WordPress.com Intros Ad Program, Disses Google AdWords

WordPress.com has announced a program that aims to offer bloggers an alternative to Google’s AdWords for monetizing their sites.

Called WordAds, the offering makes use of WordPress.com’s partnership with Federated Media. Jon Burke, ads lead for WordPress.com, wrote on the company’s blog Tuesday that bloggers have been asking WordPress.com for some time to introduce a monetization program, but “we’ve resisted advertising so far because most of it we had seen wasn’t terribly tasteful, and it seemed like Google’s AdSense was the state-of-the-art, which was sad.”

Burke, however, didn’t divulge any details about how WordAds would be different from AdWords. Instead, the post merely directs users to fill out a form if they’re interested. The page directing users to the form notes that joining WordAds is “100% optional” and that Federated Media sells ads for BoingBoing and Apple Insider.

Though the announcement makes it official, it’s not a surprise. In October, WordPress.com told attendees at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco that the company was teaming up with Automattic and Federated to let users place ads on their blogs. As Burke notes, more than 50,000 WordPress-powered blogs (including both WordPress.com and WordPress.org blogs) come online every day.

Burke said users deserved better than Google’s AdSense. Google didn’t break out revenues for AdWords in its most-recent financial filing, but AdSense programs, which include AdWords, brought in $2.6 billion — 27% of the company’s total revenues — in Q3.

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