Rising Stars Ad Units Outperform Standard Banners


The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has been working to define new ad formats and sizes, called Rising Star Ad Units, that utilize a wider variety of available technology. And now we have proof its efforts are showing success. Known as IAB Rising Stars, these ad units combine a larger size with more dynamic and engaging rich media and video and work across desktop and mobile platforms. According to data released last month by PointRoll, click through rates for rising stars were 70% … [Read more...]

Native Ads Go with the Content Flow


Native advertising has migrated over the last couple of years from web pages to placement inside social media and other news properties.  Part of this is due to the increased use of mobile devices as portals, and the growing reliance people have on content streams.  But native ads won’t stop there. According to a new eMarketer report, “Native Advertising: Difficult to Define, but Definitely Growing,” marketers are excited about the format, and are not only funding but increasingly helping to … [Read more...]

Google Looks to Halt Botnets


Fraudulent clicks from bots is one of the biggest challenges PPC advertisers face. These empty actions don’t result in business, but generate costs. Now Google is moving to do something about it. Recently, they purchased Spider.io, a UK company that specializes in detecting click-fraud. The estimate is that advertisers waste over $7M a month on bot clicks, many driven by malware infested PCs. The controllers of these bots sell their “traffic generation” networks to sites looking for clicks – … [Read more...]

Does Clutter Aid Conversions?


Artists have documented the power of color and design for driving conversion with web sites.  But now research seems to indicate that a certain amount of mess may increase click through as well. Researchers from the University of British Columbia and the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business in Beijing have determined that people placed in a messy environment were more willing to pay higher prices, had less resistance to tackling a tough task and took longer to complete a complex … [Read more...]

Hackers Find a New Path into Your Site: The Ad Network


Turns out, there are well understood yet rarely discussed security holes in many of the ad networks we implement on our sites.  This issue jumped into better view late last month when Yahoo was discovered to have displayed an ad with malicious content on its European sites.  This is part of a growing trend that has snarled blogs, newspapers and streaming video sites. Many are aware of the old “Your anti-virus software is out-of-date” warning that causes far too many people to click and … [Read more...]

Lights, Camera, Action! Facebook Goes with Video Ads

Director board

Facebook is going into motion with its advertising, announcing this week that it is testing new video advertising.  Unlike the myriad of video currently posted by users on the site, these ads will display both video and sound as soon as they appear on the screen. The challenge for Facebook is how to engage, not repulse users.  Facebook wants to increase the value of its ads to buyers, but needs users to continue to login and visit the site frequently.  So far, the company has announced that … [Read more...]


New Ad Fraud Detection Group Forms

Solve Media reported recently that up to 29% of display advertising traffic on the web worldwide come from botnets, which could translate into $10B a year in fraud. No wonder bots are becoming a leading focus of Affiliates and Affiliate Networks. So are you doing everything you can to avoid bots? While sometimes entire website networks are created just to report fake traffic to advertisers, sometimes good sites stumble with bot traffic by accident. In fact, comScore estimates that well-known … [Read more...]


Research shows that the greater determination of a viewer’s decision to convert, either to purchase or to request information, is the amount of hover time over an ad RATHER than a click.  Viewers who spend more time over the advertisement are significantly more likely to become customers than those who click indiscriminately.   The research by comScore and Pretarget indicates that the traditional way of buying mass impressions and hoping for conversions (aka “spray and pray”) is not … [Read more...]


Using the premise that a reader action can’t occur unless reader and ad meet, this week I’ve been looking at ways to evaluate your site and its revenue performance.  We looked at ad location and site performance so far, and now we turn to network performance.  You’re only as fast as the company you keep. The reason for this series is the comScore study that says more than 50% of all ads are never seen by readers. As affiliates, we spend a lot of time reviewing offers and content to ensure … [Read more...]


We all have a need for speed – speedy loads of our site and its associated ad servers.  In a world where people grow bored and move on in an average of 3.4 seconds, we do not want to do anything to encourage site defection.  So how fast is your site? According to comScore, over half of all display ads on websites are never displayed, resulting in significantly reduced earnings for the publishers.  Last time I challenged you to take a close look at the design of your site, especially what is … [Read more...]