A few weeks ago I was approached by Criteo to give their advertising network a try on Grownupgeek.com. Criteo is a CPM based ad network that has two features that makes it stand out compared to many other ad networks.
The first feature is Criteo’s behavioral advertising cookies which target a visitor based on their previous web surfing or shopping activities. For example: A visitor goes to BigtvStore.com which happens advertise with Criteo and researches LCD TV’s. That visitor then comes to your Criteo-enabled website and gets targeted with LCD TV ads. Because that person was actually interested in LCD TV’s he or she is presented with advertisements that should appeal to him or her and they may be more apt to act on one of those advertisements. In theory, it’s a win for the internet user and a win for the advertiser.
The second nice Criteo feature is their CPM floor. This feature allows you to set a minimum CPM price for your Criteo ads. If they can’t beat that price, they display another ad-network of your choice. For example: You know that Adsense pays you a (hypothetical) eCPM of $5. You set your Criteo CPM minimum to $5.01. Criteo will then only display ads that pay you a eCPM of $5.01 or more. If they can’t make that price, they automatically display your Adsense code and ads instead. It’s a virtual no-lose method! … in theory…
There are however a few flaws that may make Criteo not very attractive for some website owners.
The first flaw is that only a small percentage of your website visitors may be harboring a Criteo targeting cookie necessary to display Criteo targeted adverts. This leaves you with say, 20% of your visitors that will ever see a Criteo ad.
The second flaw is that only a small percentage of Criteo advertisers will be able to meet or exceed your minimum eCPM.
When you do the math and combine the low percentage of visitors with the Criteo cookie with the low percentage of advertisers that will be able to meet your minimum eCPM (unless you set it very, very low), the net result is a very low number of actual Criteo impressions. If your website regularly receives, say, 100,000 visitors per day, then your potential Criteo earnings could be decent. If however, your website receives only a few thousand visitors per day, your number of paid impressions may only range from a few hundred to 1 or 2 thousand. The net result is that even though you may be getting paid a much higher eCPM rate, your actual earnings may only be a few cents per day.
For us, Criteo isn’t cutting it. It’s no fault of Criteo, but more due to our modest 10,000 to 20,000 page views per day.
If you have the impressions, you should give Criteo a try. It’s a great idea with great potential for excellent earnings. Criteo.com (non affiliate link)