If you’ve visited 404 Tech Support recently, you’ll have noticed a few additional ads. One was on the right column and another was on the home page following the most recent article. These ads were provided by Technorati Media. Today, after testing the ads for the past week , I have removed all Technorati Media ads and will not be going back to the service.
I’m very particular about the ads I show on my site. I don’t want to overwhelm my content and create a spam-driven mess. On the other hand, I try to provide the best service that I can. Through the years, I’ve continually upgrade my server hosting from very cheap and easy to overwhelm to standard price but sub-par performance to more expensive but more reliable. These upgrades have cost an increasing amount of money for each step up in capability although I’m fairly certain I’ve finally found a host I can recommend in WiredTree. Regardless of my satisfaction with the server hosting, I can’t afford it without the ads to subsidize the costs.
Since I write about tech-related topics, my audience (That’s you!) is rather tech savvy. Unfortunately there’s a trend that a tech-savvy person is more likely to be using NoScript, Ad-Block Plus, or some other ad blocking system (even editing the HOSTS file). This means the number of ad impressions is a significantly smaller percentage than the page views (and bandwidth, respectively) that I have to pay for.
Of course, there are also some alternatives. I have Flattr buttons on my site that could be used a lot more than they currently are if you are a part of that service and appreciate an article. Some articles might contain what took me two painful weeks on the phone with Adobe’s Tech Support to get figured out all boiled down to a few tried and true steps that take you minutes to complete. I’m not saying that I deserve compensation. If I wasn’t doing it, somebody else would, right? I’d just like to draw your attention that I am part of the Flattr service and if it could pay as much as the ads on my site do, I would gladly take the ads down.
Do you have an ad network that has just rocked for your site? I’m definitely open to suggestion of recommended networks. With the economy how it is and the ad industry in its own slump, I’ve applied for and been turned down at a number of ad networks. I’ve also tried out a number of ad networks that have lower quality ads and worse pay rates that Google AdSense. My biggest complaint with AdSense is the number of duplicate ads I get on a single page even in different sizes. I applied for Chitika, which I’ve heard good things about, right as the Yahoo! Publisher Network closed up shop and recommended all of their existing accounts go to Chitika. With that move, my application has been waylaid, though they’ve kept me updated that it isn’t lost in the ether.
Currently, I average about 40,000+ impressions a month. What are your experiences with different ad networks? What do you recommend? What traits of an ad network are really important to you? Do you have feedback for 404 Tech Support’s ads?
Thanks for any feedback.