Section 5.3. CPC Program Vendors

5.3. CPC Program Vendors

Google's AdSense program,, is, of course, the largest of the contextual CPC ad programs, with features aimed at both large and small web publishers.

See Part II for a lot more information about AdSense.

If you are large web publisher, you should also investigate Google's major competitor in contextual advertising: the Content Match service of Yahoo! Publisher Network (formerly Overture ) at

AdSense is a truly great program and works extremely well for many web content publishers. But perhaps you'd rather not work with Google's AdSense and are not big enough to work with Yahoo!'s Content Match.

Here are some possible reasons to work with an alternative program:

  • You'd like more control over the ads that appear on your site.

  • Your site features content that is not acceptable to Google, such as adult content.

  • You'd like to understand exactly what advertisers are paying for the ads and exactly how much commission is being deducted.

Some smaller CPC ad program vendors are shown in Table 5-1.

Table 5-1. CPC ad programs other than Google and Yahoo!





The publisher interface is a little rough around the edges and provides CPC ads that are not very contextually relevant; however, this innovative program allows web site publishers a great deal of control over the specifics of advertising that will appear on their site.


Unlike AdSense, all kinds of content is acceptable.


Up-and-comer founded by executives who used to run a contextual marketing concern that was bought by Google.


Requires a minimum of 150,000 page views a month for publisher participation.


Offers both CPC and CPM (see the box on "CPM Advertising" programs later in this chapter).

CPM Advertising

With CPM (cost per thousand impressions) advertising you get paid a fee, based on thousands of impressions, when an ad is displayed on your site. This is the kind of web advertising that is the most like traditional media advertising: an advertiser pays for displaying its ad in a magazine, on television, or on a web site, end of story.

CPM ads can either be text-only or provide graphics. The bulk of banner ads that you see on the Web have been placed on a CPM basis. In fact, one of the pitfalls of accepting CPM advertising is getting stuck with garish imagery, Flash-based animations, as well as assorted pop ups and pop unders, which can irritate and distract visitors to your web site.

CPM advertising cannot be expected to generate a very high click-through rate and does not pay very much per impression. Typical CPM ad rates are in the $4 to $6 range per impression, although significantly higher fees can be achieved in special situations (for example, when a CPM sponsor underwrites an entire site).

Obviously, with these economics, making money from CPM is a volume affair. For the most part, to even participate in CPM programs you need a minimum of 500,000 monthly page views. If you do have this kind of volume, you can find a great deal of information about CPM advertising from the trade association that works with the Internet CPM industry, the Internet Advertising Bureau ( Depending on your organization, it's reasonable to negotiate directly with CPM advertisers or to sign up with an agency such as MaxOnline (

While it remains true than you need high volume to make any real money from CPM ads, there are beginning to be some CPM options for lower-volume sites. You can join Fastclick 's CPM program ( with as few as 3,000 site impressions per month. AdBrite ( has no minimum volume requirements and lets you set your own asking price for text ads running on your site (this is not technically CPM advertising because you are not paid per impression, but it can amount to pretty much the same thing depending upon the pricing structure you set).

As you may know, Google's AdWords program now accepts site-targeted CPM advertising. This means that if your site is enrolled in Google's AdSense program, you can automatically receive some CPM revenue (provided you choose certain settings in the AdSense program). For more details, see Chapter 8.

Google Advertising Tools. Cashing in with AdSense, AdWords, and the Google APIs
Google Advertising Tools: Cashing in with Adsense, Adwords, and the Google APIs
ISBN: 0596101082
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2004
Pages: 145
Authors: Harold Davis

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