For those of us not familiar with Adngin, please tell us a little more about your company and offering.
AdNgin increases Google AdSense CTR through continuous testing and optimization. The company was founded in 2015 in Tel Aviv by ex Matomy founders and its headquarters is now in NYC. For the past year, we have experienced exponential growth and now provide our platform and optimization services to over 1,000 Google AdSense and AdX publishers worldwide.
Adsense is usually the first place publishers go when trying to monetize their inventory, especially since they have 100% fill rates and don’t have impression minimums to join their network. However, in the past few years supply has been so high that Google has started to be more selective with who they accept into the Adsense program. What do you think the acceptance rate is now, and what recommendations would you have to publishers that want to join their network?
To be perfectly honest, I haven’t heard that Google is making it more difficult to join the AdSense program. However, new websites do receive a fair amount of scrutiny till they prove themselves as being non-spammy websites. For new publishers that want to monetize via AdSense, I’d simply say that they should stay within Google’s terms & conditions and they’ll be fine. There’s still a great deal of optimization that can be done without breaking the rules.
Seasonality comes into play when working with an ad network, especially if their active advertiser roster varies a lot. What tips would you give to publishers that have to deal with large variances in their payouts from ad networks?
I think it’s very niche dependent. Certain niches, like travel, for instance, do suffer from great seasonality. However, I wouldn’t try to break away from having a well defined niche as this can have a negative effect on CPCs as well as on your direct advertisers. What we recommend publishers do is diversify by having more than one domains from various niches. Another solution is to write seasonal content that will increase page views during the down time and increase revenue that way.
Some have complained that they’ve been kicked off of Adsense, for no rhyme or reason, after they hit a certain payout from Google. Do you have any insights into the reasons why some publishers are suddenly removed from the network?
We actually wrote a blog post about common AdSense issues and their solutions and you’re right, this seems to be a recurring theme. Google could do a better job at explaining their rationale. That being said, the sheer volume of AdSense users joining and being dropped from the network would make that very difficult to do. So, instead, publishers receive a laconic message without much explanation. In my opinion, looking into AdSense terms & conditions in depth will usually help a publisher better understand why they are no longer a part of the AdSense network.
For a publisher, what is the deal text of # of ads on a page ratio? Are there certain ad formats or units that perform or monetize the best?
Number of ads per page is really dependent on two things. First, the length of text on the page. And second, the screen size. For most publishers, AdSense only allows 3 ad units per page. At AdNgin, we recommend using only two ad units for mobile devices. For desktop setups, this really varies depending on the length of text and requires additional testing. In fact, for one of our publishers, we created an experiment that tests just that. We created two mobile ad layouts. The first had 2 ad units and the second had 3 ad units. The version with only AdSense ad units received an increase of 28% in CTR, which led to a page RPM increase of 44%. You’re welcome to check out the case study we wrote on it which also includes a desktop experiment as well.
When do you think it is appropriate for a publisher to start considering direct ad sales – is there a certain unique visitor volume or impression count where it makes sense to sell ads direct to an advertiser?
You need to have a well defined niche, a loyal audience, and good engagement metrics. It’s not just about page views. I know very small blogs that live off of direct advertisers because they have managed to create a loyal following that is attractive to advertisers.
What are your thoughts on the RPMs from ad exchanges like AppNexus or PubMatic?
If you’re a tier 1 publisher AppNexus and PubMatic offer great demand partners so it really depends how big you are and what kind of website you have. There can also be huge fluctuations when it comes to exchanges. You need to audit your website before you join an exchange and better understand how to offer up your inventory to programmatic demand.
What impression thresholds do you have at AdNgin for the types of publishers you’d like to work with? Are there certain verticals or categories that you specialize in?
AdNgin’s optimization platform is being offered free of charge to all websites that display under 10,000 daily page views. Websites that have over 10,000 daily page views join our paid program and receive a dedicated customer success that performs all of the experiments for them. We have a wide variety of websites that use our platform but since what we do is improve Google AdSense CTR then the websites that find our services most attractive are viral content or entertainment news websites.
Lastly, what is your take on the future of publisher monetization?
The future of publisher monetization is all about finding a balance between user experience and monetization. This is what content consumers are trying to tell publishers by the rising use of ad blockers. At AdNgin we optimize to find the “sweet spot” where monetization and user experience intersect. We do this by optimizing for RPMS (revenue per 1,000 sessions), which is RPM x pages per session.
AdNgin transforms the way publishers monetize their website traffic. AdNgin utilizes its proprietary algorithm to automatically bandit test many monetization channels for optimal revenue and visitor experience.
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