Why The Fuss Over CPC or CPM Ads?

Recently, Nuffnang and Advertlets started serving CPC ads to their publishers. Unlike CPM ads, CPC ads poses a new challenge to both companies — click fraud. Detecting click frauds is not a simple task. Building an effective system that recognizes and/or prevents click frauds is even harder. They are dealing with hundreds, if not thousands of possible click fraud cases. Therefore, “manual auditing” is definitely not an option.

Since the launch of CPC ads by Nuffnang, I noticed difficulty in differentiating between a CPM and CPC ad myself. There is simply no indication on the banner ad itself or even in the email notification sent by Nuffnang. This was also felt by a slightly frustrated chic.

Suet Li from Nuffnang explained:

The reason why we didn’t notify you prior to adding the ad is because the advertisers feel that if bloggers are told beforehand, then there will be a lot of faulty clicks. Some bloggers may themselves or through their friends click their own ads which will end up driving advertising costs unjustifiably.

After some discussion with another fellow blogger, I came to realize one thing. Does it really matter if I am served CPC or CPM ads? I might be disappointed after the week old campaign has ended only to find out that I have earned less than what I thought I would (ie. I received less clicks, thus less earning compared to CPM ads). Apart from that, what other reasons would I be frustrated for? Maybe if I knew that it was a CPC ad campaign, that I would have “done things differently”?

Both Nuffnang and Advertlets’ “fraud detection system” (if any) are merely few weeks old. pikey, who are publishers of Nuffnang and Advertlets has something to say (13/6/2007 08:15:29):

In terms of CPC, there’s better transparency in Nuffnang because it lists out the ad campaign you were involved, type of campaign, CPC and the rate for it. At the moment, Advertlets is still working on the Stat page and I’m still clueles. Am I running for CPC or Cost/unique campaign? and what are the CPC rates?

Sometimes, being first doesn’t mean better.


26 thoughts on “Why The Fuss Over CPC or CPM Ads?

  1. Freethinker says:

    Wonder I should do a complimentary piece on this….coz….nowadays…. female staffs of Nuffnang are responding !!

    Samantha… Suet Li ( since when she was from Nuffnanag ? )…

    Ah… maybe it’s inevitable to bring the topic on again.

  2. Mossie`Ol Chin says:

    10/3: u nie detective kah? or you spend like 24 a day online. so many links geh you found. geng!

    freethinker: yeah, i think NN using the female appeal now… hahaha! btw, what inevitable topic?

  3. mooiness says:

    Releasing CPC ads before sorting out their click-fraud detection systems would lead to a lot of headaches for both bloggers and advertisers. And this has necessitated the vagueness about whether ads served to a blog are CPC or CPM.

    That question does not matter to Adwords/Adsense because Google has a large pool of advertisers and they just rotate the ads as necessary and as profitable to bloggers (their ad auction algorithm). And bloggers don’t really care if it’s CPM or CPC.

    However, both Nuffnang/Advertlets are more like traditional ad booking agencies where ads are booked on specific blogs and the advertisers can specify CPC or CPM, and they run for a specific time. This adds a little bit of complexity to fraud detection.

    CPC is better for the blogger so I can see why they would feel the need to have this option – it can entice more bloggers to sign up with them. Good luck to the both of them in getting this right. ;)

  4. lilian says:

    freethinker – Come to Penang lor, meet Samantha. Hehehe.

    I got the CPC ad the week before that. I tell you, it is no fun ‘cos the payout is less. Then again, it is still good money, better than adsense.

  5. suet li says:

    Sob. you are so understanding, it’s so hard to find bloggers like you around *wet teary eyes

    Anyways freethinker, I just joined nuffnang as an intern woot!

  6. TenthOfMarch says:

    @Freethinker
    I only knew that Suet Li is working with Nuffnang yesterday. Hmmm…I’m getting tired of the dozens of copy and paste “review-for-cash” posts out there. Maybe you can write something to cheer me up? Haha.

    @Mossie`Ol Chin
    eh? You sent me one of the links mah. I just search PPS and technorati for the others. I don’t do this 24/7 lah. I’m not paid to do so.

    @mooiness
    Well, that’s the bad practice some companies do I guess. The mentality of just rushing a project out the door, without giving much attention to functionality, security, etc. In the end, they may “look good”, but will probably encounter more problems.

    Luring bloggers with CPC ads has its pros and cons. If they don’t even have some basic form of click fraud detection/prevention system, I see more cons. We’ll see.

    @lilian
    I got 2 ad campaigns last week, one each. Surprisingly, the CPC ad worked quite well for me. Not like I made a hundred bucks but it’s slightly more than the CPM and my adsense (my adsense earning is insignificant anyway).

    @suet li
    For a moment there, I thought you were scolding me S-O-B. Hahaha. Nah, there are more out there. They are just keeping quiet. They might even be against what I have suggested, I dunno.

  7. Freethinker says:

    Mossie.. yah fantastic 4..I’ll temporary reply your comment at my blog here ( some reason I can’t comment during office hour on blogspot ).. hope Kelwin dun’t mind la.. pinjam pinjam space har….hahha.

    Silent critics wouldn’t help both of them to grow because are we expecting that if either of them go down at the end and we’ll say “Ah ha ! I knew it… but I keep quiet…serve u right !” ….

    Of course, I know you are not one of them la…. but suggestion and criticism will help them grow, not blasting without any irrational argument. As for Josh team, SERIOUSLY doubt they will comment at my playground…if they do, I’ll ask them to redirect and answer my “audit” term… As for Nuffnang, they might since I haven’t flame them for no good reason. :-)

  8. TenthOfMarch says:

    @Mossie`Ol Chin
    Aiyah, this is not called kaypoh, it’s called…errr…it’s called…errr…hahaha.

    @Freethinker
    I don’t mind, but must pay tax lah. haha. just kidding. Anyway, I don’t think he will drop by your place or mine to reply to anything. ;-)

  9. Brent Williams says:

    I signed up to the click fraud network a few weeks ago to keep track of my ad campaigns and see if I’m being victimized of click fraud. I was surprised on much how reporting they offered for free. They state on their site that they were formed as a neutral 3rd party to help keep ad providers in check.

    Do you think they could provide some insight into Nuffnangs concerns with click fraud?

    Brent

  10. TenthOfMarch says:

    @Freethinker
    Ahh, yes. I almost forgotten about him, no them, no…”him” ;-) .

    @Brent Williams
    I’m not too sure if they need it. In my opinion, there is no harm trying — provided it is safe and isn’t malicious. If they are reading this and are interested, they may have a look.

  11. Friedbeef says:

    TOM: It matters for me, because of the quality of the ad. Good for you if it worked better, but for me I went from 160 a week to 1.50 a week when Nuffnang went CPC. Can’t comment on Advertlets CPC because I dropped them because their geotargeted CPM was too low.

    Not telling it’s CPC beforehand is plain bad faith. If you don’t have a click fraud detection system – DON’T GO CPC. Let me opt in.

    Having said that, both have a lot to learn, and I hope they hope they take these mistakes in stride and keep growing.

  12. TenthOfMarch says:

    @Friedbeef
    If I’m not mistaken, adsense calculates CPM and CPC ads in a way that “in the long run”, they cost the same. However, Nuffnang and Advertlets (I think) doesn’t work the same way. Therefore, the difference between CPC and CPM ads increases if your blog has higher number of visitors. Blogs like mine shouldn’t fuss much since either way, there is a chance to earn *some* money. Blogs like yours and hongkiat for example does have a huge difference, I agree.

    However, I’d look at it this way. They mentioned that they will only serve CPC ads if there is no CPM ads available. So, even though someone chooses not to have CPC ads, that doesn’t mean they will have CPM ads. Therefore, if there’s no CPM ads, at least we have CPC ads to earn some cash.

    In your case, would you have felt better if you were not served any ads for that particular week instead of being served a CPC ad that earned you RM1.50 only? Like I said, the more visitors a blog has, the bigger the difference will be. For me (because I have a small blog), I’d rather earn RM1.50 than nothing at all.

    I agree that both companies have a lot to improve on. Don’t forget, neither their CPC systems are even 1 month old yet (I think). How can we compare their CPC fraud detection with Google’s for example?

  13. Friedbeef says:

    If you feel you can earn as much with CPC then you should opt in. If I feel I cannot earn as much I would opt out. I was never given that option, and instead went through 7-10 days with a low yield ad.

    It’s opportunity cost. I sacrificed less screen clutter, adsense space, and page load times.

    Google always experimented on a small scale so publisher earnings would not be affected. It’s up to both of them to do the same, perhaps via ad rotation and build up a click fraud system instead of implementing network wide CPC without disclosure, and disrupting earnings completely.

  14. TenthOfMarch says:

    @Friedbeef
    Like I said, the “non-disclosure” of CPC or CPM ads has bigger effect on blogs with high traffic like yours, hongkiat, 5xmom, etc. I know what you mean. If I were you, I would have moved the Nuffnang CPC ad to a lower position and replace it with a higher paying ad campaign.

    When I wrote this post, I was referring to bloggers like me (low traffic) complaining about this matter. Having said that, it’s true that both companies have a lot to work on. Neither one is perfect. If we feel that other ad campaigns bring in more cash compared to them, we should move the other ads higher. Just a temporary solution until they reveal CPC or CPM.

  15. Friedbeef says:

    Not as simple TOM. Nuffnang & Advertlets both emphasize above the fold ads in the sidebar. If it’s a CPM, I’d get much more than other ad types, which is why I slotted it there.

    If I knew in advance it’s a CPC, I might have considered moving it down, or removing it completely because it’s only after the campaign I find out what it actually is. I have no problem if they want to go CPC. Up front disclosure is my point.

  16. TenthOfMarch says:

    My server was down the other day. My previous replies were lost. So, I’m replying to the comments again.

    @Friedbeef
    I understand your situation. Currently, it’s more like a gamble whether to put their ads higher or lower in the sidebar. I guess it’ll always be a gamble for bloggers with high traffic until they decide to reveal it. Well, just hope for the best. I don’t know their plans. Let’s wait and see.

    @Freethinker
    No lah, never too late to join in the discussion.

  17. Pingback: Nuffnang Abolish Minimum Traffic Requirements | TenthOfMarch.com

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