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Adsense Alternatives?

     
3:50 pm on Aug 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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My site is ad-free besides Adsense. I'm clueless about what else is out there. One thing it must be is text ads though. What other programs are available to me?
9:15 pm on Aug 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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. What other programs are available to me?

some of my pals (not me) use tribal fusion dot com!
and since tribal is using also google then you can have double google link sets legally - one from tribal and another from AdSense!

(although I am not sure whether it is a sin or not and since being banned from AdSense is worse than going to hell, I prefer not to experiment with it - it is similar to AIDS - you can experiment but if you will catch it then you are banned from life and naturally dead...)

anyways: maybe google could list officially which other banner programs are allowed simultaneously
with AdSense banners.... or could somebody ask them by e-mail?

1:41 am on Aug 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Yoyo8-I think it depends on the direction you want to take for your site.

With mine, I had very little advertising before AdSense. I am not currently searching for others. I enjoy the fact that there is very little space taken up by advertising. My users have felt the same, and have told me so.

2:07 am on Aug 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Adsense is my exclusive source of revenue. Anyway, I posted this after Google made the Related Search and "This Ad brought to you by Google" blank box changes. Since they reverted back, I am happy to stay with Google.
2:35 pm on Aug 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

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4:50 pm on Aug 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

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ScottM said...

With mine, I had very little advertising before AdSense. I am not currently searching for others. I enjoy the fact that there is very little space taken up by advertising. My users have felt the same, and have told me so.

I've run banner ads from one of the well-known agencies for a couple of years now. I used to think the income was pretty good - until AdSense.

My contract with the agency expires in a few months. I don't think I'll be renewing it unless AdSense goes belly-up. Some of the banner ads and the pops are pretty terrible.

D.

6:40 pm on Sept 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

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The link doesn't work.
4:54 am on Sept 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

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"New Targeted Content Ads Pose Direct Challenge to Google's 'Adsense'"

"AdTextuals Deliver More Targeted Users With Content Specific Ads Relevant to What Readers See on Pages. New Service Set to Give Google Fierce Competition. "

On their partner page they're proclaiming $12K per month webmaster payouts. Their terms do not prohibit disclosure of ctrs, earnings, stats, etc. They do not require net 30 to request a paypal payout for the previous month's activity.

Looks like a real different attitude.

The press release is here
[biz.yahoo.com...]

4:24 pm on Sept 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I've seen the sites they have into his network and haven't see any ads or something of them on the sites.

Too much webmasters selling space but no advertisers.

4:36 pm on Sept 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

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It's been pretty much determined that AdTextuals is on the shady side.

[webmasterworld.com...]

4:40 pm on Sept 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Here is another thread that discusses mrwordsmith:
[webmasterworld.com...]

I wasn't impressed by their site.

10:31 pm on Sept 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

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So are there any REAL contenders yet? I'm getting nervous. This needs to evolve into an industry to become stable and reliable.

SN

11:29 pm on Sept 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

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No.

Simple and plain: NO.

You get:
a) advertising networks with untargetted ads an punch-the-monkey ads
b) contextual ads without advertisers
c) promises, news, big stories, posts about Adsense breakdown
d) ppc search engines wich will pay you the 40% of 0,01 cents clicks

The life goes and no one has something like Adsense.

What will be, will be.

11:39 pm on Sept 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

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We need market forces though. I want an alternative. I want to be able to try different things on different sites, and I do NOT want to commercialize my sites with affilaites. Step up contender, you've ben called.

SN

1:12 am on Sept 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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There are big name players such as Overture in the game. The big thing that I know of on why there are no 'real' contenders is that the business model has it's faults.

I've been following this type of advertising for a couple of years now and there are a few things I've found out.

Rumor number one is that there is an endless supply of cpc money. Not so because there is not an endless supply of consumer cash.

Rumor number two that's been around is that Google starting this. They didn't.

Rumor number three is that Google did not come up with the targeting algo. They didn't, they bought Applied Semantics.

Applied Semantics had been working with a number of folks before being bought out and FindWhat was one of them so technically FindWhat was in the game before Google ever thought it was possible. They found mixed results.

Now back to the original question. Where are the contenders? Well, there are some. Overture is an example along with quite a few others. But why haven't the folks such as DoubleClick who are more in tune with marketing on the Internet jumped in? Because of mixed results. Google can play because they have very little to lose if or when they find out the bm cannot sustain itself where the DoublClicks of the world would crumble. Google can always go back to being a pure search engine and no one would really care in the long run.

So, bottom line is, this type of advertising is very good but it can only be part of a mix of other things. For example, who really cares if the content of a site and an advertisement match perfectly if the visitor is from country x and the advertiser only sells in country y. Perfect contextual advertising yet without a geo target it's worthless.

That's just one example. There are many more things that have to be considered. I know for a fact that since testing with this concept by major advertising network players has never proven it could sustain itself in the long run has made them not do it. I also know for a fact that many of them can do it. What they and no one else has figured out yet is how to do it consistantly.

There is no doubt a gold rush going on right now as was predicted a long time ago but it will subside so enjoy it while you can. The fact that advertisers are bailing out of the AdSense program shows that. Will there be a place for this? Yep. Will it be with Google? Don't know. Will contextual advertising be absorbed into more meaningful systems? You bet.

Contextual advertising will go the same route as all the rest of the advertising targeting. It will become a standard but by no means will it be the only way to run a successfull advertising campaign. What will it mean for site owners? It will mean reality will set in and the gold rush will subside and the true value of this type of advertising will prove to be a much lower cpc. Hopefully you all will not have had all your eggs in one basket and it seems from other threads that is not the case. That also hold true for advertisers. They will insist on better advertising methods and never put there ad money in one campaign.

This is not a Google bashing post nor is it meant to imply gloom and doom. It's just what I have seen the last couple of years with this in particular.

JAG

OK. I'm ready for the lynching :-)

2:07 am on Sept 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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nice post justageek... though im not sure what evidence you have for advertisers abandoning adsense "in droves", and we have to trust your sources!

One thing however that Google has that the ad networks did not have when the latter did their feasibility analaysis is a massive text ad inventory updated in real time and now a massive publisher distributor base, which being google, they know a lot about. These things have advantages for scope and targeting way beyond what existing ad netwroks can offer.

Secondly Google did not have to take into account the possibility of contextual ads/text ads cannibalising the other forms of the revenue ad networks have (portfolio), as google ads have only one format.

2:21 am on Sept 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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who really cares if the content of a site and an advertisement match perfectly if the visitor is from country x and the advertiser only sells in country y. Perfect contextual advertising yet without a geo target it's worthless.

AdSense already uses geotargeting.

2:28 am on Sept 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Hey, there is a new player in town. BidClix

[bidclix.net...]

2:43 am on Sept 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Thanks chiyo and I only say what I say because I've been involved in this for a long time now. Yes I'm showing my age a bit.

It was the massive distribution base that caused the analysis to fail.

Grocery stores are a prime example. Ever wonder why they put the milk in the back and the gum at the checkout? Probably not. But the reason why is people go to the store get the needed items. Put them in the back and you force people to pass other things. Then you make them pass other things on the way out. Why? They hope to have impulse buying. Then, they know already that when the person is in the checkout they have already made the purchase they want. Now they put a few lower cost items that no one goes into the store for specifically, at the checkout. Why? Because they know they can squeeze a few cents more from the majority but not big dollars more. That's the same thing as contextual advertising. The user is not proactively searching. They are reactively clicking. The problem is that the items they are more likely to buy are lower priced impulsive items, especially when times are tough, as they are now. Sure they will buy some big ticket ones the same as if the store put the great quality steaks at the checkout. But the majority will buy lower ticket items. Lower ticket items in the Internet world command a lower ppc. That is the cycle.

AdSense already uses geotargeting.

Dolemite - That's my point. They need that to add effectiveness. Unfortunately that is the only other thing they do. There is still a lot of other factors such as buying patterns and matching back to third party databases to find long history such as a persons buying habits from sources such as credit card purchases and such. Non of which are taken into account with AdSense but are with more established advertising solutions. They will come together someday but I'm just not convinced Google has the maturity to do it and I'm quite sure that the content owners will be a bit suprised at the lower profits than they enjoy now when it does.

JAG

4:09 am on Sept 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Google's priority heirachy would seem to be Adwords -> AdSense, so if we're to see more user-specific targeting, it will likely come in that order.

Google does have other advantages that in some cases can trump that sort of technology. Having a huge database to determine the off-page context of a page along with whatever the Applied Semantics tech does to relate both on and off-page data to determine the most relevant ads may be better than serving user-targeted ads with subpar relevance to the content. I've found numerous examples where AdSense ads are better than they have a right to be just based on what's on the page.

IMO, the biggest threat is proliferation of AdSense and similar text ads to the point of ubiquity, and the text ad-blindness that might result. Still, if X number of users find the advertised sites useful Y% of the time, that won't happen. As I see it, that comes right back to relevance, which along with Google's huge pool of advertisers, seems to be its biggest advantage.

4:48 am on Sept 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Hi justageek. I'm still not convinced of the proactive vs reactive clicking argument. Especially as advertisers are paying by the click rather than the impression. Much of the downside to advertisers in getting less motivated buyers is already factored in the lower click rates, which is not a financial risk for the advertiser, but for adsense. I would think that if people are not proactively searching to buy, they would simply not click, rather than click to have a geek.

Im a great beliver in the adword section of google search for example, being able to provide more qualfied buyers than the "free"index so i understand and agree with the broad principle.

I feel there are more intervening variables in the mix which make the theory more complex.

For example, if relevant ads are found on niche, authoritative and credible info sites the value to the advertiser is increased by the credibility the hosting site brand transfers to advertisers on the same page. There are many niche professional sites that provide credible information on product or service areas which attract highly qualified buyers. Now of course that may not apply to the majority of adsense hosting sites.

I appreciate the discussion, but am still to be convinced that contextual text ad delivery is directly related to "impulse buying". An informed and qualified buyer is usually one who wants to learn about the field, and gather info, before buying. Many adsense sites qualify in this way by providing this info and their brand that have developed as authorities in a field over the years. I do understand however that in the case of pure ecommerce or shopping mall broad-based sites this may not apply.

12:02 pm on Sept 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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It's great to have some conversation with you all also.

I really do think that this type of advertising is one of the best. It just will become a mix of a bigger and better solution for advertisers which may not be better for content owners.

Dolemite - You are correct. There is absolutely no doubt that they have a great way to target. As you said, Google has a lot of data to help the Applied Semantics technology. BTW - If you ever get a chance, and somewhat boring material is your thing, then read the Applied Semantics patent :-) The proliferation of ads certainly will not help. Fortunately Google has been probing other folks who do this and is learning that they must change. They must allow different sizes and such that can be controlled by the content sites. We see that happening already.

I'm still not convinced of the proactive vs reactive clicking argument. Especially as advertisers are paying by the click rather than the impression. Much of the downside to advertisers in getting less motivated buyers is already factored in the lower click rates, which is not a financial risk for the advertiser, but for adsense. I would think that if people are not proactively searching to buy, they would simply not click, rather than click to have a geek

I agree that it is not that way a portion of the time. I'm not sure what that portion is but I'm trying to find out. The last information I was privy to showed a 90 percent drop off when a user was taken to a landing page when they clicked on a contextually relevant ad. They also clicked about 10 percent of the time to get to the page. That showed a CTR that was around the 1 percent range which brought the effectiveness to near banner ad percentages. That means that text ads are very effective at getting a click but may not be effective at conversion. The risk is most definately to AdSense. That is why some of the established folks haven't thrown their hat in yet. To them it is better to have a butt ugly banner that most people will ignore and really only click when they want to. So, it is a huge risk for them. Especially with the public ones who must always show, or at least try to show, a profit. Google doesn't have such risk. They can always play with the payouts to make it seem as if the effectiveness has not changed and they do not have to reveal that information. They can always start to bring the better AdSense sites slowly up to the top of the SERP to get more traffic which would mean more clicks. I haven't checked the payout percentages lately but I'm pretty sure they change. As long as people are seeing changes in CTR, CPC and impressions but don't care because the payout remains stable then no one will ever figure it out because they don't want to. The advertisers do but the content sites don't because it's profits that matter to them as I suppose it should.

I really do appreciate the good conversation. I thought for sure the mob would be outside the house with torches and pitchforks. I guess I can cool off the boiling oil now ;-)

JAG

 

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