The InfoLinks Experiment at WWW Ramblings has been running for about a month and a half now. It’s time to have a look at the unscientific results that I’ve gathered. [NOTE: For some reason I didn't publish this post right away -- not sure what happened there folks]
During the period from November 2 to December 22 the stats are not very conclusive. The fact that we don’t get thousands of hits a day (or even a month 8=( makes it hard to say whether these numbers are typical.
The CTR is about 1.26% or 1.58%, depending on how you calculate it. Averaging the daily CTR over the 51 day period gives you the first number. This is also what the InfoLinks report uses. Calculating the CTR on the total provides the 2nd value. It isn’t a great number, but compared to the CTR for this site in AdSense it’s impressive.
The eCPM is about $0.66 or $0.99, again depending on the calculation method (the first number is that average of the daily calculations). This isn’t what I would hope for, but I can see it adding up if you had 100,000 visitors a day rather than just dozens.
The Gut Response
I’m still of mixed feelings about this.
On the one hand, the CTR is greater for InfoLinks than it is for AdSense. I suspect that is due to the links being placed in the content rather than in the sidebars. I’ll have to experiment with using AdSense text ads within posts to see if that makes a difference.
The Earnings on each individual click is pretty disappointing though. Although InfoLinks is providing the industry’s highest revenue share, the payout is small (which means the ads must be pretty cheap). Even a poor payout on an AdSense click beats a great payout from InfoLinks. Whether that is just an anomaly or typical is something that I can’t say.
It does lead me to think that if someone was looking to do a PPC campaign then InfoLinks might be a less expensive way to start.
The final consideration for me was the affect that the in text ads with popups would have on readership. So far I haven’t seen a dramatic change in traffic or received any complaints. I still don’t really like the concept, but it does seem to grab some attention and generate more ad clicks than other forms of ads I’ve tried.
I still have some concerns about the relevance of the ads from time to time. There seems to be a lot of poorly targeted links when I view the pages.
So, what does all this boil down to? The bottom line is that I can’t really say right now. I’ll need to continue running the experiment for a month or two longer and possibly expand it to one or two other sites to get a better feel for it.
If you’re looking for a recommendation from me at this point, then I’d honestly have to say “Give it a go — see how it works for you.” The only potential downside is that readers will be turned off by the ads and not come back. But if you’re in the blog as a business do you really need readers that are offended by ads?
Tags: advertising, blog monetization, infolinks