My Advertising Network Roundup

About two or three times per year I rotate through all of my advertising networks to see how they are performing.  I think it’s a good idea to test all your ad-networks every once in a while to make sure you aren’t missing out on any potential earnings – a network that performed poorly six-months ago might do much better today (not usually, but you never know).

These are my results, listed worst to best, for the year – with the last test finishing up just a day or so ago.  Note that due to the various TOS’s, I do not include any actual CTR, ePC, eCPM or earnings data:

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BidVertiser: very low CTR and even lower earnings.  A waste of my valuable page real-estate.

Adbrite: I put the most time and effort into testing Adbrite because I have read of many other publishers that were getting good results.  But for me, it just did not work out.  I tested both text-only and banner units and after ~100,000 impressions, earned only a few dollars.  It seems that most publishers generating good earnings with Adbrite are using their “full page” ads which to me seem to be the #1 way to piss-off/drive away potential visitors.  Adbrite also has “in text” ad-units, but I did not test them.

Chitika: Chitika’s new “Premium Units” performed fairly well.  These ad-units only display to search-engine traffic and target ads based on the keywords used when searching.  This type of keyword targeting results in very relevant ad-units and very good CTR.   You can configure the Chitika Premium Units to display another ad-network such as Adsense or YPn for display to non-search engine traffic – otherwise direct/non SE traffic will not be shown any ad-units.  Chitika also has an “in text” unit which when tested earlier this year performed well.  Some publishers do not like the “in text” type ads, but I don’t have an issue with them – although I only display them to anonymous vistors, not registered members.  With Chitika you also get a dedicated account manager for support which is a big plus.

Yahoo Publisher Network: YPn was a real surprise this time around (this is why I test a few times a year!).  I have done nothing but badmouth YPn over the last several months, but now I’ll eat my words and take it all back.  This time YPn gave well-targeted ads, fair CTR, and decent ePC.   YPn also has support!  When I had a question regarding the Yahoo Publisher Network TOS, my email was replied-to in less than 24 hours, and when I had a follow-up question a YPN representative called me by telephone to avoid more email confusion.  YPn also has a toll-free phone number for questions/support..  Yahoo Publisher Network gets my “comeback of the year” award!

Kontera: If I was comparing only the last 2-months of the year, Kontera would be the clear winner.  But since i’m comparing the overall performance of the entire year, Kontera comes up a strong #2.  Kontera’s in-text ad-unit performance started out slow this year generating about 50% of what Adsense generated on a daily basis.  But beginning around September/October Kontera was earning 80%-90% of what Adsense was doing, and by December, Kontera was generating approximately 200% of what Adsense was (that is more than double Adsense on most days!).  Kontera’s other strong-point is support.  With a dedicated account manager that you can contact any time by phone or email (and actually get a response) this puts them far ahead most of the other ad-networks.  Some publishers do not like the “in text” type ads, but I don’t have an issue with them – although I only display them to anonymous visitors, not registered members.  Many publishers have also complained that Kontera slows-down their page load times.  If you experience this, be sure that you have your code loading at the very bottom/last of your page right before the /BODY tag.  I have never experienced this issue, and I check/test almost daily.

Adsense:  Still king over the entire year, but if I was comparing only the last few months, it would fall to Kontera as #2.  Excellent ad-inventory and near-perfect targeting no matter what your niche/content makes Adsense hard to beat.  Combine that with (usually) good/high ePC and Adense is still #1.  The Adsense support team does well in answering support-requests (usually in 48 hours or less), but you don’t get a dedicated account manager unless you are in the “UPS club” (a really, really big, Premium publisher).

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Remember: Just because an advertising network performed good/bad for me does not mean you will get the same results.  Whenever anyone asks me, I recommend trying everything and sticking with what works (seems almost obvious, eh?)..  I also recommend trying different networks every several months as I do to make sure that you are using the best-performing network – you never know when you might be pleasantly surprised.

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7 thoughts on “My Advertising Network Roundup

  1. I have absolutely the same opinion as you about Adsense. I bet you would enjoy very much to be able to write your earning report with Firefox browser included in, cause you were the King. How would that be?, if Google Adsense offered the same with Chrome (which I am using to post this comment.) Chrome browser is out of beta for some time isn’t it? I would be delighted to offer it for download through my site, also, out of the box it doesn’t restrict DC cookies like IE does! Do you use Chrome Randy?

  2. I’m still using Firefox.. But just as soon as Google releases Chrome for Mac I would like to give it a try..
    And yes, I would also like to see $1 referrals for Chrome – just like the good-old days..

  3. I’d like to try out more advertising networks on my blog, but I am worried about offending the 11 people that actually read it. I have heard from so many people how much they despise the “in text” ad-units that I am scared to try it.

  4. thanks for the round up randy, i was just starting with chitika and found this via digitalpoint, i’m fairly certain that kontera would do well but don’t they drive away visitors? i really get annoyed with sites that have these popup intext ads so i haven’t tried them.

    Now that i read this i want to try kontera though, did the bounce rate drop once you introduced kontera?

  5. [quote comment=”2150″]

    Now that i read this i want to try kontera though, did the bounce rate drop once you introduced kontera?[/quote]

    Since using Kontera I’ve seen no increase in bounce rates nor have i seen a drop in adsense CTR (as many report).

    You just gotta try it and see if it works for you. If it does, keep it – if it doesn’t, move on to something else.

  6. Thanks for the review. I am totally with you about Adbrite’s “full page” ads. I don’t feel like visiting those sites again after seeing the ads.

  7. I’m happy I signed up for Kontera earlier. I got rid of it after 3 days of trying because the CTR and the earning was too low. But that’s back in early 2008 and now I think I will try again, after reading your article.

    Also, I thought I got Chitika but I can’t find my the account details anywhere where.

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