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Finally have something though: I didnt find much beef about CPM ads and site targetted campaigns so far. Would love to stir up a little exchange of opinions and experiences. Here is mine (excuse the bullet points):
- I run a mid-sized community which gets lots of repeat traffic, and some search engine traffic
- we were contacted by the Adsense team some weeks back and did a bit of optimization together (heatmap stuff, moving ads closer to content etc.)
- shortly after, CPM ads started to show up every now and then, so I guess the Adsense team was happy and turned on some quality flag for the site.
- when I noticed I signed up for Adwords (finally, after having been on the Adsense side since the very beginning) to take a look from the other side. To my happy amazement I saw that we show up nicely with lots of traffic for some very generic terms.
- our earnings went up and up thanks to the optimization and CPM ads, to a level where I can now happily live thanks to Adsense, something I had never planned when starting the site (labour of love)
- now this week has been crazy - almost only CPM-ads site wide - about 5-10 different ones. I know that our repeat visitors hardly click on ads, the best performing pages are those that get search engine traffic. So this CPM model is actually a life saver for us.
- the last days it now seems as if the CPM ads are auctioning themselves higher and higher, which would make sense until we reach their max CPM price ($2?...who knows). Especially if more and more advertisers enter the CPM model in our niche.
- anyway, yesterday was our biggest day ever since July 2003, I'd love to throw a party for all of you who have helped me to get there ;-)
Some questions in my head:
- have some of you observed similar CPM effects on community sites that made you just as happy as me?
- did you see any upward-spiral like I am observing right now?
- or did it end abruptly in some niches after CPM advertisers pulled out again?
- we now run 2 ad blocks on most member-pages (skyscraper on right+leaderboard at bottom), often both of them show the very same CPM-ad. Is the CPM price actually split between those two spaces, or do we get "double"? Also, sometimes there is CPC in the skyscraper and CPM on bottom. Should we add a 3rd ad unit? :-)
BTW, I am fully aware that this bonanza might end soon, once CPM advertisers get more selective, or track conversions better. If the same CPM ad displays 100 times to one user during a session, well, don't know how much good it will do in the end. On the other hand those CPM advertisers really know what they get for their money: branding, and not necessarily immediate clicks+conversions. I really hope it will last for a long time!
So, who is getting site-targeted right now? :-)