It only took a year. Last June, when Google (GOOG) acquired FeedBurner, the upside of combining Google’s context-sensitive ads with FeedBurner’s ad placements inside RSS feeds seemed obvious. But month after month, nothing happened, with FeedBurner ads lumped into useless “channels” like “News & Information” or “Arts & Entertainment.”
We’ve been waiting for Google to move, and they did. From the FeedBurner blog:
Starting next week, we’ll be rolling out AdSense for feeds to a small group of publishers, in anticipation of a full launch to all FeedBurner and AdSense publishers “coming soon”. If you start seeing “Ads by Google” on an ad in a feed somewhere, that’d be us.
In plain English, the next time you read a news feed about cars in your RSS reader, the ads accompanying the content may be populated by Ford, Mercedes, etc. With AdSense, Google/FeedBurner can (in theory) generate higher ad rates for a more relevant audience. And for content publishers who have long feared RSS as a monetization-killer, AdSense for feeds somewhat levels the playing field.
Expect more details next week.