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What Publishers Should Know About Advertisers
humblebeginnings




msg:1447342
 6:49 pm on Jun 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

I am usually not lecturing others but I have the feeling that this Adsense forum sometimes is too much in an anti-advertiser mood. I see so many threads complaining about bad quality advertisers, low paying advertisers and advertisers not selling a real product. As many others in this forum I am both an advertiser and a publisher. I strongly support the idea that publishers, advertisers and Google form a unity, they all need each other to make a profit. Therefore I wish to put some complaints about advertisers in another perspective.

Publishers complaint 1: Some advertisers have poorly written low quality ads. I will block their ads.
Advertisers point of view: That is correct. There are thousands of Adwords advertisers, some of them indeed provide poorly written ad-copy.
All the same some publishers have poorly written bad quality content. If needed we block them too. But that's not the real solution. The real solution is that Google will continue their ongoing effort to improve the quality of both advertisers ads and publishers content.

Publishers complaint 2: Some advertisers pay only 3 cents per click. I wish I could block them.
Advertisers point of view: If you really want that you should do that. But remember advertisers don't bid low just to annoy publishers. Sometimes they just don't have a choice. If you are selling $3,- widgets, you need to find very cheap ways to promote them. Otherwise you will not make money. This really works both ways. If you are a publisher and you have a website about $3,- widgets, perhaps you should think twice before anticipating on large advertising revenues.

Publishers complaint 3: Advertisers only want their clicks as cheap as possible.
Advertisers point of view: Advertisers do not want their clicks as cheap as possible, they want their return of investment to be as high as possible. If I have to invest $100, what do you think I will do; will I get 10.000 clicks of $ 0.01 each, or 100 clicks of $ 1.00 each? The answer is simple; whatever makes me the most money. If 100 clicks of $1.00 makes me more money, you will get your expensive clicks! And sometimes, your wonderful content is just what makes the difference for the advertisers sales!

Publishers complaint 4: Some ads just have a very low CTR. Advertisers should write better ad-copy.
Advertisers point of view: That could be the case. Perhaps there is also a chance for publishers to improve their content in order to get higher CTR. Most of my ads are targeted at selling a product. Is your content aiming to sell my products? If not, there is part of your explanation. If publishers wish to improve their CTR, perhaps they should consider to re-write their content in order to pre-sell the advertisers products.

Publishers Complaint 5: Some advertisers do not sell a real product. Their clicks can't be worth much. I will block their ads.
Advertisers point of view: Some of my campaigns indeed do not sell real products, but I offer good money for my clicks. In some case I wish to establish a position in my market by running a large scale campaign, bringing many visitors to niche content pages. It is in fact my strategy to sell these initial visitors nothing yet. As soon as I have established trust and these visitors start coming back, I start selling them stuff. In some cases it is just worth to invest for a while in a campaign that doesn't sell any products yet. If I am in a competitive market, my clicks won't be cheap and you miss them cause you blocked me. In other cases, I get paid if people sign up, for example for a newsletter. In some cases the commission I get for a signup is very high. Since these high-paying markets are mostly very competitive, my clicks are very expensive. But if you block me because I don't sell a real product, you don't get these clicks.

 

Quadrille




msg:1447343
 7:07 pm on Jun 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm always pleased to read of other publishers blocking advertisers; it's all the more cash available to me.

As a publisher, I really have no worries about what the ads say or do (so long as they are clean and legal); why would I block someone who may be bidding good money?

I do not think Google Ads reflect on my site - I never thought any ads reflected on any site, even before I published Adsense. Except pop-ups, of course, the cancer of the web.

They are ads; some good, some bad. The best will get the clicks, the worst will not, and many visitors do not even 'see' them.

I honestly cannot understand why people sign up for a scheme that brings them money, then block great chunks of it. Makes no sense.

Of course I'd like the ads to be good; of course I'd like the destination sites to be great. But I cannot control those factors, so I do not worry about them. And if the sites are so bad that my visitors use their back button and try again ... I guess I can live with that ;)

There's a store near my house that has a poster site on the side. Some ads are good, some are bad, some I don't notice. It wouldn't occur to me in a million years to judge the store by the quality of the ads. And I doubt he worries, so long as he gets his check.

Weird or what ;)

rden17




msg:1447344
 7:31 pm on Jun 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

Could we just get the advertisers to send us a check directly? It would save a lot of work, hassle, time, sweat, and that feeling of accomplishing something worthwhile.

Thanks for a great humble post! You should get into the marketing biz. I hear there's money in it!

edd1




msg:1447345
 8:10 pm on Jun 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

savvy advertisers also bid low to secure low page positions which often mean much better conversion rates and higher ROI - What can possibly be wrong with that. It's great marketing, keeping costs low and increasing profits, whats the problem if daft ad departments want to pay a fortune for clicks just to keep their branded name at the top of the pile.

Eazygoin




msg:1447346
 8:26 pm on Jun 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

I am both an advertiser and a publisher. As an advertiser, I reduce and increase bids according to how well they are doing. If I find that by reducing a bid,I get the same results, then I of course pay less.

Google has a 'reward' system in place, whereby it does NOT necessarily mean that the highest bids are listed at the top. Indeed, you can be at the top and pay considerably less than the next one down, if you have been rewarded for having a high hit rate.

netmeg




msg:1447347
 8:31 pm on Jun 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

They are ads; some good, some bad. The best will get the clicks, the worst will not, and many visitors do not even 'see' them.

I honestly cannot understand why people sign up for a scheme that brings them money, then block great chunks of it. Makes no sense.

In general you are correct. However, there's a finite resource involved - i.e. the amount of space on my site that I am allowed (or willing) to devote to advertising. Just as when I'm in Advertiser Mode, I want to get the best value for the least expenditure that I can, so also do I (when I have my publisher hat on) want to maximize my site real estate with better ads. Don't like waste.

Quadrille




msg:1447348
 10:37 pm on Jun 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

so also do I (when I have my publisher hat on) want to maximize my site real estate with better ads. Don't like waste.

What do you mean by 'better'? Is there an ad 'better' than the highest-paying?

So how can you know which ads to block? And how can you be sure that the time spent blocking them is not wasted?

Tho' I am sure there are exceptions, the ads that appear are generally those that bid highest; once you block any visible advertiser, chances are it will be replaced by one that did not bid so high, surely?

It's like all the fuss about the MFA pages; I don't like 'em; they clutter up the web. But if they want to pay to advertise, I'll happily take the dosh - and I'm happy for Google to take their commission; they do a fine job for me (though my direct advertisers do pay better).

GoldenHammer




msg:1447349
 11:18 pm on Jun 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

What about Advertisers should know about publishers?

The key point is Google did not provide sufficient management tools to the publishers, obviously that is a system set favourite to Advertisers.

toomer




msg:1447350
 12:08 am on Jun 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Tho' I am sure there are exceptions, the ads that appear are generally those that bid highest

Actually, based on my read of AdSense - this is actually not how things work. AdSense picks what it "thinks" will earn the most money. I would guess that is based on two factors - the CTR % of the ad that the advertiser is running in AdWords, and the $ CPC. Some ads might have a low CTR - but the bid price is high. Others might have a low bid price, but get a high enough CTR to compete as well.

AdSense picks. As a publisher, I get no say (and I'm both a publisher and advertiser as well).

The problem with this, I feel, is somewhat similar to my GPS nav system in my car. I tell it where I want to go -- and it determines what, in its opinion, is the "best" route for me to get there. Sometimes it's the fastest - based on calculated time. Other times, it's the shortest based on mileage. But it picks for me - based on what it thinks is best.

You know what? A lot of times, if I am very familiar with the landscape I'm on -- I know a way that it slightly better. And in some cases, much better.

So let's look at an example scenario. Let's pick a popular subject - iPods for instance, and say that I'm running a single 1-unit ad block on my page. So AdSense can only choose 1 advertiser's ad to display.

Let's say one advertiser "A" actually sells iPods, writes good copy, and has good prices. For sake of argument, let's say his bid is $1.00 per click when his ad lands on my site. Now let's take advertiser "B" that runs a MFA site about iPods, or a "free" or "rewards" offer site for iPods. His bid is 10.1 cents when his ad lands on my site.

Assume, for sake of argument, that advertiser A gets a 1% CTR on his ads, and advertiser B gets a 10% CTR on his ads. Guess what that means? All things being equal, advertiser B - the "junk" advertiser, as commonly referred to here - will end up paying me one penny more than the advertiser with an actual product.

Now, is that worth it? That extra penny? Some may think so. Some may not care that their visitors are about to plunge into a 400-spam-a-week deluge if they sign up for that "free" offers deal. But for me - I'd prefer to not have that penny.

Please take all of this with a very large salt-shaker, as it's all hypothetical... but this is just how I see it.

Now, add in another factor - just to complicate things more. Let's say that your web surfing community is (and I hate to make generalizations) more towards the right-end of the IQ curve than the center. They're probably going to more in-tune with the fact that you don't really get anything for free - and are probably less likely to click on advertiser B's ad on my site. So now, I am actually earning less at the end of the day - because that advertiser's ad does well elsewhere but not with my crowd.

There's countless examples that people have posted about their revenues going up after they've blocked MFA's and junk ads - even though AdSense thinks they'd be better for our sites. My traffic numbers aren't large enough to draw any sort of statisical conclusions from ... but I'm starting with the blocking from day one (and have noticed a decrease in low-paying clicks) and at some point in the future when I do have traffic worth mentioning I'll be glad to pull the plug on my block list for a few weeks and see what happens.

Visi




msg:1447351
 12:25 am on Jun 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Great post humble:)

Guess I should really start reading those ads and trying to figure out which pays more money. All this time I just sat back and let Google figure out how to maximize return for themselves and drag me along with them.

We all wish the publishers ceated great ads, paid top dollar and used the contenet network. However the real world says this doesn't happen and we have to rely on Google's "quality score" of ads to determine which are displayed.

After carefull consideration (looks at bottom of beer bottle) I think I will leave it up to Google to display the ads. As long as the return for the rented space from them is higher than my alternatives I will remain loyal to them....and their publishers:)

europeforvisitors




msg:1447352
 12:30 am on Jun 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

The key point is Google did not provide sufficient management tools to the publishers, obviously that is a system set favourite to Advertisers.

Actually, Google provides more tools than most ad networks do, and those tools are more than adequate for the majority of publishers. (In fact, I'll bet most publishers don't even use all the AdSense tools and options that are at their disposal.)

As for the system favoring advertisers, let's not forget that advertisers--not publishers--are Google's paying customers. He who pays the piper calls the tune, so it stands to reason that advertisers should have more control over their ads than publishers do.

rbacal




msg:1447353
 12:48 am on Jun 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

There's countless examples that people have posted about their revenues going up after they've blocked MFA's and junk ads - even though AdSense thinks they'd be better for our sites.

Here's a point that seems to almost always get ignored around optimizing revenue. I believe google optimizes (chooses what ads to show) in a way that optmizes across the ENTIRE NETWORK. While context may be decided by your site content, the actual ads shown are intended to optimize across the network, not necessarily for one site.

Scurramunga




msg:1447354
 1:05 am on Jun 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

toomer and rbacal
The points that you both have raised have been largely overlooked by the MFA (live and let live) crowd.

GoldenHammer




msg:1447355
 1:40 am on Jun 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

[.... Actually, Google provides more tools than most ad networks do, and those tools are more than adequate for the majority of publishers. (In fact, I'll bet most publishers don't even use all the AdSense tools and options that are at their disposal.) ... ]

I don't agree. Don't set that with non-comparable small ads agents.

Many favorite agents like Tribalfusion, Fastclick ... etc have much better controls over the ads, it allows disable of individual ad as well as blocking ALL ads from a specific advertiser, too allows setting of a lowest bids. Well all these are long discussed and wanted by many if not all publishers in this forum.

The current approach given by AW/AS has it pos for easy of management and the maintenance of a consistent turnover at large from the Google's point of view, but it is also the bottleneck for its further growth. Yes, it is pending for a trigger point for the next evolution of the current system, what would be that? A disaster? A competitor? An emerging advertising approach?

[edited by: GoldenHammer at 1:51 am (utc) on June 28, 2006]

europeforvisitors




msg:1447356
 1:51 am on Jun 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

The current approach given by AW/AS has it pos for easy of management and the maintenance of a consistent turnover at large from the Google's point of view, but it is also the bottleneck for its further growth.

We'll just have to see, I guess. Still, I think the future growth of AdSense will be determined by product extensions and increased services to advertisers, not by making it easier for publishers to override Google's algorithms.

Remember, too, that Google is a company that was built around scalable solutions (a.k.a. automation). When AdSense was introduced, the pitch was fairly simple: Put our code on your pages, and we'll pay you money. In other words, AdSense was never intended to be a product for publishers who wanted full control over their ads; it was designed for publishers who wanted to let a third party (Google) worry about the ads while they (the publishers) focused on their sites.

BigDave




msg:1447357
 2:09 am on Jun 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

While it may be true that Google will usually promote the ads that they expect to pay the best, that really has to be seen as promoting those ads that pay Google the best, not what pays every specific publisher the best.

What Google wants to do us get the most money possible, on a continuing basis, from EVERY advertiser. Google is putting those 3 cent ads on your site because they have to put them somewhere. There a a lot more of them than there are $10 or even $1 ads. And those 3 cent ads add up for them.

Personally, I'm almost positive that I make more money from ads that pay less than 5 cents than I do from ads that pay over 50 cents. I just don't worry about it all that much.

I limit my blocks to companies that I just don't like, or those times where the ads just don't match the page (ads for hotels in Chile when the page is about the most wonderful pod of the Capsicum plants, though I bet the hotel ads pay a lot better)

billcale




msg:1447358
 2:16 am on Jun 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Here's a point that seems to almost always get ignored around optimizing revenue. I believe google optimizes (chooses what ads to show) in a way that optmizes across the ENTIRE NETWORK. While context may be decided by your site content, the actual ads shown are intended to optimize across the network, not necessarily for one site.

You are exactly right. However, another point often overlooked is that IT IS Google's call. I'd recon that there is apparent success in this plan otherwise Google would have changed it by now. It is Google's job to evaluate the big picture - the one we can't see by myopically viewing our site results - and keep AdSense dollars flowing.

GoldenHammer




msg:1447359
 2:23 am on Jun 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

[... not by making it easier for publishers to override Google's algorithms.... ]

The growth of a market space is determined by the effectiveness of the system, in this case, Advertiser's ROI, user satisfaction on finding the requested information from the ads served. Lets see if the new services can help on the effectiveness.

But wait, Google better let the buyers select their sellers and call for their own price. The most effective market space is where the sellers and buyers can trade freely with minimal controls.

[... AdSense was never intended to be a product for publishers who wanted full control over their ads; it was designed for publishers who wanted to let a third party (Google) worry about the ads while they (the publishers) focused on their sites.... ]

You mentioned an important point, where the position Google set for the AW/ AS system. However, the net effect in front of our eyes now is publishers are now focused on the ads optimization rather than the contents.... :P

Visi




msg:1447360
 2:45 am on Jun 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Perhaps I was not direct enough with my previous post:)

As advertisers we do not know which ads are paying the better price. We can speculate on this however we do not know for sure. So what are we blocking? Pure speculation, however educated it is. Google is in the business of making money. Although there may be some truth to the fact that content is getting ads closer to the bottom of the barrel Google will optimize the network for the best return.

As others have noted the revenue is a direct result of both price per ad AND clicks generated. I do not care wether it is 100 clicks or 10 clicks to generate the $100.00 only that I get the money for the space. Yes we do filter when Google gets confused on targetting sometimes and show totally irrelevent ads. We also drop them an email in regards to this.

But from my perspective have better (read more profitable) things to do with my time than attempt to figure out what combinations of ads will generate a higher return. Only way to accomplish this is trial and error and with googles' revenue reporting it is impossible to sort this out in real time.

So give me all those 3-5 cent ads with those 20% CTR's all day. Will spend it just as I would the 1.00 ads with 0.5ctrs.

toomer




msg:1447361
 3:54 am on Jun 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Here's a point that seems to almost always get ignored around optimizing revenue. I believe google optimizes (chooses what ads to show) in a way that optmizes across the ENTIRE NETWORK. While context may be decided by your site content, the actual ads shown are intended to optimize across the network, not necessarily for one site.

@rbacal - excellent point ... you summarized what I was trying to get across quite nicely. Ad ad may pay well across the network as a whole, but for my demographic I believe some of those may actually not perform as well for my sites. So the only tool I have, is to block.

I guess this would be the automotive equivalent of saying that one type of tire (i.e.: AdSense using an across-the-network perspective) is the best for all cars? Nope. Some cars need rain tires. Others need snow tires. And some need racing slicks ;-)

So give me all those 3-5 cent ads with those 20% CTR's all day. Will spend it just as I would the 1.00 ads with 0.5ctrs.

This is where I'm not qualified to make any real judgements one way or the other - as I just started in January and am still serving up less than 1,000 impressions per day. So for that few page impressions, I'd prefer to have the high dollar clicks across all my ad blocks right now. Maybe when I'm serving up 50,000 impressions per day I'll consider dropping my competitive ad filter and seeing how it goes. Here's hoping that day comes soon! ;-)

Scurramunga




msg:1447362
 5:09 am on Jun 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

still serving up less than 1,000 impressions per day. So for that few page impressions, I'd prefer to have the high dollar clicks across all my ad blocks right now.

I'm in a similar situation. If ads pay fairly well I can easily make up to $100 per day. When they pay zit I feel the pain instantly.

toomer




msg:1447363
 6:16 am on Jun 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm in a similar situation. If ads pay fairly well I can easily make up to $100 per day. When they pay zit I feel the pain instantly.

Wow. Whatever your site is about - I wish my site was about that too! $100 on ~1,000 impressions is very respectable, IMO. Congrats.

Quadrille




msg:1447364
 8:19 am on Jun 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Is there an adsense equivalent of Matt Cutts?

Do we ever see any 'inside information'?

Scurramunga




msg:1447365
 11:41 am on Jun 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Thanks toomer
My site sells a product so I guess that helps me somewhat.

$100 is usually achieved on good days. The last N.Hemisphere Winter Winter was great. Last couple of weeks weeks were ok too, however this week has taken a dive.

rbacal




msg:1447366
 2:09 pm on Jun 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

So give me all those 3-5 cent ads with those 20% CTR's all day. Will spend it just as I would the 1.00 ads with 0.5ctrs.

That's kind of a simplistic way of thinking about business. Short-sighted. A better way is not to think just about immediate revenue, but to think about the COST of unrealized income/potential when a person leaves a site for one of those low clicks.

For example, a person who clicks on a low paying ad MAY have clicked on a much higher paying ad if they'd stayed longer.

Or, they might have bought something from you. Or they might have seen your site is great, and bookmarked it.

Do you think Wal-mart would advertise for K-Mart in their stores for a pittance?

europeforvisitors




msg:1447367
 2:16 pm on Jun 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Short-sighted. A better way is not to think just about immediate revenue, but to think about the COST of unrealized income/potential when a person leaves a site for one of those low clicks.

Sure, and while you're at it, don't have any outbound links, because the reader who leaves your site won't be around to click on ads.

Of course, if you do that, readers will find your site less useful as a starting point for their research, and they'll have less reason to come back. Personally, I'd rather have my readers come back throughout the research and buying cycle, since that means they'll click on more ads and make more bookings through my affiliate partners.

rbacal




msg:1447368
 2:32 pm on Jun 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Sure, and while you're at it, don't have any outbound links, because the reader who leaves your site won't be around to click on ads.

Of course, if you do that, readers will find your site less useful as a starting point for their research, and they'll have less reason to come back.

Not the same thing. When someone clicks on a 3 cent ad that goes to an MFA, that's NOT making my site look better. Come on, guy. The order of procedure is:

Drink coffee
Then reply.

europeforvisitors




msg:1447369
 3:03 pm on Jun 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Not the same thing? I'd disagree. Also, MFA sites aren't the only advertisers buying 3-cent clicks. On an editorially diverse site, click values are all over the place, since bids are based on supply and demand.

I agree that MFA ads don't make a site look good, although they aren't nearly as bad as scam or scum ads. (As I've mentioned previously, I got loads of vanity-press and phony "poetry contest" ads when I tried AdSense on my site for freelance writers, so I pulled the AdSense code almost immediately. Some topics just don't work well with AdSense, unfortunately.)

GoldenHammer




msg:1447370
 3:44 pm on Jun 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

In short, as a rational publisher, I will block whatever advertisers that fools my users. It is that simple and all I need to know about the advertisers - who feeds misleading ads will go into my blocking list.... :P

europeforvisitors




msg:1447371
 3:54 pm on Jun 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

GoldenHammer, that's a good philosophy, but it's difficult to implement on a site with hundreds of subtopics. Plus, geotargeting makes ad-blocking a hit-or-miss proposition unless you can afford to spend a lot of time using the AdSense preview tool.

This 39 message thread spans 2 pages: 39 ( [1] 2 > >
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