Re: February 12, 2009: "Hit Me One More Time"
This is a great post that is rare to see on line these days. I 100% agree with you that the reporting of "traffic" is accurate and often bordering on fraudulent. It's also alarming how people involved with web sites do not understand either the metrics or how to interpret them.
Like James, I have involvement in two web based companies that are both venture backed. On one of our businesses we rely on advertising revenue and the stupidity I deal with each week beggars belief.
The first and most important metric for an advertiser should be the quality of the audience. By quality I mean the fit with the advertiser target. A site with 1,000,000 monthly uniques that are irrelevant should be worth less to an advertiser than a smaller site that has a 100% match.
The second data point should be the monthly uniques combined with page views as this scales the advertising opportunity.
I too have faced rejection because we are not big enough. I then see the campaign running on sites that have zero linkage with the client target.
How does this happen?
The advertiser outsources the media buy to an agency. At the agency the media buyer is often poorly paid and very inexperienced and asking all the wrong questions of the publisher. They need to get the placement done quickly and cheaply and a big site gets it done.
Click throughs on banner ads are horrendous for the advertiser. Less than one tenth of one percent of impressions result in a click through. A click through is the measure of the amount of times somebody clicks on the ad. there's a reason for this. Ads are poorly targeted.
The worse news is that since last October ad rates have declined. We've seen a significant reduction in both the amount of advertisers and the rate they are prepared to pay
OK - I feel passionately about this. So I'll go on.
There's a problem here.
Each month we as a group consume the marvelous content from James and feel that it's totally OK to pay nothing. It's the way of the web after all. However, it's going to have to change.
Newspapers are failing, movie critics in droves are losing their jobs as the internet consumes them. Yet there is no money on line. We don't need to be geniuses to know that this is not sustainable.
I worry for the future of film criticism and fear a future where it's all five line summaries with no real thought submitted by people with no real experience. It all gets dumbed down.
I guess we get what we deserve.
Ok, rant over
PS - There is a way that we can all help the finances of Reel Views without any one of us paying a single cent
. It generates thousands of dollars each month for my business!