uT.ag Launches At StartupCamp – Automatically Add Contextual Advertising To Outbound Links In Your Blog

David Vandenberg (One of my co-workers at Massive) attended StartupCamp  this weekend and in 24 hours created uT.ag (here is the elevator pitch video) which allows you to create a compressed url like http://tinyurl.com/ and http://is.gd/ but goes one step further and loads the site in a <iframe> with Google ads at the top.


uTag allows you to generate these urls one at a time AND you can insert some JavaScript into your website which rewrites all the external urls to go via their <iframe> host page. The end result is that all links out from your site end up showing ads at the top, and uTag send you the money.

And yes, if you have clicked on a link in my blog by now you will see that I have added it to my site.

http://ut.ag is one of those clever, simple ideas that could just work, or it could start a war, maybe both.

I can’t see how it violates the Google Adsense TOS unless they argue that it interferes with Navigation, or they stretch the interpretation of  “No Google ad may be placed on pages published specifically for the purpose of showing ads, whether or not the page content is relevant.”

Its  going to be up to the web community to decide wether or not this form of advertising is viable.

The cure is to add a single line of framebusting JavaScript to your site.

<script type="text/javascript">
   if(top.location != location) {top.location.href = document.location.href;}

But would they counter with the anti-framebusting hack for Opera And IE? Are we at the dawn of a JavaScript driven adverting arms race? Will Google’s new partial JavaScript execution its webcrawler be used to counter this by affecting the page-rank of the source pages?

I’m also curious to know what will happen to blog trackbacks.

I can see how people running ads in their sites (like me) may feel that this dilutes their own advertising’s attention share on the target page.

I can also see how it shares some of the advertising revenue around and rewards sites that direct people toward relevant information.

Is this an acceptable way for content owners to extract revenue from traffic out of their site?

In the case of blogs, if the revenue could be split between the source and destination sites could this be a basis for some kind of treaty?

If they checked for ads on the target site and left sites with ads untreated, would that make it more acceptable?

Check out the Utag blog http://ut.ag/Blog/ and the StartupCamp live stream from uStream. At the time of writing this they had all gone to bed, but should be up again in 10 hours or so 🙂

About James McParlane

CTO Massive Interactive. Ex Computer Whiz Kid - Now Grumpy Old Guru.
This entry was posted in Axonomics, Web2.0. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s