistent and down right absurd in most cases. They have lost thousands of advertisers because of the sheer stupidity of the way they approve ads. To make any inroad into a widely used and competitive force against Google they simply must nail this down to a consistent, unbiased and understandable process for their users. An automated system such as Adcenter or Adwords uses is essential for a smooth flow into giving Google a run for their money. The hit and miss crap shoot for advertisers trying to get their ads approved must end. Their lame excuse that they want to protect their users experience on the Facebook platform won’t translate meaningfully to a content platform.
For publishers there is also plenty of gold to be mined in a new content network, but it will not be an easy thing to get into you can be sure. It will not be like the early days of Adsense where you could throw together a spammy site and slap Adsense on it and boom, you be makin’ teh monies. Facebook will not let that happen. You can bet they will scrutinize every site you put their ads on. Start shining up your content now so it will look appealing and spiffy to those you are seeking to reach and your approval process should be much easier.
When it hits it could be a game changer again for all advertisers and that would include us in the affiliate marketing space. This will definitely be a platform you will want to jump on as soon as you can, figure out how to make it work and not sit back and wonder what just passed you by. Get ready.
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