Ad Networks: The Good, The Bad, And The Krappy

In the last few weeks I’ve received a few emails/contacts/PM’s asking about which advertising networks I use and which ones perform the best. So instead of making a post about how well the different ad-networks perform (like every other blogger in the world) I thought I would simply post some pros and cons of the different networks I use or have tested in 2010.

Adsense:

  • Pros: The largest ad-network on the planet; largest advertiser inventory; easy configuration; very high eCPM for most websites
  • Cons: Sometimes difficult to get approval, especially in ‘certain’ countries; zero customer support for non-premium accounts (that’s virtually all of us); very little recourse if your account runs into issues; forget about ever dealing with a human being if you need help

Microsoft AdCenter for Publishers:

  • Pros: The merge with Yahoo could someday rival Adsense; good publisher support via private forums; excellent customization of ad-units
  • Cons: Very low eCPM (for now); access to the service is very limited and/or closed at this time; will remain limited to U.S. publishers only, for the foreseeable future

Kontera:

  • Pros: Excellent customer support including a dedicated account-manager at your disposal by phone or email; “in-text” ads do not take up any space on your pages and can easily run along-side Adsense and many other advertisers; potential for excellent eCPM for the right niche websites; good referral program
  • Cons: eCPM can vary wildly by as much as 75% day vs day; eCPM can be poor on the ‘wrong’ type of sites; low advertiser inventory; Contract is required which locks you in to using only Kontera for in-text advertising on your site xx-months (usually 1 year)

Chitika:

  • Pros: Decent customer support; multiple types of ad-types; very good eCPM on the ‘right’ sites; good referral program
  • Cons: low eCPM on some sites; low advertiser inventory

IDGTechNetwork:

  • Pros: Good customer support with dedicated account-contact; easy to use dashboard (AMP: Ad Management Platform); surprisingly high eCPM based on my testing
  • Cons: Restrictions on accepting new publishers; contract required that forces the display of the IDGTechNetwork logo on every page

Affiliate Systems (CJ, Plimus, Clickbank):

  • Pros: Easy to sign-up and create links for your pages; extremely high earnings potential if you can target traffic to the right offers
  • Cons: Zero earnings if you cant get high amounts of targeted traffic (requires much work, planning, SEO and/or marketing)

The bottom line with these and other ad-networks is that what works great for me may not work very well for you, and you should try out as many ad-networks as you can until you find the fit that is right for you.   You may actually find that you are pleasantly surprised with the results.

What other ad-networks have been working well, or not so well for you?  Post a comment and let us all know..

2 thoughts on “Ad Networks: The Good, The Bad, And The Krappy

  1. Great post Randy!

    I’ve used clickbank before but we didn’t have enough traffic to be able to rely on it, though we did strike lucky and get both of our only referrals on the same day, earning us £30 🙂

  2. My experience in using ad networks has been really bad until I discovered adtomatik. The best ecpm and the highest fill rates

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