Now that online advertising is springing back to life, it’s time to re-evaluate and optimize your use of ad networks. An ad network is a broker that sells online ads for display on their network of publishers. Since many ad networks do not require a publisher to sign an exclusive contract, the best way to maximize your revenue is to belong to several.
They are all excellent; each worthy of a personal recommendation.
Since both web traffic and ad supply ebb and flo, sometimes an ad network does NOT have an ad to serve when called. When this happens, all the best networks have a way for you to specify a default or post-market ad. Both terms mean that instead of serving PSAs (public service announcements) they will grab an ad of your choosing . And since the rise of rich media ads, this means that they can grab an ad from a secondary network of your choosing. I call this “ad network daisy-chaining.”
For banner ads (both 728×90 and 468×60) I call TribalFusion, then FastClick, then BurstMedia, and then an in-house ad. For skyscrapers, I call Google AdSense, and then an in-house ad.
Today I started experimenting with the order of my banner daisy-chain: switching the order of TribalFusion and FastClick. In a few days I will know whether this results in more revenue or not.
With a close eye on your stats, you can decide which network performs best in which spots on your site. But when daisy-chaining as many networks together as I do, keep in mind that there is noticeable delay to get to the second, third and fourth network. Sometimes it is this delay alone that can result in lower click-through rates and therefore less revenue from the ad networks that are further down the daisy chain.