I find it a bit funny that Google would file a patent for this, but I find most patents funny. MSGraph, an SEW Member known for posting patent applications, started a thread named Google's Advertisements in RSS Patent App where he quotes an abstract from the patent application.
Incorporating targeted ads into information in a syndicated, e.g., RSS, presentation format in an automated manner is described. Syndicated material e.g., corresponding to a news feed, search results or web logs, are combined with the output of an automated ad server. An automated ad server is used to provide keyword or content based targeted ads. The ads are incorporated directly into a syndicated feed, e.g., with individual ads becoming items within a particular channel of the feed. The resulting syndicated feed including targeted ads is supplied to the end user, e.g., as a set of search results or as a requested web log. Embedding of targeted ads into syndicated feeds and/or user response to the embedded ads is be tracked in an automated manner for billing. The automated targeting and insertion process allows ads to be kept current and timely while the original feed may be considerably older.
See how they specifically discuss say "Embedding of targeted ads into syndicated feeds and/or user response to the embedded ads is be tracked in an automated manner for billing." Many of the older RSS ad programs charge more with the CPM basis. Google might have done this specifically to ward off the folks at Yahoo! and other companies looking to automate the billing process of the business.