|What would it take?|
To compete against AdSense/YPN?
I was just wondering, what would it take to compete against the top 2 contextual ad and PPC companies? I mean, they already had the search engine and PPC in place with millions of users, so what would it take to be an alternative?
|...so what would it take to be an alternative? |
A search engine with millions of users. ;-)
You might be better off first by trying to compete with AdSense, rather than AdWords. If you can build a network of publishers and give them a percentage of the PPC revenue, then you might have a shot. But, you will have to develop methods of tracking and preventing click fraud, because otherwise you will lose the trust of your advertisers.
It will be an uphill battle either way, but I think the opportunity is greater for an AdSense competitor than an AdWords competitor.
Great points, but what if the competitor combined both?
You could kick start a new system by building a AdSense like system on top of Commission Junction and the other affiliate program systems.
Publishers would enter their unique affiliate ID's, the system would check the page like AdSense does and deliver new ads with proven good copy much like what AdSense does now.
I want someone to do this - listen up entrepreneurs.
|I want someone to do this - listen up entrepreneurs |
I talked to cj and ebay a couple years ago to do this as I thought it would have been a god deal and they just have no interest. At least then they didn't.
So... to add to that, a competitor needs to be able to do the following (and I'm summarizing):
1. Members can be an advertiser AND a publisher (combining adwords and adsense). They could then transfer funds from one account to the other.
2. Advertisers can advertise through contextual ads, CPM, CPA (including surveys), rich media and even interstitials.
3. Publishers could use any of those as a publishing tool to earn money. So not only will they be earning money for clicks, but for their visitors’ actions.
4. Probably even give up the PPC approach since it's hard for any new company to suddenly have millions of people use them as a search engine. Instead, they can simply select the niche market they want to have their ads shown.
5. Publishers can do the same by selecting the niche markets they want to publish.
6. The competitor was able to eradicate potential click-frauds so members won't just get banned.
7. Have free sophisticated statistics showing the member where the clicks are coming from (with day/time it was clicked and exact URL), their best performing campaign, which niche market/category is producing the most results and more.
8. The min. CPC is $0.05 and up. The more the member commits, the more times it will be shown in its BEST performing sub-markets. This will automatically help them get more quality CTR.
9. Publishers get 60% of all clicks, so there’s no more guessing or getting only 1/2 a cent per click.
10. There would also have to be an affiliate system for both advertiser and publishers who refer other advertisers and publishers.
Does that about sum it up? What else?
[edited by: eWhisper at 1:29 pm (utc) on Jan. 11, 2007]
[edit reason] Request of netdebut [/edit]
More flexibility regarding content.
Publishers with adult or mature content should be able to run ads (especially if you let advertisers advertise adult or mature products...). And, advertisers should be able to opt out of such sites as well.
And, porn and adult/mature content should not be grouped together. Content covering adult health issues (which is not just STDs, but cancer and other issues affecting the "adult" parts) may be considered adult or mature in nature, but it shouldn't be grouped in the same category as pornography.
Likewise, publishers with content on controversial issues (guns, abortion, etc.) should also be able to run ads. And, again, advertisers should be able to opt out as well.
On the flip side, publishers should have control over the types of ads that appear on their site as well. Disallowing by keyword would also be helpful. And, it would be nice if some method could be devised such that certain advertisers cannot just simply use a bunch of alternative URLs to get around a restriction.
It is perfectly reasonable to disallow sites that encourage or promote illegal activity, but, other than that, let publishers publish and let advertisers advertise, and leave the other choices up to the publishers and advertisers.
On another note, it would also be nice if I, as a publisher, could register their static IP(s), such that impressions and clicks from those IPs would not be counted. That way, the publisher's own impressions don't count against the CTR, and publishers are free to click on ads to confirm the destination URL and the content of the site being advertised, without committing click-fraud, since the click wouldn't count.
Dan, thank you for your input, you're hitting the nail on the head!
What you're saying is what I already summarized in 4 and 5. Same thing with registering their static IP, which is in #6.
Do you think it would be helpful if the system not only knows if its the publisher clicking on his/her own ads and voiding each click, but also tracking all clicks and only counting the clicks from a visitor on each specific ad only once every 12 hours instead of every time?
That would save the advertiser a lot of wasted money.
No only that, what do you think about the ad not rotating/changing when the visitor goes to a different page and returns. For instance, you go to page 1 and see ad 1. You go to page 2, you see ad 2. You leave for 4-6 hours, come back to page 1, you still only see ad 1, page 2, still ad 2. After a session of 12 hours has passed, it then changes to another ad.
And would it be helpful if the competitor tracks all IP addresses that tries to click on the same ad more than 3 times so that they know it's not the publisher doing it? I know some adsensers have been known to get banned just because someone else clicked on their ads too many times.
As per advertisers using a bunch of different URLs, are you asking whether the competitor should just block the domain? That is what I would go with if the advertiser is in violation or within disagreement with a specific publisher.
|Does that about sum it up? What else? |
All the bells and whistles won't put Humpty Dumpty back together again.
It's the amount of advertisers and the amount of revenue that can be shared that wins now and in the end. A long slow revolt is the only thing to top them and that would take years using the same base model...with just a few differentiators...no matter how interesting they are.
Competing with Google, YPN, etc. on a big scale is likely to be difficult, but there might be There might be room for alternatives in specific verticals or niches.
Take travel, a sector that has been computerized since long before the Web was invented: What if a big GDS like Amadeus or Sabre were to launch a text-ad network for the hotels, travel agencies, and other travel businesses that use global distribution systems? Instead of having to figure out how to use a network like AdWords/AdSense or YPN and competing with a zillion affiliates, MFAs, etc., they could just buy ads through the GDS that they're already using on the reservations side of their businesses, and those ads would appear on participating (and carefully vetted) travel sites.
There might be similar opportunities in other sectors; I just picked travel because I'm familiar with it and it's easy to see how an ad program could be piggybacked on an existing global distribution network.
JAG, the Humpty Dumpty joke was funny.
But who said I wanted Humpty Dumpty back?
On a positive note, let's move on, things are starting to get interesting. Suppose the new competitor's first supporting medium is an auction site and can reach a few hundred thousand customers overnight. Could it then possibly have a chance? Because the auction site has a few hundred thousand customers based in the US with customers ONLY in the US.
Suppose 1 in 4 of 200,000 of those actually signup (50,000), suppose 1 in 4 of them have an International friend (12500). If we can assume each member refers just ONE person, we can safely assume the amount of advertisers and publishers could be a pretty big number and a good fighting chance, right?
Hey Europe, you have a nice point, and that would be the safe route. But by corning a specific niche (as an ad network) and containing the ads within that area is very limiting. You'd definitely lack the variety of publishers who would help promote the businesses.. or am I looking at it wrong?
|Hey Europe, you have a nice point, and that would be the safe route. But by corning a specific niche (as an ad network) and containing the ads within that area is very limiting. You'd definitely lack the variety of publishers who would help promote the businesses |
Maybe, but for a GDS or similar business in a multibillion-dollar niche, a related network could be a nice add-on. And it wouldn't have to work only with niche media--it could also work with media (such as newspapers) that have niche areas on their sites.
Niche display-ad networks are already emerging and, in some cases, doing remarkably well by bringing real market expertise and contacts to the party. Why shouldn't the same thing happen on the PPC side?
Come to think of it, maybe Google should (or will) offer an OEM version of its product at some point. By partnering with specialized ad networks or agencies (as at least one of its smaller rivals does), it may be able to reach potential advertisers who haven't yet braved the world of AdWords/AdSense.
|JAG, the Humpty Dumpty joke was funny. |
But who said I wanted Humpty Dumpty back?
That was meant merely as a reference to a time when things could be 'fixed' or in this case 'changed' easily. Today it is hard to compete with the big boys head on. The niche thing EFV suggests may be an option.
|Suppose the new competitor's first supporting medium is an auction site and can reach a few hundred thousand customers overnight. Could it then possibly have a chance? Because the auction site has a few hundred thousand customers based in the US with customers ONLY in the US. |
|Suppose 1 in 4 of 200,000 of those actually signup (50,000), suppose 1 in 4 of them have an International friend (12500). If we can assume each member refers just ONE person, we can safely assume the amount of advertisers and publishers could be a pretty big number and a good fighting chance, right? |
Maybe again. Sounds like you may be close to getting it off the ground. I'd like to see it when ready.
|Come to think of it, maybe Google should (or will) offer an OEM version of its product at some point. |
Quigo has done well with this model applied to the newspaper business. They've quietly climbed under a rock and all but disappeared from the public eye of contextual marketing but are making a good buck nowadays.
|Sounds like you may be close to getting it off the ground. I'd like to see it when ready. |
You know I can't answer that or I'd be violating WW TOS. Sorry. And no, the competitor wouldn't take them head on.. more like a by-stander that happens to gobble up the people who are fed up with AdSense/YPN. We see this kind of thing happen in the market place and it goes on for centuries.
EFV, let's just say the competitor is unable to use a DGS system because they're NOT a multi-billion dollar company, but is it really necessary to become a good replacement for AdWords/AdSense and YPN?
I mean, we're talking about being a good alternative and maybe even a replacement, not something completely different. What you're talking about is focusing on merchants and businesses that could afford a bigger budget, but what about the smaller guys that could only afford $20-$100 a month?
After reading the book, "The Long Tail" by Chris Anderson, I think a good tactic is to aggragate the ad networks together in one place.. or at least in a way that would benefit the publisher.
Let's say the competitor has to go down for maintenance for a few hours, that would mean a lot of dead space on the publishers' pages, BUT to prevent that from happening, the competitor allows each publisher to enter their AdSense ID, their YPN ID, their Bidvertiser ID and a few more as a backup! So instead of having nothing on their pages, every time the competitor's site goes down for maintenance, the publisher's ads are still running and making them money. Would that be a good addition?
I don't know much about Quigo, but I'll look them up tonight. Thank you for the reference, JAG.
This is getting interesting.
1 cent clicks should be allowed, hey even 1/2 cent clicks. There are many business models that only work on those levels, especially arbitrage (nothing wrong with arbitrage per se). Some might be advocating the 5 cent minimum because they "only" look at the publisher side of things (stop those lousy 1 cent clicks).
Yahoo makes a mistake with their 10 cent minimum, they force all business models under 10 cent elsewhere (and click price is going down fast, MANY business models are already under 10 cents and gone from Yahoo).
Publishers should however naturally be allowed to set a minimum click price. ;)
Open Affiliate Protocol
CJ sucks, both from an advertiser and publisher stand point. Perhaps we can make a "open standards" affiliate system. Where anyone can use an open affiliate protocol to offer an affiliate program and publish stuff. This could be built on top of the domain name system, email system or even https certificate system.
Send traffic to: [yoursitesdomannamecom.dell.com...] and you automatically get your commissions from Dell when they close a sale. Hey why not just get commissions for ANY traffic you send dell, they see it in their logs anyway...
Ad Rotation / Quality Content
There should be a way of rotating ads, and publishers should be allowed to customize the showing. In regular magazines the ads are an important part of the "content". Problem with most ads today is that they totally suck as content, and they are mostly static.
There should be a way of customizing the ads so that they offer valuable content and are updated and change so that the readers actually would pay attention to them as an interesting part of the content on the page.
A new ad company
We do not need CJ of eBay to do this. Such a company could be established by anyone today. The CJ code is open, and other affiliate programs are open. The new company could even set up a massive arbitrage operation with AdSense to get things going from day one (paying publishers to send traffic to their MFA arbitrage sites).
Graphical Ads are the future, text based PPC is just a stop on the way. PPC will survive, but long term graphical ads that can show models and invoke emotions will gradually take over. Graphical ads are able to show a sense of life, life as it could be and as it should be. They can be romantic in a way a text ad can never be.
Guys and galls - this also tells us that this is just the very beginning of the game. 10 years from now EVERYTHING will have changed and graphical ads will be 50-70+ of the market. Looking forward to this – we live in interesting times.
|1 cent clicks should be allowed, hey even 1/2 cent clicks... Some might be advocating the 5 cent minimum because they "only" look at the publisher side of things (stop those lousy 1 cent clicks).. |
You know, you may be right that companies are looking at the publisher's side, but how would it be determined how these $0.01-$.05 ads be shown? How will the competitor determine its importance and number of views it should get? Surely, the higher the advertiser pays, the more exposure it should get, right?
|Publishers should however naturally be allowed to set a minimum click price. |
Yep, already in mind.
The new company could even set up a massive arbitrage operation with AdSense...
Perhaps the company wishes not to use Google as a source of traffic and reach out on a vertical and horizontal path, meaning reaching out to the "gurus" or large companies with many users/subscribers and even those who are simply fed up with AdWords/AdSense and YPN.
As per your graphical ads, I mentioned something between that line by including rich media and images. I don't think video will be included (I know you didn't say that, but I'm just throwing it in). Sure it will be fun to have for publishers and possible nifty way to advertise for the advertisers, but from users' perspective, I don't think it will be that favorable. We'll see.
Another thing the competitor has on AW/AS and YPN is that it allows interstitial and CPA campaigns. What would make it even BETTER though, is that the competitor makes it automatic for publishers to earn for CTRs AND CPAs from the website they directly get traffic to. This would take care of the CJ/affiliate operation.
|I don't know much about Quigo, but I'll look them up tonight. |
There are others as well.
All of the items you've posted are interesting and I'm not trying to bust your b**** just to be an a**, but, everything I've read has been done so far. I know because I've built contextual based advertising systems before anyone even heard of AdSense. I'm out of that game now but I still have a pretty good idea what is out there and I'm not seeing anything here that hasn't been built. You'll still need to get the advertisers and quality publishers. It's that simple. I truly do wish you the best of luck though.
>> gobble up the people who are fed up with AdSense/YPN <<
...not to mention everybody who has been banned by AdSense/YPN. Initially, you'll likely be flooded by the world's top scammers so have a plan to identify and deal with them.
|No only that, what do you think about the ad not rotating/changing when the visitor goes to a different page and returns. For instance, you go to page 1 and see ad 1. You go to page 2, you see ad 2. You leave for 4-6 hours, come back to page 1, you still only see ad 1, page 2, still ad 2. After a session of 12 hours has passed, it then changes to another ad. |
As a reader/browser, that would be nice. Sometimes you see an ad, but you don't think about checking it out until after you've looked at another page. But, when you return to the first page, a different ad is there and you cannot find again the one you want.
But, as a publisher, if they don't click on the ad the first time, maybe they're not interested? Maybe a different ad would be better and more likely to get clicked? I would guess that, more often than not, readers don't go back looking for an ad they already saw.
Perhaps there is a happy medium between the two? Or, perhaps the publisher could determine the session period for ads running on their site, from "none" to "12 hours" or whatever.
|As per advertisers using a bunch of different URLs, are you asking whether the competitor should just block the domain? That is what I would go with if the advertiser is in violation or within disagreement with a specific publisher. |
Let's say that Widgets Inc. is advertising widgets.dom. They are my competitor, so I block their ads; i.e. "widgets.dom". So, they advertise using "redwidgets.dom" to redirect to "widgets.dom." Now, I have to block "redwidgets.dom" too. So, then they switch to "bluewidgets.dom" and I have to then block "bluewidgets.dom" as well.
Combined with multiple competitors, or cases where I just block low-quality or questionable sites from advertising on mine, I can run up that list of 200 domains in relative short order. Then, Widgets Inc. gets their ads through, now using "1001widgets.dom" or whatever.
What would be nice is to be able to block by advertiser. So, if I see an ad on my site from Widgets Inc., I can go into my ad account, enter the URL or ID or whatever identification the ad may have, and select (a) block this ad, (b) block ads promoting this URL, (c) block this advertiser, or (d) block similar ads. And have those as a multiple selection, so I can choose 1, 2 , 3 or all 4 options.
That way, there is no loophole for the advertiser. They cannot sneak in an ad using multiple URLs or landing pages. They would have to open a second ad account and use a different URL to sneak in, and then I could block that new account, but hopefully an advertiser would be limited to a single account.
There would still be a loophole in that affiliates with their own landing pages could promote the site, but that's where option 4 comes in, in that I could also block other ads for widgets.
[edited by: ccDan at 6:04 pm (utc) on Jan. 11, 2007]
|EFV, let's just say the competitor is unable to use a DGS system because they're NOT a multi-billion dollar company, but is it really necessary to become a good replacement for AdWords/AdSense and YPN? |
It's "GDS" (for "global distribution system"), and multibillion-companies aren't the only travel businesses that are listed in GDSes--or that use them in their day-to-day retail activities.
|I mean, we're talking about being a good alternative and maybe even a replacement, not something completely different. What you're talking about is focusing on merchants and businesses that could afford a bigger budget, but what about the smaller guys that could only afford $20-$100 a month? |
If I wanted to start an "alternative ad network," I certainly wouldn't target the $20-100 spenders (or the $20-100 publishers for that matter). I'd leave those to the huge-volume companies like Google that have the automated systems (and the accompanying economies of scale) to service them.
Instead, I'd create a "boutique network" to target the most desirable advertisers and publishers in a market that I knew intimately.
To use an analogy, Joe Brewer hasn't a realistic chance of competing with Budweiser in the mass beer market, but if he knows what he's doing and targets the right market, he can earn a nice living with a regional craft brewery.
JAG, thank you for your contributions.
arieng<<< LOL, you have a point, man. It's not truly the focus, but totally understandable.
|o, if I see an ad on my site from Widgets Inc., I can go into my ad account, enter the URL or ID or whatever identification the ad may have, and select (a) block this ad, (b) block ads promoting this URL, (c) block this advertiser, or (d) block similar ads. And have those as a multiple selection, so I can choose 1, 2 , 3 or all 4 options. |
Dan, you are outstanding! I like that idea.
EFV, I know what a GDS is, just not sure how to apply one, lol. Something to learn about I guess. So you're suggesting the competitor should actually NOT be a competitor and focusing on the smaller niches?
|So you're suggesting the competitor should actually NOT be a competitor and focusing on the smaller niches? |
It would be a competitor; it just wouldn't be an across-the-board competitor.
Also, some of those niches aren't small: Jupiter is predicting that four categories (media and entertainment, travel, financial services, and automotive) will generate $11.5 billion and 57 percent of all online ad spending by 2011. It seems to me finding people with industry expertise and exploiting a profitable niche or category would have a better change of success than trying to beat the existing generalist networks (which already have critical mass) at their own game.
I see your point now, thanks for clarifying. I will definitely have to look into that more.
|If I wanted to start an "alternative ad network," I certainly wouldn't target the $20-100 spenders (or the $20-100 publishers for that matter). I'd leave those to the huge-volume companies like Google that have the automated systems (and the accompanying economies of scale) to service them. |
I forgot to touch base on this one. "The Long Tail" by Chris Anderson (editor in chief at Wired Magazine) explains how the biggest contributor to successful businesses is being able to implement the long tail theory.
Imagine a bar graph; vertically on the left would be the number of sales and horizontally would be the number of products. The more sales the product produces, the further it is to the left. So what you would see is a graph that moves outward to the right and slowly (or even sharply) curve downward and then outward to the right again but NEVER touching zero (a curved and slightly slanted "z").
Now take companies like Wal-mart, they have a fixed amount of space and can only hold so much merchandise on their shelves. They have a cut-off point of profit. Meaning, the 3,000 CDs they have on the shelf is ALL they can sell. But online companies like Rhapsody and other media companies can hold 10 times that much.
And I'm sure you're aware of the 80/20 rule where 20% makes up 80% of a business' profit or more (the rule applies else where also, but eh). Well, with the long tail theory, even products past 3,000 (what Wal-mart holds) still continue to make sales every month. So from 3,001-say 10,000, it is either making as much profit as the top 3,000 or more!
While the 80/20 rule applies to most off-line business, being able to apply the long tail gives it a 98% boost compared to only 20% being sold.
So the idea behind it, isn't just to focus on a niche category, but to allow that option there for all others who wish to participate. I know going up against Google in the generalist network will be difficult, but I think the competitor will have a pretty good chance by combining the many features that other marketers want.
I understand the "long-tail" concept (it's one of the fundamental reasons for the success of AdWords/AdSense), but it's worth noting that the "long tail" can be exploited within a niche or category, not only with a generalist network. We aren't allowed to discuss specifics here, but I'm familiar with a specialized display-ad network/rep firm in the [widgeting] sector that's doing well because its owners and sales staff know their industry and have contacts, credibility, and publishers within that industry. This gives them an advantage when selling to [widgeting] advertisers and recruiting [widgeting] publishers who are likely to be attractive to those advertisers.
|While the 80/20 rule applies to most off-line business, being able to apply the long tail gives it a 98% boost compared to only 20% being sold. |
Quick slightly offtopic for the thread. The 80/20 rule is one of those "urban legends", particularly as applied to business. It's origins are statistical in nature and go back many years to early 1900 and Pareto, who postulated the 80/20 breakdown in wealth in Italy of the times.
There is absolutely NO reason to assume it will apply to any particular situation (although it does to some).
It's a horribly misconstrued concept in business and management. It's misunderstood and usually misapplied. You might be misapplying it here (or maybe not).
Uh... okay, thanks for pointing that out.
EFV, thanks once again for clarifying your points. It really helps me understand from your point of view and a perspective much different than mind. It will be a consideration I'd like to see the competitor take some time and thought on.