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Thursday, March 19, 2009

AdBrite Observations

If you can't see the AdBrite ads:

  1. Make sure your antivirus software isn't blocking AdBrite.
  2. Make sure you aren't using NoScript to block AdBrite.
If you don't want to see the AdBrite ads, go ahead and block them!

According to AdBrite's statistics, I'm in the top 20% of their publishers, by # daily pageviews. I'm in the top 30% by # daily unique visitors. That's not very meaningful, because there's a lot of lousy sites. (That's really odd, because most of my traffic is bounces. According to Google Analytics, my pageviews-per-visit is low. A bounce isn't necessarily bad. It could be a regular reader checking my blog for an update. I consider "bounce rate" to be an irrelevant statistic.)

"CPM" is a pay-per-thousand-impression ad. I get paid for serving the ad, whether a reader clicks on it or not. For a CPM of $0.10, I get paid $0.10 per 1000 pageviews. AdBrite has been giving me a CPM of approximately $0.15 for pay-per-view ads, and approximately 1/4 of ads served are CPM ads. I'm making about 3x-4x as much through CPM ads as I was in AdSense, but most of my income is still from CPC. AdSense allegedly had a $0.50 minimum for CPM ads, but their reporting was ****ed up. AdBrite's minimum is $0.10 for CPM ads. The lower minimum for CPM ads was a good idea, because it encourages people to purchase CPM ads.

"CPC" is a pay-per-click ad. I get paid only if someone clicks on the ad. AdBrite is paying me approximately $0.10-$0.20 per clickthrough, compared with $0.50-$1 in AdSense. Unlike AdSense, AdBrite ads are non-contextual. My ad clickthough rate is only slightly lower than it was with AdSense, approximately 0.5%. Ironically, the clickthrough rate is higher for CPM ads than CPC ads.

Given the above information, I don't understand why anyone would buy a CPC ad. CPM ads seem to be the better deal by far. Plus, CPM ads are much less subject to abuse. AdBrite still reports clickthrough rates for CPM ads. (Zargon said "CPC ads are more attractive to spammers/scammers, because they only get paid when someone clicks on their ad. CPM ads are more attractive to legitimate advertisers.") If I advertise my site, I'm going to buy CPM ads.

"eCPM" is earnings per thousand impressions. My overall page eCPM seems to be about 50%-75% compared to AdSense. AdSense ultimately paid me nothing, because they defaulted and banned me. My overall page eCPM is enough for me to make $20/month. I won't make $20 in March, because I wasn't using AdBrite for the full month.

AdBrite also offers full-page ads. The reader is first redirected to a full page ad before viewing your blog. I find those *ANNOYING* and didn't enable them.

AdBrite also offers CPC in-text ads. Up to 8 keywords in your article are turned into CPC ads. I find those annoying and stupid, and didn't enable them.

For the first week of using AdBrite, I only had the top-of-page banner. I since added the left sidebar skyscraper and the bottom of page rectangle. That addition approximately doubled my daily earnings, but I don't have a statistically significant sample size yet. I was concerned that another ad unit would detract from the CPM earnings I was already getting, but that didn't happen. With two more ad units, I have a greater chance of serving a non-spammy ad. Three ads per page is enough, and the current layout seems decent. I never got a chance to fine-tune my AdSense layout.

Someone can choose to specifically advertise on my blog, paying on a CPM basis. Alternatively, there are network ads that get served otherwise. According to AdBrite, most advertisers purchase network-wide, rather than site-specific. That seems stupid to me. If I were purchasing advertising, I'd go through and pick out specific sites. There are a lot of made-for-SEO sites out there, with little genuine content. If I were purchasing advertising, my budget would only be a couple of dollars, so I'd be careful to spend wisely.

After I get my own domain, I may spend a couple of dollars a month on CPM ads on selected sites. (There's no point advertising my blogspot site!) With full Apache server logs, I should be able to tell if my ad traffic is converted to regular returning visitors. Organic growth is still working for me. I probably would just be wasting my money purchasing advertising, but for a couple of dollars, it might be worth an experiment!

AdBrite also allows geographic targeting. I appear to be getting some NYC-targeted ads. Someone could buy a CPM banner ad, but request that it only be served to people in NYC. There were some ads targeting foreign countries and specific cities in the USA.

AdBrite offers "geographic targeting" to advertisers. They also offer gender targeting and age targeting. I wonder how they know that?

AdBrite is non-contextual. It serves ads from its network, rather than matching the content of your page. They do that because of the AdSense TOS. AdSense forbids people from advertising in other contextual services, but does not forbid non-contextual services. This means that AdBrite ads can appear on the same site as AdSense ads. That explains why most AdSense competitors are probably non-contextual.

AdBrite also lets you browse other advertisers. A few "brand name" websites had surprisingly low rates. The "Fox News" website sells at a CPM of $1. "The Huffington Post" sells at a CPM of $0.71. "The Sporting News" sells at a CPM of $0.31. "FAIL blog" sells at a CPM of $0.20. "The Chicago Sun Times" sells at a CPM of $0.18. That's surprisingly low.

However, those prices may not be the rate someone actually paid for ads. Those may be the "reserve minimum bid price" entered by the site owner. Also, I looked on those blogs and couldn't find the AdBrite ad unit.

AdBrite seems to actually answer customer support questions (unlike Google). If I have a problem with "invalid ad clickthroughs", hopefully I can get AdBrite to merely remove them from my account, instead of banning me.

AdBrite provides *MUCH BETTER* reporting than AdSense. They give a full report of all ads served, ads clicked, and earnings for each ad unit. I have the option of rejecting ads, but I haven't bothered with that. Even if I rejected the spammy ads, that doesn't accomplish much because the spammers keep moving to new domains. On AdSense, I have to configure "custom channels" to get a breakdown by ad unit. I never bothered doing that, and it was awkward/hard to do that via Blogger.

AdBrite doesn't give a breakdown per page. That data probably would be useless anyway, especially since AdBrite is non-contextual. My guess is "revenue and pageviews are directly proportional".

I'm surprised my ad clickthrough rates are still around 0.5%. I'm concerned that AdBrite will complain that I'm cheating. I wonder if I have high clickthrough rates because I have a real blog, and not a "Made for SEO" site? It seems that a *LOT* of sites out there are "Made for SEO/AdWords/AdSense". I thought that a clickthrough rate of 0.5% was low, but maybe it's high since Google banned me?

If AdBrite's management aren't total deadbeats, then it appears to be a viable alternative to AdSense. The minimum payout threshold is $5, which I've already reached. I get paid in June for my March earnings, so it's still awhile if I find out if they're honest.

Since I added the extra two ad units, my average has been over $0.66 per day, which is the minimum I need to purchase hosting. My March check won't be $20, because I haven't been using AdBrite for a full month.

Overall, AdBrite seems to be a viable alternative to AdSense. I won't qualify for my first payout until June, and my first full-month earnings won't arrive until July. Assuming that AdBrite's management aren't defaulting deadbeats like the ***holes at Google, I'm pleased with the performance so far.

1 comment:

Chrono said...

I'm happy to see that there are not any posts on here (so far) complaining about 'you selling us out' to google or AdBrite or anyone else. I actually made a recent post about Google that you can find here:
http://chronosaidit.wordpress.com/2009/03/20/google-is-too-biggoogle-is-too-big/

From reading your blog, most of the comments that mentioned that (by the sheer fact they would NOT LET IT GO) came across to me as trolling to start a flamewar. I do not like Google either, but your point is valid. If people do not like what you do with your blog, they should stay away from it.

This Blog Has Moved!

My blog has moved. Check out my new blog at realfreemarket.org.