WordPress.com's WordAds to rival Google's AdSense

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Matt Mullenweg
Matt Mullenweg
Web development company Automattic has developed a display advertising product for its WordPress.com blogging platform. The first “WordAds” will appear during Q1 2012 and will run on desktop, mobile devices and iPad, said Jon Burke, ads lead at Automattic, via email.

Advertising has been the company's top feature request since WordPress.com launched six years ago, said Matt Mullenweg, cofounder of WordPress and founder of parent company Automattic, via email. The company waited to launch an advertising product because it “hadn't found a model for advertising on blogs that [it] liked,” Mullenweg explained.

“Our primary goal is to create something that rewards bloggers for their hard work and the quality of their work, and do so at a higher level than generic [Google's] AdSense would,” he added.

Advertisers will be able to target WordAds campaigns “primarily by site and context, via keyword/topic tagging,” said Burke. Ad rates for WordAds will be impression-based. WordPress.com publishers will not be able to select which ads run on their sites.

Burke said Automattic chose to work with Federated Media Publishing on the product because of the company's “experience in bringing together leading brands and top bloggers.”

Companies that use the WordPress.com platform include CNN, the National Football League and the United Parcel Service of America, according to WordPress.com.

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