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ValueClick and Casale Media: Some observations

And a complaint about VC's procedures



12:47 pm on Jul 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I've been running ValueClick (formerly FastClick) as my main campaign and Casale Media as the default. The results have been OK, but not as well as expected (so what else is new?).

On some days, I actually earn more with Casale, as VC simply won't serve ads and defaults over to Casale. Generally the ratio is about 1.5/1 in favor of VC as far as revenue is concerned.

The reasons I opted for ValueClick as my first option are because their code is much more compressed (about 5 lines as compared to Casale's 23 or so); the fact that they pay on the 20th (Casale pays on the 30th and both use PayPal); and their ease of setting up a default.

After that, however, I like Casale's interface better. They give you more options and allow you to choose a base-line price for ads to display. I also have a serious problem with ValueClick's somewhat slimy habit of REDUCING MY EARNINGS a day or two after they've been reported. Today, I awoke to seeing yesterday's earnings reduced by nearly 20%, and this was on a day in which I didn't even look at my site, so they can't say they were invalid pageviews. I'd really like to know if VC refunded the money to the advertiser too. I have a feeling that they are just taking more for themselves.

Remember, VC is a publicly-held company so they have to show better earnings each quarter. Taking 10-20% of earnings from thousands of wabmasters and punping up their take should keep their investors happy.

I've taken a step away from them, having written twice about this practice, by cutting my ads back to just those paying more than $1, VC will default even more to Casale. Eventually, I may rewrite my pages, making Casale primary and VC secondary.

BTW: If you use either of these systems, don't just go for the autoconfiguration. You'll get the bottom feeders and make much less than your site deserves.


1:49 pm on Aug 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Your post caused me to check out my own figures with ValueClick...

Across the last 3 months, the impressions (ads + defaults) reported by VC have risen from a previously-steady 15% below my AWStats + Google-reported page-impressions to 30% below. Nothing else has changed in my profile to account for this.

Before May 2006: +15% AWStats-over-ValueClick
May 2006: +18.0%
Jun 2006: +22.6%
Jul 2006: +30.7%

My gut feeling with FastClick was that they never played fast-n-loose with me. The precise opposite of my previous experience with ValueClick (which admittedly dates from 2002).

Thanks for the mention of Casale Media; yours was the first that I had come across. I am now signed up with them.


5:18 am on Aug 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ann is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Since taking VC and TF off I am seriously considering Casale.

Just got through reading their site and it sounds good.

What do you mean by the auto configuration?



11:11 am on Aug 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I now have 4 days of Casale v ValueClick results, and--for me at least--the results are conclusive: VC are under-reporting impressions by 30%. I wonder if they are reporting the same figures to their advertisers as they report to their publishers?

Casale were implemented onto my website on a 50/50 basis with VC for both banners + pop-unders. The site is PHP, so I used

$switch = time() % 2;
to get a boolean, and used one company or the other according to the TRUE/FALSE value of
. That means, averaged across a few days, that the impressions report from both should be the same (allowing for any time-zone differences).

In the event, Casale reported 128% of VC's impressions (based on the sum of banner-ads + defaults), whilst Casale's figures are almost exactly 50% of my AWStats figures for human-requested impressions.

To turn to the bottom-line, the Casale eCPM for banners (across all impressions, even defaults) was $0.37, and the amount paid is 188% of the amount paid by VC in the same period for the same-size banners. To some extent, that is an unfair comparison, since my config on VC means many more defaults than Casale. The eCPM just for banners served is $0.54 v $0.62 (Casale v VC, taking each company's reported ads-served as correct).

The picture on pop-unders, however, is astonishing. Casale served just 69% of the number of pop-unders that VC reported served, yet paid 122% of the VC money. The Casale CPM is $3.00 v $1.70 (eCPM based on Casale's numbers is $0.52 v $0.43).

Here are the raw figures for page-impressions, excluding any money values:

Leaderboard 728 x 90:
.Date .Paid Default ..Total AWStats
5 Aug 2,228 + ..833 = 3,061 5,595
6 Aug 1,964 + ..953 = 2,917 5,480
7 Aug 2,661 + 1,215 = 3,876 7,531
8 Aug 2,640 + 1,361 = 4,001 7,724
----- ----- ------- = ----- ------
Total 9,493 + 4,362 = 13855 26,330 (53%)
----- ----- ------- = ----- ------
.Date .Paid Default ..Total AWStats
5 Aug 1,129 + 1,256 = 2,385 5,595
6 Aug ..978 + 1,327 = 2,305 5,480
7 Aug 1,111 + 1,923 = 3,034 7,531
8 Aug 1,197 + 1,887 = 3,084 7,724
----- ----- ------- = ----- ------
Total 4,415 + 6,393 = 10808 26,330 (41%)
----- ----- ------- = ----- ------
Pop-Unders (24-hour):
.Date .Paid
5 Aug ..504
6 Aug ..509
7 Aug ..704
8 Aug ..689
----- -----
Total 2,406 (paid 122% of VC)
----- -----
.Date .Paid
5 Aug ..752
6 Aug ..691
7 Aug 1,007
8 Aug 1,044
----- -----
Total 3,494
----- -----

[edited by: AlexK at 11:17 am (utc) on Aug. 9, 2006]


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