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The Almighty Buck

Which Ad Network Isn't Evil? 15

WaldoJ writes: "One of my sites, nancies.org, has been doing very well, traffic-wise. Hundreds of thousands of page views each month. But our banner provider, ContentZone, is fundamentally evil. They've been sued by their clients, and they don't pay us enough. Flycast has been bought by Engage, and they're apparently not so hot either. DoubleClick? Don't get me started. It would be great if we could run the site without ads, but the hosting alone would kill us. We tried the donations route, but that's no good. My question is this: Which banner network is the least evil? Which lies the least? Which pays the best? It sure would be helpful to get some input." If you have to have ads for your site, it would be nice to get the most out of the hits your site does get without the hassles. Any recommendations?
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Which Ad Network Isn't Evil?

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  • by cperciva ( 102828 ) on Tuesday September 26, 2000 @09:53PM (#751357) Homepage
    They seem to think that doubleclick is perfectly fine.
  • How do you know that they are lying? How do you know a ad company isn't reporting your actual click through? Do you have scripts that track that stuff on your own server? Some ad services use an iframe which would make it hard for you to know what they load in that ad space. I'm just wondering.


  • You might want to try some of these:

    Seriously though, have a thorough read through the Banner Ad Software Sellers sites [yahoo.com] to see how these companies' [yahoo.com] software works. From there, reverse eng a business model that you think is fair AND makes money for the banner-ad company, and then chose a firm who matches that business model.

    Having taken a quick look at your site, you might also want to think of other ideas based on your rather specialised audience, like getting a CD shop interested maybe, with weekly specials?


    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.

  • by cheeserd00d ( 87522 ) on Wednesday September 27, 2000 @02:15AM (#751360)
    i use valueclick on my site and it works great - they always pay me, great account management system, helpful support, pretty good reputation (no i don't work for them)
  • Surely there are local businesses in your area that have websites...

    And surely those businesses would *love* some attention from people who browse through your site...

    And surely, if you have the numbers available, it wouldn't be too hard to convince them to pay you for the adspace...

    There's no need for tracking software or any of that crap. No other medium uses that, yet advertisers pay big bucks to radio and tv. Why? Because they know that ads work. Besides, you can always have them run one of those "Mention this ad and get 10% off" deals. That would certainly let them know how much market penetration they are getting....

    If you'll excuse me, I have to go shower. I feel dirty from talking like this......

  • How do you know that they are lying?

    Because we get paid based on views, not on clickthroughs. No iframes, just an img src tag. I count many more views than they count.

  • Surely there are local businesses in your area that have websites...

    And surely those businesses would *love* some attention from people who browse through your site...

    You know, you're right, and I've actually spent a great deal of time doing some legwork on this. The first problem is that we get viewers from around the world, though mostly from the US. Because the site is a band fan site, we don't get traffic from any one geographic area within the US, so there aren't any obvious businesses to sell to.

    Because our site has hundreds of pages (soon to have thousands of dynamically-generated pages), ad space would be a lot of work to administer and sell. And those of us that work on the site (~13 of us) don't have the time or the resources to be selling ad space.

    I do think that there are a heck of a lot of sites that could do quite well with the system that you describe, and it's too bad that more sites don't take advantage of that system. I just don't think that we're one of them.

  • I'd give Everyone.net [everyone.net] a shot. Ok ok ok -- they are my daytime employer... But I'm signing up with Plug-in-Ad-Sales for my personal site as soon as I meet the 5,000 pageview/month requirement. :)

    I'd like to think we're not evil -- but make up your own mind: Take a look, see if you think it's a good deal and give it a shot...

  • I've been looking at some of the companies that people have suggested (thanks, folks), but I haven't met much luck. Looks like a bunch of these companies don't actually provide ads ("inventory"), but do things like ROI analysis, CPM, ad management, etc. But that's really not useful without any actual ads.

    Engage turned us down because they've got enough entertainment sites, and don't want any more. Too bad.

    There are small places (ie, not enough money to actually have their own domain), but we need a company with 100% uptime, a fast network and the usual goodness.

    It looks like all that's left is DoubleClick. I guess I'll get an estimate from them, but I've gotta be honest, it makes me feel...unclean. (And that's just from the estimate!)

  • Sure I work for ValueClick, but being a techie, I don't have any true loyalty. :) (I get paid well no matter how well we do. For what it's worth, we are one of the few ad companies that pulls a good profit every month. I'm pretty sure we pay hosts twice a month, which I'm sure if far more than other places do. Give us a try. I can guarantee our technology is solid :) -icarus
  • Posted by polar_bear:

    Why do people pay "big bucks" to tv and radio, and not for banner ads? Let's see - if you pay $50 for a 30 second radio spot in a large market you can reach tens of thousands of people at any given time. If you're getting drive time hours on a popular station you can count on even more.

    Now, a site like Slashdot charges something outrageous like $35 CPM - which means $35 for every 1,000 displays. Yahoo! is even higher at around $70 for some of their properties. Let's see, I can reach 1,000 people for $35 or I can reach 10,000 for $50. And let's not forget that multiple people can be listening to a radio station or watching a TV show - but how often do you get a double-whammy with a banner ad? Hardly ever. Evil as they are, Double-click and other ad networks charge much less because they can run so many ads.

    Internet ads also have one of the lowest response rates - 1% is considered good, 2% - 3% is phenomenal.

    Also, telling a "local business" to advertise on a Web site is kind of a waste - how do they know who's going to the site? For all they know the bulk of your traffic is coming from Taiwan!

    Maybe it's time for some resourceful Open Sourcers to start a non-evil ad network... What's Blockstackers doing these days?
  • They seem to think that doubleclick is perfectly fine.

    Doubleclick has made the top of my shitlist, not just because I loathe banner ads, not just because of their evil user-tracking practices, but because they're spammers. They're behind something called "DARTmail", which claims to be an opt-in e-mail advertising service.

    But I sure as hell never opted in. Any reputable company would use a confirmation scheme to make sure that people had really opted in; they didn't. Any reputable company would have ceased after my first complaint. They didn't. Scumbags, through and through.

  • i use spinbox.net's "virtual spinbox" and it has been decent to us; they have a habit of upgrading their software or changing server IPs, but other than that they don't do nasty things to you.
  • I used Flycast for quite a while on my site www.mcsebraindumps.com, and at first it was great. They made a lot of money every month, and I was happy. My traffic got so high that my web provider turned off my log files. Therefore, when my traffic stopped growing, according to Flycast, I just figured I had reached my limit. When I moved to my dedicated server I found my traffic had increased by 33% yet my impressions were the same. Odd, I thought, especially since my average page views per person was roughly the same. Then, with all of the other problems I had with Flycast, i.e. their code not working half the time and 66% defaults, I decided I had to switch.

    My defaults were Adflight, which seemed to undercharge, but if you get over 100,000 page views per month they guarantee $1 CPM. They had paid me in the past so I decided to use them as well as fastclick.com, a new company whom I just joined (and am not sure they pay). With the two of these I get over $2 CPM per page guaranteed and a few defaults for fastclick.com. If you don't want to have two banners page page, which I don't blame you for, try just using fastclick with adflight as the default. Burst I've heard is also good if you can get in (my site was rejected). I'm always on the lookout for better ways to make money as my dedicated server is expensive. I'd love to hear how other people use the ad companies, in which ways, how much they get from them, if they pay, etc. I'll post back later with information on if Fastclick.com paid me. Hope this helps everyone.

  • When I put my site Bill's Games [billsgames.com] online, I ended up going through about 10 different ad networks before I finally dropped all but ValueClick.

    They pay well, they have good statistics tools (no JavaScript needed), and friendly customer support!

    If you're lucky enough to make $2000 or more a month, they can even send your payment via wire.

Karl's version of Parkinson's Law: Work expands to exceed the time alloted it.