ADOTAS – Ad network Prosperent launched two new products, ProsperLinks and Performance Ads, the company has described overtly as an alternative to Google AdSense. ProsperLinks is designed to identify the concepts behind a web page and insert affiliate links into the text on the page — an approach the company contrasts to keyword-based linking — and the company says it’s an entirely automated service. Meanwhile, Performance Ads promise to allow publishers to have targeted ads delivered to their advertising spaces by simply dropping in a bit of code that analyzes what the page is all about and how its visitors are behaving online. Both products incorporate a commission model that pays customers 70 to 80 percent of each sale, in lieu of a pay-per-click model. According to a statement from Prosperent, that model allows for convenient partnerships with businesses of all sizes (which happen to currently include retailers such as Zappos, Overstock.com, QVC, Best Buy and REI).
In a phone call last week, Prosperent CEO Brian Lovett explained that by taking data from roughly 2,000 partner retailers, the company can “take all that product data, clean it and process it, get it into a search engine we’ve written” and provide results about “what’s selling and where.”
From there, Lovett said, they decided to eschew the expected display ad model. “First thing we did, we threw away the traditional ad sizes,” he explained. “Our Performance Ads scale to fit the content and show price comparisons.” And by both analyzing the content of a web page and scaling ads to fit the space allotted, these ads “blend into your site design. They look like an actual bit of content.
“A traditional ad stands out so much,” Lovett said, adding that savvy viewers will often think, “‘That’s an ad, that’s an ad — I’m going to avoid it.'” In a series of webslides, Lovett demonstrated an example of an ecommerce site selling shoes whereby the Prosperent-created shoe ad on one side of the page appeared more or less analogous in design to the page’s content itself.
With ProsperLinks, Lovett explained that while other companies often identify keywords on a page in order to display ads, his company’s offering will identify for example, “say, in this forum thread, every time someone posts, we’ll re-evaluate the content. Our ads will actually change and reflect what’s being discussed.”
While Lovett called the process of making publishers and businesses aware that Prosperent’s services are possible “a matter of education,” he said the company’s partners are “very excited about the possibility of having more natural ads. People have previously taken a beautiful site and tried to cram ads into it.”