There is no future in low-end web advertising

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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.

via Why Gawker is moving beyond the blog.

There Are 2 Comments On This Article.

  1. Absolutely. I’ve been thinking about this a lot. I’m now running a comic book website that’s been showing a fair amount of traffic and I’m refusing to run low bid ad services – it makes a LOT more sense to partner with someone who serves my needs as well as theirs (in this case, a direct retailer who we can create dynamic links for based on tagged database content – links that are actually USEFUL to the readers.)

  2. Couldn’t agree more. The only people making money from those crap ad networks (including google adsense) are the ad networks. We booted them off our site a while back too.

    Most publishers, especially smaller independent ones, should understand that the ad networks’ interest is exactly opposite to yours. Why?

    Because the ad networks get all their inventory for free. To them it doesn’t matter one bit if they sell at $10, $1, $0.10 or even $0.01 CPM, as long as they get the ad buy and their commission. The lower CPM just means they have to spread the ads to more sites, which means the cost is constantly being pushed down by ad networks out-bidding each other to offer the cheapest inventory.

    Not a good proposition for any content creator, since our work gets sold cheaper and cheaper.