Media buyers may know many of their measures of performance are misleading; the savvier ones know clickthroughs are an indicator of the blindness, senility or idiocy of readers rather than the effectiveness of the ads. But — on the agencies’ spreadsheets — garbage inventory from garbage sites aggregated on garbage networks often shows a lower cost per click. Many web advertisers, even those that buy banners, treat it as a direct marketing medium.
For premium media properties such as ours, this is a contest that should be avoided at all costs. It’s a race to the bottom — for the lowest quality ads and the least valuable visitors.