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Google FeedBurner: monetize and measure

And before you know it, Google buy FeedBurner. Now what? Well, as metrics go, FeedBurner is up there with Technorati.

It’s a way of measuring the girth of your web presence. For the likes of the bigger players, they tend to weigh in heavily.

Right now, I’m more nimble. But I aspire to be equally cumbersome at some point in the not-so-distant future.

So having FeedBurner in hand, Google have the option to combine their new purchase with Google Analytics.

Now, there’s yet more stuff that needs doing to Google Analytics, which I’ll write about in due course. But for now, Google might have a minor headache to sort out.

As I see it, FeedBurner has a strong brand, which you don’t just discard on a whim. If anyone knows the power of brand, it’s Google.

And quite recently, FeedBurner made a purchase of their own when they acquired Blogbeat, which will count for nowt if Google intend teasing out the feed metrics stuff and leaving the newly-added web traffic metrics behind.

From where I’m sitting, this is a deeply strategic acquisition.

To begin, let’s go back…

First of all, Google want to be able to measure the length, height and breadth of the whole world wide web. They want advertising on every web page in every language.

That’s how they make money.

But wait! People who’re smart enough to use a feed aggregator aren’t viewing as many web pages these days .. eek!

What to do?

Why buy FeedBurner, who have their own feed monetization called FAN (FeedBurner Ad Network), of course!

So now Google get to roll in their AdSense into every feed that makes use of the FAN infrastructure.

And then there’s GeoRSS, which opens up the playing field considerably, tilting the whole damn thing towards Google, who’re one of the fatter players in the game with a very healthy appetite these days.

But what if the playing field itself is searchable? That’s like changing the rules half way through the game, isn’t it?

Something like that, yeah. So imagine the possibilities when Google merge their Maps application with AdSense.

Let’s role play, yes?

So for a fictitious company like ACME Inc. who have themselves listed in Google Maps, they might also have their company ‘blog feed listed in there, too.

Additionally, their company ‘blog feed is geo-targeted, so anyone looking for the newfangled Whizz Bang product in their area will probably find it.

And to build some exposure, ACME Inc. are running a Google AdSense account, helping them to tout their Whizz Bang product. Which in turn shows up in some local retailers ecommerce website .. which is making use of? No prizes for guessing Google Checkout.

Then the director sits down with her IT staff every week to see firstly where their PPC (Pay Per Click) budget is going, and then secondly, where all the visitors are going to once they’re on their website.

All of which the IT people have prepared for with reports generated from both Google AdWords and Analytics.

There was this saying: the sun never sets on the British Empire.

There is no British Empire anymore, but there’s this company called Google…

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By Wayne Smallman

Wayne is the man behind the Blah, Blah! Technology website, and the creator of the Under Cloud, a digital research assistant for journalists and academics.

3 replies on “Google FeedBurner: monetize and measure”

I like Feedburner basically because it makes my feeds portable across browsers and aggregators as well as adding those flares that make commenting, stumbling etc easier for readers. There are some reasons not to use it, such as not “owning” your RSS subscribers.

However, one thing that I’ve found, despite my main site have quite a hefty number of subscribers, is that FAN just doesn’t pay its way. The ads that show up in my feed are awful visually speaking and I think the only and only cheque I had from FB was for $3.45. Which in old-world money is not even a pint of beer.

I will be interested to see whether Google can help me monetize my feeds better, although if it’s just an extension of Adsense they use, I’m not sure that would be such a great improvement.

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