I’ve been using Kontera for about 9-months now and in that time I’ve probably been one of their most vocal fanboys. Starting out strong with an eCPM of over $3, and averaging $45-$75/day in earnings, I’ve recommended Kontera to everyone that will listen. Most webmasters that have tried Kontera based on my recommendation have reported back to me that it’s worked great for them – only a few have reported that it did not perform well for them at all. In general Kontera performs best on content-heavy sites like forums or “how-to” sites and does not do well on smaller sites, mini-sites, or MFA sites.
A Bad Month For Kontera
Starting in about mid-December of ’07, my Kontera earnings and eCPM began to take a dip. Adsense was also down during this period, as well as traffic so I attributed the dip in earnings to “the holidays”. Beginning about the second week of January, traffic (and Adsense earnings) were getting back to normal – even above normal, but Kontera was still struggling to break $20/day, with an eCPM of less than $1. I sent an email to my account manager, asking him “WTF?!”, and he responds that publisher budgets and campaigns are down (normal for this time of year) but he was going to add the ‘consumer electronics’ category to my site which should help increase the eCPM.
Fast-forward to a few days ago and I realized that Kontera’s In-Text links are not even loading on my site – no, wait, they’re loading but they are taking over 45 seconds before they appear! I checked a few other sites that I know use Kontera (www.askdavetaylor.com) and notice that they are loading very slowly also (20-40 seconds). I send another email to my Account Manager and he responds that his operations people tell him they are doing and upgrade or something, and this might be causing the slow load times. Figuring that ad load-times this slow aren’t doing anyone any good, I removed Kontera from my site completely. The next day I see that Kontera is loading normally on other sites so I added it back.
This morning while checking earnings from yesterday I see that Kontera did not even break the $10 mark (eCPM hardly over $1) so I checked the load-times again and found that Kontera is taking over 30 seconds to appear on all my pages.
Combine low advertiser budgets and fewer campaigns with load-times of over 30 seconds and what do you get? You get no more Kontera ads on my website until they figure out how to correct these issues. I will monitor the ad-load times on other sites that use Kontera and test it on my site a few times for the next week or so before I go looking for a replacement.
C’mon Kontera, don’t make me go find another good PPC system.. Let’s get back to the good-old days of instant-loading In-Text ads, and normal eCPM.
**Update: 7 or 8 hours later and I decided to add Kontera back to the site to test it. The In-Text ads were loading fine for about an hour, but now they are back to taking 45 seconds or more before displaying. It seems that their adserver, kona19.kontera.com is what is causing the problem, because that’s where things seem to hang up.