Saturday, February 05, 2005

BlogAds Response

Here is Henry Copeland's response to the concern that I brought up:
There have been questions about several sports adstrips running in parallel on larger nonsports blogs.

On the one hand, I don't want to stifle experimentation and innovation. Lots of the blogosphere's most interesting features come from stretched envelopes and burst expectations.

On the other, I'd like the order pages to provide transparent, apples-to-apples information that is useful to advertisers and Blogads staff as we prepare proposals. So I've drafted these guidelines for the information that appears, going forward, in order pages:

-- any adstrip running on more than one blog should identify the blogs contributing to our traffic tally.

-- labels like "Premium" should be used sparingly, either denoting exclusivity or ads priced at some multiple to "standard" ads on the same blog.

-- if an adstrip is one of several posted in a blog's HTML, the quantity of adstrips should be noted; something like, "the first of three adstrips," or "third of five adstrips" or "middle left of six adstrips" or "one of many." (From Blogads perspective, two or three adstrips per page are easiest to understand and sell.)

-- every adstrip should appear adjacent to content or functionality.

-- adstrip names suggesting topicality should deliver audiences focused on those topics. If a blog's focus changes, rename the adstrip.

-- adstrips listed in our topic-specific pages should deliver audiences focused on the respective topics.

-- one adstrip should not be posted multiple times on the same page.

Any suggestions or critiques to these guidelines will be welcome, either in comments or by e-mail. It may be that we want to settle on the rubric of "describe your blog accurately and put ads beside content" and only split hairs when people ask for details.

This is now what you can see on the BlogAds order page:
Dallas Cowboys Football
News and analysis of America's Team, the NFL's Dallas Cowboys. As a bonus, ads will also run on the archive pages at Outside the Beltway and PoliBlog, where they will be seen by upwards of 20,000 consumers, mostly male and affluent.

The Braves blog and the Final Four blog have no changes.

And all three of these blogs are still in the top four for traffic rankings in the sports blog category.

The Cowboys blog has two ads, the Braves blog has one ad, and the final four blog has 2 ads, and none of the ads are priced at the minimum. To buy an ad on these blogs for a month these are the prices:

Braves Blog: $125
Final Four Blog: $75
Cowboys Blog: $50

The funny thing about those prices is that the Cowboys blog seems to be getting by far the most traffic of the three.

According to SiteMeter here is the average per day traffic for the three blogs:

Braves: 27
Final Four: 27
Cowboys: 47

Except, whoops, the Braves SiteMeter script is also installed on the Final Four blog. So they're also scamming SiteMeter by combining the traffic for both sites.

That's an incredibly low amount of traffic, and yet these guys are making more money from ads on their sites than I make from RedReporter, a site that gets many, many times more traffic per day. Not to mention that I'd have to guess that the majority of the above three blogs traffic comes from search engines, meaning those sites are attracting visitors who could care less about the sites, and who are much less likely to click on an ad.

This isn't a partisan thing, and it shouldn't be swept under the rug. Anyone who makes money through BlogAds (especially sports sites in this instance) should be disturbed by the system being gamed in this manner.