With so many ad networks how does one choose the right one? With companies like Doubleclick, Gorilla Nation, Burst Media, Blue Lithium, 24x7 real media, adBrite, Tribal Fusion and even Google, there are so many to choose from.
The biggest thing to look for is their requirements. Nothing says “shady” like an adnetwork that will allow anyone to be part of it. These ad networks will commonly show the annoying and flashy smiley faced ads that we all love so much. They also pay out very low CPM’s because of this. Sometimes you may only make 5 cents per thousand impressions. No wonder the sites that use this are usually loaded with ads and crappy looking because of it.
Most of the reputable ones have traffic requirements and even privacy statement requirements that are reviewed by an actual person. This is usually a good sign, anytime I have signed up for a service and been automatically enrolled and ready to place my ads I have been disappointed. However, I have signed up for a couple that were almost painful to become a partner on and they have been the best ones.
One thing to find out before signing up is what the ad network gives you control over. Do they have an area where you can update your information, set up your default campaigns and reject ad’s that don’t fit your site? Most of them I have found do all of this but I have run into a couple that required me to go through my ad rep to make any changes and this is a hassle.
Below is a summary of some of the better networks I have come across.
Burst Media – good control over your ads and campaigns. Decent CPM’s but lower inventory fulfillment. (you may only have 15% of your ads filled by them)
Tribal Fusion – Great interface for the partner area, offers good control of your information and helps you put your site in front of potential ad buyers. Decent CPM rates.
Doubleclick and Gorilla Nation – Higher impression requirements limit smaller sites, but good selection of types of ads.
Google – Adsense is a great 3rd tier backup for other ad networks. I wouldn’t recommend putting them as your primary ad network but they do have decent payouts and a good interface to control your ads.
The best thing you can do is experiment. Try them out for a couple of weeks and if they don’t work out discontinue them. Most of them do not bind you to a contract that wouldn’t allow you to do this.