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Ads taking too long to appear

     
9:05 pm on Aug 23, 2013 (gmt 0)



This isn't really about Adsense, but the logic should be the same. I'm using an ad network that sends ads out to multiple providers (including Adsense), and returns the highest bid.

Occasionally, though, I've noticed that ads can take up to 30 seconds to load. In the meanwhile, all I see is a blank box. Site visitors have mentioned this, too, so I know it's not just me.

I ran a scan with an online tester (not sure if I'm allowed to link it here), and it showed my page load time was 2 seconds, but the "document complete" time was 24 seconds! The big delay (22s worth) came from Fastclick, which I assume is one of the networks.

The difference between what Analytics says and what the ad network says is about 30,000 pageviews a day, so I think that this is really adding up to cost me money.

Can you guys suggest any methods I can use to make the ads start loading sooner and/or faster? Pre-loading, caching, or something server-side to catch a delay of more than a few seconds (to kill it and refresh, or at least kill it and show something else)?

I guess that I could just disable Fastclick in the list of networks, but I hate to do this because that might have a significant impact on my RPM.

I'm also worried that as soon as I disable Fastclick, another network will be a problem, so I'm hoping for a better solution that I can do on my end than just disabling slow responders as they're found.

TIA.
10:29 am on Aug 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Wow, didn't know Fastclick is still in operation. I thought they were already bought by Valueclick. Definitely, remove Fastclick first and test ad load for a few days. If it improves, then you know the culprit that's causing the slow load.
11:18 am on Aug 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



ad network that sends ads out to multiple providers (including Adsense), and returns the highest bid


Which one?
10:04 pm on Aug 24, 2013 (gmt 0)



There are several that do this and they will all tell you there code doesn't slow down page load. IMO they all do to some extent. Whatever you do don't put an ad from one of these networks so it loads first on your page, like in the header, or before your main content. If it hangs my experience has been the entire page will hang while they complete their "real-time bidding process".
10:05 pm on Aug 24, 2013 (gmt 0)



There are several that do this and they will all tell you there code doesn't slow down page load. IMO they all do to some extent. Whatever you do don't put an ad from one of these networks so it loads first on your page, like in the header, or before your main content. If it hangs my experience has been the entire page will hang while they complete their "real-time bidding process".
12:27 am on Aug 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



What did you ad platform provider say about the issue?

30 seconds to load an ad (ad document complete) could very well have a significant impact on your revenue and possibly your search rankings.

You may want to experiment using a different ad platform or just running adsense and see if you earn more.
9:21 am on Aug 25, 2013 (gmt 0)



The ad platform I'm using is a little more specialized for my industry, and it's in the contract that I'm not supposed to publicize our relationship without approval, so I won't mention their name. They're small enough that you probably haven't heard of them, anyway.

The reason I changed was because RPM with Adsense had been going down for the last several months. When I switched (in April), the RPM went from $1.02 to about $1.80, which was awesome, but over time I noticed that the site traffic was going down.

At first, it was negligible, but every day it was a little lower. Comparing Aug 1-24 to Mar 1-24, I'm seeing a 26% drop in pageviews (which is about 700k pageviews). At $1.80 ROM, that translates to a potential loss of $1,260.

Or, if you prefer, I'm seeing a 19% drop when comparing Aug 1-24, 2013 to Aug 1-24, 2012 (about 600k pageviews). Comparing March 2013 to March 2012, we saw a 1.5% increase in pageviews, so a negative difference is definitely not something we're used to seeing. When comparing YTD 2013 vs. YTD 2012, the difference clearly begins at the end of April.

Regardless, though, I suspect now that the slow responder was having a negative impact on search engine placement, which would explain the almost immediate loss of pageviews. Both unique visitors and pages per visit went down, and both can be explained by ranking and slow pages (making visitors leave earlier than usual).

I emailed my rep, and his tech team agreed and tentatively removed Fastclick from the network list. They're supposed to meet with Fastclick on Monday and discuss the problem. It's too soon to tell if that made much of a difference, but I'll be keeping my eye on it.

Thanks for all of the advice!
9:32 am on Aug 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



Wow, didn't know Fastclick is still in operation

Fastclick was acquired by ValueClick way back in 2005, but ads may still be served from the fastclick.net domain.
 

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