LinkWeaver offers new alternative for publishers looking to monetize their websites
By Matthew Schwartz
One method available to business publishers seeking to monetize their online content is to sign up with an online advertising network, which locates venues to run the ad inventory and, in return, gives publishers a piece of the action.
However, within the networks, the ad targeting is often driven by the need to display a high number of impressions for the advertiser rather than the relevancy between the advertising message and the content on the website. VigLink is looking to remedy that situation with LinkWeaver.
Introduced earlier this month, LinkWeaver is a new technology platform that allows readers to instantly click on editorial to learn more about a particular product or service or make a purchase without ever leaving the website to search elsewhere. “The money still comes from the advertiser, but we think of our customer as the publisher, rather than the advertiser,” Oliver Roup, CEO of VigLink, said of LinkWeaver, adding that the technology is an incremental solution and does not compete with text ads or display ads.
LinkWeaver, which augments VigLink's automated link affiliation, is free to website publishers. An account signup can be created at www.VigLink.com and launched by adding a short snippet of Java script to the publisher's pages.
LinkWeaver detects product and merchant references within content in Web pages and automatically creates customized links that are uniquely embedded within each page. VigLink enhances those links that have performed well and jettisons those that generate no revenue. There is a maximum of five links allowed per paragraph.
“Assuming a publisher wants us to insert links, we crawl that page and we say, "Of the link inventory that we have and that we collected from all of these merchants and affiliate networks, which links seem most appropriate to insert on the page that will yield the most revenue for the publisher,' ” Roup said.
For example, in a b-to-b article focusing on the iPad, LinkWeaver will crawl the page, identify the word “iPad” and link it to the term “iPad” on Amazon, eBay or any of several other online merchants that have relationships with VigLink.
Online merchants pay VigLink based on either CPA (cost-per-acquisition) or CPC (cost-per-click). VigLink then passes along a percentage to publishers.
Although the LinkWeaver technology tends to gravitate toward content that focuses on products and services, any type of content is fair game, including editorial, user-generated content and/or product reviews.
“VigLink and LinkWeaver seamlessly weave links into website content that actually enhances the reader's experience, while also delivering a new revenue source for the publisher,” Roup said.