I have been blogging since 2007 and tried different types of ad networks out there. I know what is good to keep in a long run and I’ve been struggling just like you for choosing the best paying network. However, it turns out that there is something else that’s more important than the pay rates – Reliability.
In a nutshell, reliability should be your main concern besides pay rates. There is always new networks rising every month. They usually claim that they have better pay rates, better fill rates, so on and so fold. After giving it a try it turns out that most of these new networks are nothing short of unreliable.
Reliable Ad Networks
1. Google Adsense
Without doubts, Google Adsense is not only the best paying ad network but also well known for the excellent ad quality. You must have high quality and original content in order to get approved to join the network.
Google works with millions of advertisers and they can deliver relevant and high quality ads which leads to a higher CTR.
If you are using blogger.com, chances are high that you can get a Hosted Google Adsense Account which will display ads to you blog. A hosted account can only display ads on your blog and cannot be use in any other domain.
2. Media Net
Media Net is the Yahoo-Bing ad network, as you can see the internet giants like Yahoo and Microsoft had to combine their resources in order to offer a viable ad network alternative to AdSense. Similar to Adsense, Media Net provide relevant ads and tools to track your performance in real time.
While having the number of advertisers that can compare to Google’s, it is quite difficult for international bloggers to get approved to join the network. Your website must have high quality traffic and content, and your traffic must mostly come from the US, Canada, or the UK.
If you have well written content, Chitika can considered one of the best ad networks for adsense alternative. It may take up to a week to get your account approved, once you have one of your websites approved, you can then use Chitika for any of your other websites.
The pay per click rates will depend on the keywords and niche, and the PPC rates may be lower than other ad networks. Chitika ads are not contextual at all. The ads depend on the keywords that the visitor typed in the search engine to get to your site instead of the keywords of your content.
The good things is, there’s a low pay out limit before you get your money. $50 by check and $10 by Paypal.
Getting a Kontera account seems quick and easy as long as you don’t have any adult content. The ads look impressive enough compare with clicksor and bidvertiser. The installation is easy and they do have a plugin for WordPress, Blogger, or Drupal.
You can get $50 bonus if your site gets at least 25 thousand page views in the first month with Kontera. Similar to Chitika, they are focused more on the user’s search terms instead of you blog content.
Infolinks PPC don’t have standard banner space. Instead, the ads appear minimized or in hyperlinks. The ads appear upon visitor hover their mouse pointer over a link.
Approval time is quick and easy, and what they concern is mainly on content and not on the amount of traffic you generate. The installation is easy by adding with java script to the body of your site. You can even use a plugin that does the work for you if you use WordPress, Blogger, or Drupal.
One of the more well-known PPC advertising networks, with PPC rates that’s among the highest in the industry, but they only take premium sites. Your website must at least half a million page views each month in order to join the network.
Other than traffic, the usual publisher content guidelines are also in play. Vibrant Media has are quite innovative ads , with 11 in-text ad formats available to use. The ads are so effective that the click through rates can be 5 times higher than the ads generated by AdSense.
Anyone can sign up easily with this ad network, but approval may take some time. They actually checks to see if you have at least 30 thousand impressions per month. They allow you to choose another ad network to work with alongside CPX.
There are lots of choices regarding the types and sizes of ads, and the comprehensive account management system, dashboard and reporting tools. The minimum payout is $100, either by check or through PayPal.
Exponential is one of the biggest ad network in the internet. It provides access to 300 million users worldwide monthly and serves up to 30 billion impressions monthly. The advertisers from this network are mostly big players in the affiliate industry with very high CPM’s.
This CPM based network is mostly used by big brands, your website must have significant traffic and quality content in order to get approved.
9. Exit Junction
Just like its name, this network aims for bounced traffic (when a visitor enters your site and leaving within few seconds). They didn’t stay long enough to visit your web pages, and therefore they didn’t even have a chance to click on any ads on the site.
When you have Exit Junction installed, and your visitors click on the back button after seeing the landing page, they were taken to a list of sponsored results based on the keywords they typed instead of go straight back to the search engine page results. The approval process to signup is very quick and easy.
Reliable but low quality ads
Glittering GIF, Scam-like and lottery winning are fall under the category of “Low quality ads”. Some networks claim that they have filters to filter out all these annoying ad but the filter just doesn’t work.
I would say you should stay away from them unless you are running some gaming sites and you are okay to annoy your user.
Bidvertiser has been there since 2004. I don’t really like it as they have really ugly ads and low CPC. However, Bidvertiser have its bright side as they don’t being aggressive about the quality of your website. If you were rejected to join Google Adsense because of insufficiant content or poor web design and navigation, go for Bidvertiser and most likely they will approve your account.
The most important things is they do pay publisher. It’s a pain to keep on trying a brand new ad network and ends up without any payment.
The reporting is not quite detailed as you don’t get a clear info regarding impressions or click through rates.
Clicksor ads is that not so impressive compare with other networks. The approval process is quick and easy, also very easy to install.
You can use numerous sizes to make your ads look different, and like there’s a plugin for WordPress, Blogger, or Drupal.
Unreliable ad networks
The process of evaluating an ad network could be time consuming, it takes from weeks to months to tell whether a network is stable, profitable and reliable. I know it’s a pain for keep changing your network provider and looping the evaluation process. Therefore, in some cases you shouldn’t waste anymore time on it.
Display pop-up, pop-under or interstitial ad
Some networks will opted in by default to display annoying pop-ups or pop-unders. When you submit a support request, they will claim that those are not pop-ups but interstitial ads. I don’t care what ad is it and I just want to turn it off.
Chances are high that the network couldn’t even make a cent when you switch off the pop-up or interstitial ad. In some cases, they claim that the pop-up and interstitial ad were already turned off but they will still appear after few weeks.
Infinite loading video ad
Back in 2014, I was shocked to see my earning dropped 100% after implemented a brand new CPM network. The pay is good compared with other infamous network. In the end, I found the average time spent by users on my website has dropped more than 200%. After some investigation, the root cause is the CPM networks displaying infinite loading video ad in one of our inventory, it consumes a lot of bandwidth and CPU usage by loading video into the ad inventory infinitely.
False impression, inaccurate report, earnings and clicks
Some network has its own algorithms and rules to determine whether an impression or click is valid. They will only fill up less than 30% of your tier 1 countries inventory with extremely low pay. The reports are usually slow and not up to date.
Reliability is still the king, I am still receiving tons of invitation from new ad networks every week. I wouldn’t go for it because the total amount of time I was experimenting with these new networks is a total lost in ROI. In case there were some potential networks that I really can’t refuse to give it a try, I would just spare a low demand inventory and give it a limited impression as a test.
To find out whether a network is worth to use, the earning is no longer my main concern. I will focus more on the ad quality, loading speed and the stability of the network.