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Experience with Advertising Outsourcing

I run a bunch of websites, some of which have advertising to help me with the costs. I rely mostly on third parties to sell ads for me. This is my experience with several of them.

My main criteria for an advertising network are the ability to ban certain types of ads ( adult, audio, gambling...) and the ability to prevent popups, audio ads, and other annoying things. Also, I look for a way to redirect unsold traffic to another network. So, if those are things that you also look for then these reviews will be good for you.


Google Adsense

Google Adsense is one of the best. The text ads that are placed on your site are related to the content on your site, so CTR is usually high. Also, you don't have to worry about inappropriate content being displayed. Google's statistic reporting is excellent, and they pay on time.

Because Adsense targets the ads to the content of your page, the content of your page has a huge impact on how well your ads perform. I have found that certain pages do really well with Adsense, and other pages do really poorly. Once you figure this out for your own website, you can put Adsense on the correct pages, and use one of the graphical ad companies listed below for the other pages.

Recommended for websites that have high quality content that would cause Adsense to serve relevant ads.


Casale Media
www.casalemedia.com

One of the best. Casale lets you filter ads by category and set frequency caps. They also have the best handling of personal campaigns and defaults that I have seen. You can setup your own campaigns with values for the CPM, start date, end date, and number of daily/hourly/total impressions. This would allow you to sell your own ads and use Casale to serve them, if you wanted to. This will also allow you to redirect to another network for unsold or undersold impressions.

The only drawback to Casale is that they do not have a standard 468x60 banner. They only use leaderboards, skinny skyscrapers and pops. However, on the positive side, they take the smallest share of the profits (30%) that I have seen and they have a referral program, so click the link above and sign up :)

Final Opinion: If you can work the leaderboard into your site design, Casale is definitely my top choice for graphic ads.


Burstmedia
www.burstmedia.com

One of the best. The website allows you to control everything. I cant remember ever having to deal with someone in person. You can ban entire categories of ads and if you desire, you can ban individual ads. If you want to serve pops, you can control the number of pops delivered to each visitor. They provide lots of statistics on your campaigns and allow you to use one account to run ads on multiple websites.

I have been using them for several years and have been happy enough with the CPM to keep them in the 2nd position in my ad chain. They only fill 47% of my ads on average, but they have a very easy way to redirect the unsold ads to another network.

Final Opinion: They do everything great. I wish their 50% cut was lower, but I guess they deserve it. You would do well if Burst was your only ad network.


Fastclick
www.fastclick.com

Another one of the best. The website allows you to filter out unwanted ads by category or individually. They allow you to set the frequency cap for pops, which is nice. They have very good statistics reporting. They allow you to setup custom ads so you can redirect unsold traffic to other networks. Their website is a little confusing to navigate until you learn it.

Their CPM is competitive, but slightly lower than other networks. They pay on time and only take 35% for themselves.

One really nice thing is that they have a referral program, so you can make money by referring other publishers to their network. So, if you want to sign up with fastclick, please use the link above so I can get a referral bonus :)

Final Opinion: They do everything great. The take a small cut, which is nice, but they don't have very high CPM rates. If you use fastclick as your only supplier or as a secondary supplier you will be doing good.


Mamma Media Solutions

The website does not allow you to fully manage your ads. If you want to block certain types of ads (for example popup ads) you cannot do this thru the website. You must contact your account manager via email and ask them to block it. When I first set up my account I had quick responses to my request to block certain types of ads, but after a few months I started seeing some unwanted ads slip through. After repeated attempts to contact my account manager without reply I had to discontinue using their service. There is no way to manually approve or reject individual ads. Another thing you cannot customize is the pops. You cannot set a limit on the number of pops or their frequency.

One nice feature that I haven't seen anywhere else is the "Click Logs" which shows me the url on my website where a click occurred. This allows me to see which pages on my site are most effective at causing clicks.

Final Opinion: I do not recommend Mamma Media Solutions.


Tribal Fusion

This network has some pretty strict traffic requirements. I was able to use them for almost a year, and they were pertty good. Their CPM was never high enough to justify me putting them in first or second place in my ad chain, so I didnt give them enough traffic and they eventually dropped me.

If you can't get into the other networks and you have enough traffic, this might be a good one to try.


Right Media

This is a fine network that has good statistic reporting, and good ad filtering. Unfortunatly, their CPM is really low compared to other networks. I have put them last in my ad chain and would probably replace them if I found another network with higher CPM.

Recommended if you cannot get into any better network.


Ad Brite

Ad Brite is a popular site that allows any advertiser and any publisher to signup and bid for ads (similar to Google Adsense). The nice thing about this network is that you can specify your price, and if advertisers are willing to pay it, then you can get your price. The down side to this network is that if you cannot attract individual advertisers, then you will be running network ads which have a very low CPM, and a very low quality. You have very little control over what types of ads appear on your site, and if you become popular, you could end up spending lots of time approving and rejecting ads.

I would only recommend Ad Brite if you cannot get into any other network.


Advertising.com

This is one of the worst networks that I have used. The only way to do anything with your account is via email with your account manager. At first they were responsive, but after several months I would get no reply to repeated emails. There is no way to contact anyone through the website. The website only lets you pick up the adcode and look at crude stats.

Final Opinion: I do not recommend Advertising.com.


Maxonline.com

This is one of the worst networks that I have used. Their website is very bad and doesn't let you manage anything. Here's the real bad part: They charge you an "unsold ad fee" if they cannot fill all your ads! Crazy isn't it! I used them for about 2 months and gave them about 200,000 impressions. They were only able to fill about 50% of my space, so the unsold ad fee canceled out the ads that they sold and my revenue was zero. I think Maxonline is a scammer.

Final Opinion: I do not recommend Maxonline.com.


Proplus Media & Xuppa

Their website only shows statistics, you cannot manage any aspect of your account through the web. It is 100% through email and you have to submit an invoice to get paid. And they never paid me even after repeated emails and calls. They might have gone out of business or something.

Final Opinion: Stay away from Proplus Media


Other Resources
content.websitegear.com/article/ad_network_review.htm
www.askwebmaster.com/cid_9.html
www.internetadsales.com/modules/wfsection/index.php?category=4