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Old 21st January 2005, 09:40 AM   #1
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Default New Article: AOL Expands Advertising Opportunities for Local Businesses


Some snippets...

"AOL has announced plans this week to partner with Ingenio, a company specializing in a pay-per-call advertising platform. The idea behind Ingenio's offering is similar to the popular pay-per-click programs offered by Overture, Google AdWords and other providers. Searchers are presented with text ads designed to match certain keyword queries, but rather than click on the ad to view a company's Web site, they are given a phone number to call to contact the company."

"Businesses that rely on the Web to produce phone leads, rather than to sell products, are likely to see the benefits of Ingenio's program from the start. Companies that have long relied on telemarketing to produce leads may also see the benefit of a program like this one."


So, what do you guys think? Personally, I'm kind of excited. I'd read about Ingenio before and even looked into the possibility of using them for some local businesses that I've worked with, but the reality was that they simply didn't have much of a distribution network. There's no set launch date for running the ads on AOL, but IMO, AOL has enough of an audience, and the type of audience that would make this type of project worthwhile.

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Old 21st January 2005, 11:27 AM   #2

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I'm worried about what happens when a competitor gets ahold of the phone number. SMBs don't have big budgets anyway and a few phony calls to a number could really drain an ad budget. Does Ingenio or AOL have any method in place to prevent something like this from occuring? I believe Findwhat.com is using Ingenio too but there doesn't seem to be much discussion of their usage of this technology.

My question is "Why did AOL and Time Warner go for pay per click instead of pay per call?"

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Old 21st January 2005, 11:50 AM   #3
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Call fraud would be an obvious concern, maybe I'll try and get in touch with them and ask how they plan to address that issue...after all, if they forward the call, they wouldn't really have a way to see how long the call lasted, so they'd have to take an advertisers word for it on whether the call was legit or not...

As for going with pay-per-call over PPC, they aren't. They still run AdWords ads on their network...this would be in addition to those...

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Old 21st January 2005, 03:02 PM   #4
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I'm looking forward to seeing how this turns out. AOL might be a really nice fit. Definitely huge distribution.

I'm kind of biting my tongue right now because I have mixed feelings on this. I do have a very small Ingenio Findwhat pay-per-call account and can choose whether an ad is shown within a certain radius of my zip code, shown in the city, region, state or shown nationwide (I just chose city). That's great, but so can competition from California to Maine. I wasn't expecting much though as the budget is pretty minimal.

What I don't know, is if national competition can drown local ad placements, or would there be a ranking boost for ads only shown locally? If the Ingenio/AOL program gives any kind of boost to ads shown only in particular regions vs. the cost per call, I'd probably really promote it to local customers.


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Old 26th January 2005, 07:02 PM   #5

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I think the concept is a great idea. I'm not sure if a Pay Per Call is the way to go do to the discussion of legit calls.
Our company was just awarded a "Notice of Allowance" from the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office). We applied for this patent early spring of 2000. There are 64 claims that detail local search, automation, (empowering local businesses to promote themselves in real time in their neighborhood) and one of our claims, and this is the kicker "a means for contacting geographically targeted businesses online" Our services, when launched, will be a monthly subscription fee affordable to all local commerce. Whats so difficult about that?

Best Regards,
Walter Rinebold

Last edited by AustinWalters; 27th January 2005 at 10:23 AM.
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