Entering our 10th year at JuicyAds, it seems second nature to me why people sell their traffic and how it works, but sometimes I forget that to some it’s simply not as clear.
A recent XBIZ.net thread asked some very good questions about traffic and advertising networks. In this part one of a two part multi-month article, I will answer many common questions about traffic buying and provide some insight to how things work at The Sexy Advertising Network.
It’s possible for great traffic to be worthless in the wrong hands and for bad traffic to be valuable in the right hands.
How does an advertising network work?
It’s possible to get so lost in the dozens of features and tools offered by an advertising network that it becomes daunting to even begin. At the Sexy Advertising Network, we try to make starting a campaign as easy as possible, but even then, sometimes people do not understand the basics of how it all works. Networks exist to ease the work of publishers, to monetize their traffic more effectively. Some networks were built to monetize remnant inventory, but networks like JuicyAds were built to monetize all traffic from a website, not just the leftover harder-to-monetize countries or “remnant traffic.”
Simply put, there are advertisers and publishers. Publishers want to sell their advertising space or raw traffic, and advertisers want to buy the advertising/traffic and there are many pricing models and ways to buy and sell it. Most commonly traffic is sold per click (called PPC or pay per click; CPC or cost per click), per thousand impressions (called CPM or cost per milli), flat rate by a certain time frame for a certain price, and many other payment methods. Publishers earn this revenue (after commissions to the network) and the publisher has the easiest role to play, they basically place some advertising code and the money shows up automatically.
What’s the difference between a broker and an advertising network?
Think of a billboard. In the case of a traffic broker, the publisher is the owner of the billboard location (and all the infrastructure like the lights and stand, it’s positioned on) and the broker just wants to sell the space to an advertiser. With an advertising network, the network actually provides the infrastructure while still connecting the advertiser and the publisher. The publisher still owns the spot, the advertiser still buys it, but in the billboard example, the network would do things like provide advanced lighting, the stand, maybe run the advertiser’s offer on one of those LED billboards or the kind that rotates three different advertisers to maximize the income to the publisher.
Both sell advertising space and work the relationship between publisher and advertiser. However (generally speaking) advertising networks are actually technology companies with a large variety of targeting and more power than a standard traffic broker. It’s possible with a network to purchase a very select amount of traffic, or a very wide amount of traffic, without much hassle. Whereas a broker can be more time consuming and expensive.
When it comes to targeting for example, you can purchase banner traffic through our platform that is from a country (like Germany), from a specific website, who are using a device (like a mobile phone), and even the specific phone operating system (like Android). There are always new targeting and optimization methods being added.
Buying or selling with a network can be as easy (or complicated) as you make it. Many targeting features offered are not used by most advertisers, they are provided mostly for people who know exactly what they want and what works best for them. Many advertisers find success without having to target so religiously. At JuicyAds we also run advanced antifraud systems that protect both the buyers and sellers, technology that has taken years to build. These are only some of the benefits from the power of a network like ours.
Why do people sell their traffic, if it’s good traffic?
This is the big question. This is a common question from people who have either never purchased traffic or have had a bad experience. Some people believe that only bad traffic gets sold (or monetized) through a network, but the truth is that the value of traffic come from the person buying it — not the person selling it.
It’s possible for great traffic to be worthless in the wrong hands and for bad traffic to be valuable in the right hands. One person may be able to monetize traffic from a certain country while others cannot monetize it well (or at all) and obviously this creates different results per person or even per campaign.
The successful traffic buyers don’t sit on the forums and tell you how to do it, because they don’t want you to compete with them. That would be like Colonel Sanders telling you which herbs and spices to put in your chicken. So that often leaves a large collection of people who think it’s no good, because often it’s the people who didn’t have success that are the loudest. The Internet is for complaining, right?
In fact, the question itself is flawed, because it actually does not matter if you are promoting your own offers with your own traffic or if you are selling it through an advertising network. In both cases, you’re selling your traffic. The difference?
Monetizing your website yourself means you are sending your traffic to an affiliate program (or your own product) and being paid for those sales. That’s selling your traffic either way even though it does not seem like it. Likewise, having a buyer purchase your traffic to convert it on their own is the exact same thing, but it’s so much easier for the publisher.
The water gets muddy in the case of publishers who either intentionally (or unintentionally) sell traffic that is either computer generated or created in a way where there is no value to buying it. These are the scammers that give traffic and advertising a bad name who use all kinds of methods to create traffic that has no hope of making you any money. No website is free of bot traffic (and no network is free of it, either), but the quality varies greatly.
Bad traffic (and people who are trying to sell it because it’s worthless) are out there and they exist. Advertising networks (the reputable ones) actively work to block unacceptable traffic from being sold.
But you didn’t really answer the question. If it’s really good, why sell it?
The short question is, because it’s easier (and quicker) to make money by selling advertising and traffic to someone else. The largest porn websites in the world sell their traffic, and it’s not because it’s worthless. Traffic’s true value only comes from those who are monetizing it. Without revenue being generated from it, there is no value at all.
I will explain further in the January issue of XBIZ World. Keep it juicy my friends.