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Posted 14 December 2005 - 09:56 AM
We've kicked this idea around for a while and with the help of this board, we've decided that we will go ahead and place (at least test) ad banners on some very popular forums that should generate targeted traffic.
We decided to do this for the value of the ads; not as a method to build incoming links. But of course, there will be several new incoming links and we should make the most out of this effort.
To sort of complicate things, we use 1AutomationWiz for all of it's features. We can create an ad tracker for each site. We then place that ad track in a meta redirect and have the site point the banner to that page. Although the sites claim they will provide stats, we would like to have some sort of confirming (in house) method of tracking the clicks. We would create a new page for each site. Therefore when the site points the banner to the page assigned, the visitor goes on to where we want them to land and we will have record of clicks etc. The page would be something like oursite.com/adpages/site1.html, site2.html and so on.
1- If we add banners on 6-10 sites immediately (with direct links to our site; no redirect), is there any harm from new links being added that fast?
2- If we do it through the meta redirect, do the SEs crawl the link and does it do us any good? Harm?
Also consider that these may be seasonal ad placements (not sure yet). Therefore, if there is good to come from the direct link, it may not be there in 6 months, and then back there in another 6.
Comments are welcome! Thanks for your input!
Posted 14 December 2005 - 12:00 PM
Secondly, be aware that banner ads traditionally perform very poorly on forum pages. Yes, I run internal banner ads (and a few externals) on my own forums, but I've found that internal ads get more attention than external ads. The commercial banner networks traditionally don't like to place ads on forums.
As far as meta redirects go, depending on whether you include a robots tag, the search engines have often crawled them to find target sites.
But the mere fact you are asking about what the search engines will do indicates you don't have your priorities clearly sorted out. Banner advertising should not be viewed in context with search engine activity, ever, at all, for no reason whatsoever.
When you talk about banner ads and what the search engines will do with your unrequired redirection pages, you're indicating you are trying to build links.
If that really isn't your intention, then dispense with the page redirection, just use the stats you'll get from the click throughs, and don't worry about search engines.
Posted 14 December 2005 - 12:17 PM
Thank you for your input.
We're good at that sometimes!
With respect to SE activity, I think we started out saying that this was not being done for link building popularity. We are only concerned that it doesn't effect the site in a negative way. So that's not a problem. Regarding other issues you mentioned, we already do a lot of work on pages with key word content, articles and other things (that we picked up around here).
I also understand your comment about the server logs. The only difference is that the Ad Tracker maintains calculations for conversions and sales. So that may be helpful. (By the way.. this entire ad concept is new to us. We're not trying to reinvent the wheel, just trying to be sure we set it up in a way that we get the results and info we want).
One more thing....
Can you explain the difference between EXTERNAL and INTERNAL. Not following you on that one.
Thank you very much for your input. At least you've confirmed that we're not doing anything that will hurt us.
Posted 14 December 2005 - 12:31 PM
So, he might run a product ad on his info pages for example.
Posted 14 December 2005 - 03:10 PM
My core network is non-commercial in nature. There are a couple of sections that are monetized, but they are not the "draw". Our mostly science fiction and fantasy content are the draw. We have link directories, FAQs, essays, fan fiction, original fiction, news headlines, and some other stuff I cannot think of off the top of my head. We also have some sites that promote commercial enterprises we don't control. For example, a movie studio contacted me and asked me to help promote one of their movies. I said, "Give me tons of content and I'll do it." So, they did. I was able to use pictures, interviews, background material -- just tons of stuff.
Okay, in a nutshell, I have about 100 Web sites (give or take -- some have been lost through the years) devoted to news, entertainment, and some personal or business profiles. Most of this content has no commercial value (no one paid me to create it).
I run two internal banner networks on these content pages. The banner networks run ads for whatever I want to promote. MOST of the ads simply tell people about other sites in our network. So, our forum visitors will see ads about our news sites, or about our poster store (that's a commercial section) or about our essays.
I also contribute content to other Web networks, and I'll do some promotion for that content in my banner networks.
If my ads link to one of my sites on any of my domains, they are "internal". If they link to any of my content on other people's sites, they are "external".
But external ads may also link to wholly unrelated services. For example, one of the vendors whom I signed up as an affiliate for may run a special promotion that I like, so I'll run ads for it. And we're still running ads for reputable Hurricane Relief programs in my secondary network (in fact, for the entire month of September, I ran nothing BUT Hurricane Relief ads, and that pretty much slaughtered my affiliate sales for this year -- but I would do it all over again).
Anyway, my point is that I have a LOT of content to promote, and I use the banner ads to keep visitors informed about that content. When people see that the ads are just promoting other sections of my network, they are 4-5 times more likely to click on the ads than when they see external ads.
Some exceptions include the external ads to my own content, of course. Many people who visit my sites on a regular or irregular basis know that I put content on other domains, so they'll click on external ads promoting my own contributions.
Now, when you put these ads on forums (and I do), you get less participation. Participation drops across the board on forums because people are pretty much just there to exchange messages, not to learn more about specific products. Where you get a lot of activity in forums is from the promotional links people place in their signatures and messages.
And that is why so many forums forbid people to drop links into their messages, and that is why so many forums forbid people to include links in their signatures. Forums are great promotional platforms up to a point, but if the forum operators allow people to abuse privileges of access, the visitors tend to drop off.
I've watched several once-popular Yahoo! discussion groups with hundreds of subscribers just wither away to nothing once spammers got into the members lists.
That's more than you asked for, but you have to understand that people are not very impressed with banner ads any more. We've all been inundated with them and I primarily use banner ads for branding and cross-promotion of my own content.
In a pinch, I'll run an external ad that I feel may be useful or unique. Usually, I'll advise outside advertisers on what to give me in the way of promotional images. Or, if they have a broad selection of canned images, I'll try to pick some that fit the style of my network.
But I don't get much movement out of the banner ads for external content.
I have, through the years, monitored banner network performance through a number of advertising discussion groups, and the banner ads are just not viewed as being effective in producing direct (click-through) traffic. They are largely seen as branding tools now.
And just about everyone has complained that forums don't produce good click-throughs for banner ads.
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