Over a month ago I was forced to remove AuctionAds from the site because it was just plain broke. Earnings had dropped from nearly $1,000 in May 2007 down to $25 in August, and still no evidence of any earnings whatsoever from my nearly 100 referrals left me no other choice. Most anyone that’s been using AuctionAds knows exactly what I’m talking about, and AuctionAds performance is a hot-topic at DP Forums – so it’s not like I’m just some crazy webmaster wearing a tinfoil-hat and screaming about conspiracy theories.
Thursday I received an eMail from Patrick Gavin introducing their new product, ShoppingAds – I’m sure all or most AuctionAds publishers received the same email, but in case you missed it, this was the pitch (in part):
Thanks so much for your support of AuctionAds. As a user of AuctionAds I wanted to invite you to use our currently private ShoppingAds product! ShoppingAds is a cost per click product powered by the major shopping comparison sites.
Because I have no interest in flushing any more of my nearly 1,000,000 monthly page-views down the toilet I really was not interested in adding yet another ‘broken’ system to my site – Because of that, and combined with the fact that I had a really bad day at work that day, I replied to the email with a typical Randy Brown smartass response that I assumed nobody would ever see:
yah.. let me know when Auction Ads is working like normal and i’ll give it a try.. As far as I can see it’s still seriously broken..
After pressing the send button (which felt better than kicking my dog), I went about my business of watching something about ferrets mating in captivity on the Discovery Channel.
Less than an hour later I received another email from Patrick – a short one-line message asking exactly what kind of problem’s I’ve been seeing with AuctionAds. I was in a better mood at this point because I had eaten dinner, and that ferret-mating show had been really interesting, so I lightened-up a little and replied with this honest response:
What I see is tens of thousands of impressions, virtually no clicks (i know, you’re working on that one), no (or extremely low) earnings, and no referral earnings.
I compare this to several months ago, were I saw the same number of impressions, yet earnings were close to $1k/month – never have seen any referral earnings though.. Support told me that they’re counted, yet now that i have removed AA from my site for weeks/months, I’ve still seen $0 from my 80 or so referrals… Same problems that all the other webmasters are griping about in the DigitalPoint forums.. i could point you to a few threads but i’m sure you or your people have seen them.
Anyway, i know you guys are working on these things, and i know the transition is not an easy thing – so i do plan on trying AA again when it appears that everything is back on track..
PS – i’m really not a fan of how AA has handled things since the takeover. You should give this a read: AuctionAds Should Hire John Reese
I pressed the send-button and eagerly awaited Mr. Gavin’s response. By now it was long after 11pm in Patrick’s time-zone so I did not expect a response until the following morning, but Patrick must be working late because less than 30 minutes later I received his response to my criticisms (photo added by me):
Randy, I agree. Believe me it wasn’t an easy transition. The biggest problem was we had no idea what went wrong and posting “we know things are messed up but have no clue how to fix them or if they will be fixed” would have been a tough post to write. I know we should have been more open but we were working our butts off for solutions. The bottom line is AA is a CPA product and results can vary. It obviously will work best when it hits your site for the first time because if your regular audience clicks the ads once and takes an action it will be great but they may not click the next time. Anyway, AA is getting back on track and we are not done optimizing it but I do think you will see great results with SA, thx again!
So.. He blames at least part of the problems with AuctionAds on me or my site because it’s a CPA product, promises they’ll be back on track soon, and assures me that ShoppingAds won’t be a total waste of space on my site.. If nothing else, Patrick is a great salesman and eternal optimist.
I’ll give AuctionAds another few months to fix their broken system and give it another try – I’m not even going to bother with ShoppingAds.