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OpenX, or other ad exchange

Opinions on OpenX, or suggestions for ad exchange programs



4:47 am on Feb 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

I'll be honest, Open X has confused the crap out of me. I've been a professional web designer and developer for about 17 years, and I still can't make heads or tails out of it.

Here's my background:

The main site is 13 years old, and I began with selling my own ads, locally. 5 or 6 years ago, I added Google Adsense, which grew substantially.

April 2013, we hired a new ad management company that sells ads for us, and backs it up with Adsense. Our revenue went up a bit; it varies from month to month, but on average it's about 8-10% higher than when we just used Adsense.

The thing is, though, that I'm not 100% sure that I trust their data. Where Analytics shows 5 million pageviews, their interface only shows 3.5 million. Since we're paid RPM (per 1,000 impressions), that's a pretty big financial difference.

They get 40% of the ad revenue for management, and I'm betting that they just go through ad exchange networks. This is making me question whether I should hire a full time employee to do the same job, possibly getting the same or better results for about half the cost.


So, the question here is whether I should use Open X, Google AdX, something else, or both? Or, should I just stay where I am and be happy with the 10% increase with sketchy data?


1:24 pm on Feb 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

how do you join anyway? I just checked out their site... Do you have to email them and get approved? whats their requirement? Is it invite only?


2:17 am on Feb 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

I get emails from them all the time, but yeah, I think you have to email them to get approved.

But don't take my word for it, I have yet to figure out how to use it.


4:09 am on Feb 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Would definitely go with Google AdX over OpenX. There's a steeper learning curve, but it keeps the beast (and associated security concerns) off your server.

Can you clarify "sells ads for us"? If this company is pounding the pavement and signing up advertisers, they might be worth the commission, but if they're just running your adserver, methinks you're getting ripped off.


4:34 am on Feb 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

I really don't know how much work they put in to it, honestly. I guess there's no way they'd really tell me, either; if they told me they were just listing it in ad exchange networks, they'd risk losing me.

I would bet pennies to dollars, though, that the majority of their work is done in ad exchange networks. That would have to be easier than beating the streets.

The majority of our revenue comes from this, though, so messing with it makes me pretty nervous. But if I could increase revenue by 50%, maybe it would be worth the risk. When I signed up with this ad management company, I was expecting closer to a 50% increase than a 10%, so I'm a little disappointed, anyway... but at the same time, I worry that maybe I'm reaching for more than I should.


7:59 am on Feb 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Is OpenX CPM only? Or do they also offer CPC? I just emailed them and they are reviewing my sites for approval. They initially said I was well qualified however, the quality of the traffic needs to be verified. Still waiting for their response.

Anyone has any good or bad experience with OpenX? I was referred through a friend and he told me that the payout isn't bad.


4:07 pm on Feb 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I was expecting closer to a 50% increase than a 10%

10% is more realistic unless you can sell to a niche. That's roughly the difference between running AdSense alone and managing ads among networks in an ad server.

There is a chance that who you hired to do this is taking a modest commission to handle a part of the job you'd rather avoid. You might want to ask some questions though, and get the login so you can poke around. At least know what networks they are using and what other ads might be showing on your sites. Remember that if one of these things goes rogue, you have to deal with it.

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