Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 18.208.186.19

Forum Moderators: martinibuster

Ezoic - Opinions / experiences

Here's mine...

     
8:58 am on Oct 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from GB 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:July 17, 2003
posts:717
votes: 27


I recently signed up with Ezoic to test on one of my sites. So far there have been fairly significant earnings improvements, but I have yet to fully look into how these have been achieved. I guess they also have to run their optimisations as something of a black box as otherwise I'd just take the improvements and use them for free.

My first concern about Ezoic is the lack of any independent reviews about their services. They run an affiliate scheme so virtually everything written about them by other websites is fairly glowing, followed by a "find out more" affiliate link at the bottom.

My other concern is how they achieve their improvements. Most of my earnings from this site are from mobile and to me it seems mobile provides a fairly reduced set of options for ad placement. (So how much scope is there for their big data / AI based tweaking) Therefore we are left with increasing the number of ads, which they have. Previously I ran 3 ads per page, with Ezoic I have limited it to 4, plus there is an anchor ad running.

Now that I have reduced this to 3 ads and removed the anchor ad it seems my earnings are close to where they were previously. In other words the increase was coming from running more ads, which is fine, but I can't see how this wouldn't affect UX - even though Ezoic claim to optimise this too. To be honest I think my site looks a little trashy now and I don't know if that is a good long term compromise.

I guess I'll let things run a little longer and keep tweaking. What strikes me as a little odd though is why Adsense would not be performing equally effective optimization themselves, if not on placement at least on responsive ad size / format...
2:48 pm on Oct 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

Full Member

5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Aug 14, 2014
posts:328
votes: 102


Thanks for sharing!

They keep trying to get me to sign up every few months. Just something about their process, and them, that I dont trust right now.

And I found the same thing to be true about independent reviews on them...seems everyone loves them - which is highly suspicious.

Why introduce a middleman into the adsense-publisher flow anyways?
3:47 pm on Oct 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from CA 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 25, 2003
posts:1350
votes: 443


I have nothing to share regarding Ezoic as I had not even heard the name until this thread. However, I do have a general comment about the value of machine learning (AI does not exist except as marketing hype - the more times AI is keyword stuffed in a comment/article the fluffier the content).

While Ezoic's service is something that any site can do many have neither the time nor expertise. Over time every single referrer builds up a unique traffic conversion identity, one to many interest click tracks and associated conversion behaviours.

A good ML 'black box' can identify such and more suggesting and testing improvements. The more inventory control and on the fly ad adjustment capability possessed by the ad network or similar agency in the middle the more tailored the conversion.

Regrettably most I've looked into have simply inserted themselves into the process to siphon off revenue for little to no to negative value added.

Ezoic may be a good tool allowing smaller sites access to business intelligence not otherwise available. My concern would not be so much whether it is or is not a good resource, rather whether it can be trusted with your data. Trust and confidence in that trust both now and going forward is the critical question. As I said previously I know little about Ezoic, just a lot about business on the web.
Caveat emptor.
3:52 pm on Oct 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Sept 13, 2018
posts:355
votes: 71


What would be the difference with Adsense own Audo Ads?
9:10 pm on Oct 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from GB 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:July 17, 2003
posts:717
votes: 27


What would be the difference with Adsense own Audo Ads?

I think Ezoic may have auto placement options but I didn't use this, as I wouldn't trust anyone/thing to do this. Looking at Adsense's offering it is pretty poor.

The way I have used Ezoic is to specify a large number of potential placements along with a limit to how many ads to display (which is optional). Within these parameters Ezoic uses machine learning to analyse the best conversion, and also apparently user experience.

As I said above, I can't see the number of permutations for mobile placements is that great so it may be overkill. Just some low level experimentation may have the desired effect, without having to share anything with a third party...
1:35 pm on Oct 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Feb 25, 2014
posts:125
votes: 16


Ezoic is too complicated, unnecessarily. They also slow down your website. Avoid.
5:29 pm on Oct 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 26, 2005
posts:2312
votes: 628


I tried them for about six weeks. Support is outstanding but the traffic I sent them actually lost money. I was told to be patient, but they finally admitted that their system could not beat my own system. Plus the pages I sent to them were slathered in ads and looked horrible.
12:42 pm on Oct 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Mar 17, 2015
posts:819
votes: 456


Ezoic pestered me and pestered me for months. Finally I relented and threw them a bone, adding their CDN on one of my niche sites (while keeping them away from my main high-traffic sites). Earnings were a little up on Adsense but site speed suffered and ad placements were fugly. I deleted after six months and wouldn't recommend them.
7:37 pm on Oct 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

Full Member

5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Aug 14, 2014
posts:328
votes: 102


This is all good to know.

I've been on the fence about them for years but my gut told me to avoid. I always felt they tried a bit too hard to sign me up (and promised the sky) so that was a huge warning flag right there.

I'm sure it works for some but it doesn't sound like it would be a good fit for most. Adsense Auto Ads does a good enough job for me - once it learned where to and not to place ads. Now it does well for me.
2:28 pm on Oct 12, 2018 (gmt 0)

New User

joined:Jan 9, 2018
posts:4
votes: 0


I've tried Ezoic before. I don't know if they've improved, but they did not increase my earnings and their ad placements were all over the place. My website looked like it had broken code in it, it was a mess.
2:35 pm on Oct 12, 2018 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Sept 13, 2018
posts:355
votes: 71


The best is still to experiment ad placement yourself, and keep a control over your page layout.
3:13 pm on Oct 12, 2018 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from GB 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:July 17, 2003
posts:717
votes: 27


To be fair Ezoic do allow pretty tight control over page layout now. You can choose placements via a Chrome plugin or by wrapping your existing Adsense ads. Within this you can specify ad sizes per placement. You can even limit the number of ads per page.

So, pretty much complete control.

And yes, they did improve my earnings. But then again this was with running more ads than I had done and there is a little pressure to put ads where I didn't like - although Ezoic claim to monitor UX.
Also, Ezoic isn't free so that needs taking into account.

At the moment I have switched Ezoic off to get an effective baseline. I may give it another go in a few weeks with a tighter set of placements / ad sizes just to see what they can do.
I'll also be looking at site speed.
6:08 am on Oct 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:May 31, 2006
posts:1314
votes: 31


I've been using Ezoic since Dec/16, nearly two years now. They're OK overall. I find the indirect statistics to be a little misleading. Their main metric is EPMV so of course it looks like they're earning you a lot more money if you just look at that one metric which they really push.

I looked at last month's earnings on 2 sites I have with them. Just looking at a straight earnings per 100K pageviews, Ezoic increases earnings on the one site about 49% and the other 64% compared to AdSense alone. The EPMV increase would be higher. I only let Ezoic have 50% of my traffic BTW.

Yes they do put more ads in different places but the appeal to me is that the testing is done automatically. It's basically AI testing. I don't have the time to run hundreds of tests. They make money off me but they also make me more money overall.

In terms of bounce rate, page views per visit, time on site, etc. my numbers do look slightly worse using Ezoic (they compare them side-by-side) but we're talking smaller percentages (e.g. pageviews per visit of 1.46 original site vs 1.54 with Ezoic, time on site 2:49 original site vs 2:33 Ezoic, etc.)

Overall I stay with them because they work. I have two different sites in the same general niche and one outperforms the other obviously but in the end Ezoic has worked for me. Do they put more ads in different places? Yes. Is it ugly? Yeah, sometimes. Does it work? It does for me.

One other advantage to Ezoic that you can't get with AdSense is access to the ad exchange (I think that's what it's called). It gives you a bigger pool of ads, so more competition.

I compared my analytics from Sept/16 to Sept/18 and there is a negligible difference in total visitors, pageviews, etc. so it has not hurt my site. Traffic is honestly about flat though between that time interval.

For what it's worth.
8:26 am on May 1, 2019 (gmt 0)

New User from IN 

joined:Apr 6, 2017
posts:3
votes: 0


My fellow blogger is using ezoic. The blog speed was horribly reduced. Site ads are placed on unusual spots.

An agent from ezoic approached me but I denied their invitation.
10:00 am on May 2, 2019 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:May 28, 2014
posts: 192
votes: 27


I won't go with these guys for several reasons.

First and foremost their sales agents are often just people on affiliates. Got a guy who added me personally on Facebook and started to say he needed me to sign up desperately so he could fund his sister's projects. In all, probably had about 7-10 different people reach out to me.

The biggest reason is because they want control at the DNS level. No thanks.

The third is a few sites I've been on with horrible ad layouts.

Super unprofessional organization although I use their adindex tool every week.
10:58 am on May 2, 2019 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from GB 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:July 17, 2003
posts:717
votes: 27


I'm still using Ezoic and will continue to do so - but only on selected sites and with fairly tight control.

The sites I run Ezoic are still earning significantly more than with Adsense. One site was flatlining with Adsense but is consistently double digits per day with Ezoic.

On the downside the measured load time for the site is much increased, although I still think the initial render is pretty quick on my sites.

If Adsense earned as much on all my sites I definitely wouldn't use Ezoic, but as it stands the pros outweigh the cons...
12:50 pm on May 2, 2019 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Mar 17, 2015
posts:819
votes: 456


The biggest reason is because they want control at the DNS level. No thanks. The third is a few sites I've been on with horrible ad layouts.

Yes. They badgered me for a while and eventually I relented and said I'd try them out on one of my sites. They then expected me to change the DNS servers of my entire domain and hand over the keys to my Adsense account. I told them to go whistle. They are aggressive, don't really care about UX and (like most of their ilk) have developed convoluted reporting/stats to exaggerate their performance.
12:58 pm on May 2, 2019 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:July 8, 2005
posts: 339
votes: 5


I used them for several months last year, on a fairly high traffic site (a few hundred thousand visitors per month).

While they did increase revenue marginally, the site looked absolutely awful and interaction stats (as measured by Analytics) definitely dropped.

Their support was good, but overall I didn't think the marginal increase in revenue was worth making the site look so terrible. I know it's possible to control layout and number of ads, so perhaps I could have done more on that front... however, it felt like they'd over-promised and under-delivered, so I wasn't really inclined to spend hours optimising (when that's what they were supposed to do for me).
7:58 pm on May 3, 2019 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member editorialguy is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 28, 2013
posts:3491
votes: 787


Ezoic is working great for us (and has been since we signed on last July).

Re page appearance: Ezoic has two products, Layout Tester and Ad Tester. Layout Tester (the original product) juggles your page elements, using Layout Tester's ugly templates. Ad Tester, which is what we use, is a newer and completely different animal. It works with your existing layout. You insert placeholders where ads can be served, and Ezoic does multivariate testing of ad placements in those page locations. You can insert the placeholders with a Chrome add-in tool or manually. Being a control freak, I prefer the manual approach, which involves inserting placeholders like the following into a page's HTML:

<!-- Ezoic - - Top of Page - Responsive -->
<div id="ezoic-pub-ad-placeholder-134"></div>
<!-- End Ezoic - - Top of Page - Responsive -->

Such manual insertion is drudgery, but it's drudgery that has paid off handsomely for us.

The cool thing about Ezoic's Ad Tester is that it offers much greater sophistication, in terms of ad placements, than you could do yourself. For example, Ezoic might find (through testing) that readers who arrive on a page via search are less tolerant of ads than readers who have arrived on a page from another page on your site. It will then serve fewer ads to new arrivals than to repeat viewers. The goal is to maximize total earnings for each visit, not just per ad or page view.

I also like the fact that, thanks to the use of placeholders, you can tweak or make major changes to the types of ads you'll allow in a given spot without having to go back and change the code on your pages. Once you've inserted a placeholder, you can change ad settings globally for that placeholder in a matter of seconds--at any time--using the Ad Tester's editing console.

My third favorite Ezoic feature is the "Big Data" analytics tool, which is like Google Analytics on steroids.

Bottom line: For our editorial travel-planning site, Ezoic's Ad Tester has had a big impact on revenue--and that's despite the fact that, in our Ezoic site settings, I've chosen "optimize for the user experience" over "optimize for revenue" or "balanced approach."
9:34 am on May 4, 2019 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Jan 31, 2009
posts:181
votes: 4


We tried them on our sites (for about 3+ month). But they ask either a nameserver transfer to them or dns transfer which creates all sorts of problem starting from losing control over data.

In third world country like India Subcontinent, Africa where there is a latency issue in network (especially on mobile) Ezoic makes site so slow that its really hard to read your own page. (+3 time we encounter 2+ hour downtime with them because there service was down just because they take your nameserver and you route through them).
3:16 pm on May 5, 2019 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member editorialguy is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 28, 2013
posts:3491
votes: 787


Side note to my earlier post:

Multivariate ad and/or layout testing has been available to big sites like Google for quite a while, but (IMO) Ezoic's making it available to mom-and-pop sites is a game-changer (like Cloudflare's making CDNs readily available, at zero or minimal cost, to the masses). Webmaster World members often complain that the "little guy" is having a tough time these days, but innovative tools like Ezoic and Cloudflare are helping to level the playing field.
1:47 am on May 6, 2019 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Mar 17, 2015
posts:819
votes: 456


I think with Ezoic, at the end of the day it boils down to a trade-off between control, UX and revenue. Your revenue will probably increase but you'll be surrendering some control over your site, including ad placement. The good thing is that there's no lock-in contract so you can try it for a month or two and wave goodbye if you don't like the results.
3:00 pm on May 6, 2019 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member editorialguy is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 28, 2013
posts:3491
votes: 787


Trebuchet1, you're surrendering control over ad placement only within the context of parameters that you've set, assuming that you've chosen to implement ad placeholders manually. Let's say, for example, that you've designated 15 possible ad locations and a maximum of five ads. Ezoic will test anywhere from zero to five ads on the page, using your placeholders as possible ad locations. And if you later decide that, for example, you don't like ads beneath the navigation bar on mobile pages, you can disable or edit your settings for ads in that location via the Ad Tester console. You actually have more control over ads than you would if you used plain-vanilla AdSense, because your ad sizes, locations, etc. aren't hard-coded into the page. For me, that's one of the things that makes Ezoic appealing: Although you'll maximize revenue by letting Ezoic do its thing without interference, you can set limits, make changes, etc. if you have second thoughts like "Dang, why did I allow 300 x 250 ads above the fold on mobile?"

In any case, as you suggested, it's easy enough to try Ezoic and bail on it if you don't like the results. There's no need to sign a contract unless you later choose to participate in the optional "premium" program (assuming that you're invited to participate in that program and are happy with the results of a 30-day trial).
3:36 pm on May 6, 2019 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member editorialguy is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 28, 2013
posts:3491
votes: 787


Another thing, just because I think it's a cool feature:

Let's say you've decided that (for example) an ad after the first paragraph looks horrible and you want to kill ads in that location. When you go to dectivate the placeholder, you'll get a message that says:
This ad unit accounts for X.XX% of your ad tester ad revenue.

It is recommended not to delete ad units since the testing platform will use each ad unit in the optimal scenarios.

Are you sure you want to delete this ad unit?:

This makes it easier to decide whether to override the testing algorithm (as I've done a couple of times, since I was able to make an informed judgment instead of merely acting on impulse).
9:20 pm on May 6, 2019 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:May 31, 2006
posts:1314
votes: 31


I thought I'd give a quick update since it's been a bit over 6 months since I last provided input. I have removed Ezoic completely from one site because it was literally earning less than AdSense. I don't care what the EPMV metric is if I send 50/50 traffic and earn noticeably less with Ezoic and get more ads. I also noticed that the "small ad" at the bottom of the page as part of the free plan was getting pretty large. I have scaled back on the other site as well.
9:23 pm on May 6, 2019 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:May 31, 2006
posts:1314
votes: 31


One thing that has me wondering lately... with AdSense auto ads feature, will it make Ezoic basically obsolete over time? Hmmm surely Google has an incredible amount of data on visitors so they know who's coming from Facebook, search, etc. and they would also be able to do all the same testing in terms of ad placement, sizes, etc. But they just call it Auto ads instead of calling it AI based ads which may sound a bit more creepy.
10:14 pm on May 6, 2019 (gmt 0)

Full Member

5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Aug 14, 2014
posts:328
votes: 102


I'm always suspicious of ad companies that try waaaay too hard to get me to sign up with all sorts of promises - and Ezoic is one of them. I've stayed away up to now.

There isn't a month that has gone by in the last two years that someone from that place hasn't contacted me about one of my web properties.
3:14 am on May 7, 2019 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Jan 31, 2009
posts:181
votes: 4


I feel ezoic has an advantage when it say 50% traffic to adsense and 50% traffic to them. In a blackbox (middleware) kind of situation they can decide which user might may more so send that to ezoic and this user might pay less so send it to adsense (Based on DMP or Google big data). And than they compare data betweeen apple and oranges.
3:18 am on May 7, 2019 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Jan 31, 2009
posts:181
votes: 4


EditorialGuy,

Control is not only about ad placement. Its about giving nameserver/dns to them than they route to your server. In between, suppose there service get shutdown (happen with me many times) even if your server is UP, you can do just nothing.
3:52 am on May 7, 2019 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Mar 17, 2015
posts:819
votes: 456


Trebuchet1, you're surrendering control over ad placement only within the context of parameters that you've set, assuming that you've chosen to implement ad placeholders manually.

In my case, I have, which is why I'd be concerned about abandoning that control to leave placement up to a machine run by a third-party with their own motives and interests. I'm aware though that Ezoic does offer some granular control over ad quantity and placement, so no, you don't have to hand them the master key - but I do think they make their system more complex than it needs to be, perhaps intentionally so.

It was actually their other requests that I found more galling, e.g. change your DNS to ours, change your CDN to ours, give us access to our Adsense account. No way, Jim, not unless you can produce a good reason (and they don't).

I notice that Ezoic is also marketing aggressively of late, lots of ads on Adwords and Youtube in particular.
This 36 message thread spans 2 pages: 36