Tribal Fusion did NOT deliver good results for me. That doesn't mean that it wouldn't work for you. I know, for example, that many sites have good results from Chitika but that performed poorly for me also. Different strokes for different sites: what works well for me might not for you and vice-versa.
I liked the open reporting. They show you who ran the ads, how many times each ad appeared, what the advertiser paid them and what your cut is. They show you how many public service and house ads they ran also - you know exactly where your money came from.
I liked the easy control of ad types. I won't allow popups and popunders; I could easily block those. I don't like "audio" ads either; Tribal fusion let me block those.
You mean other than the low CPM? Actually, it wasn't that bad: it was about a third less than what Google Adsense pays me on average so it's certainly possible that with tuning (blocking out the low bidding advertisers) I could have bumped that up. But I'm not sure how much I could have bumped it - they were feeding me a fair pile of public service ads as it was. Admittedly I didn't give Tribal Fusion a very long run, so it's also possible that I might have picked up higher CPM advertisers over time, but that's an unknown and I didn't want to wait while watching my income cut by a third.
I really disliked their control panel. It's very confusing and complicated. For example, you are supposedly able to substitute other ads when they run out of inventory and would give you public service ads. The link that they gave to explain how brought me to an incredibly confusing page that looked like it was talking about advertising on Tribal Fusion rather than publishing the ads. Even at that, it seemed to be trying to draw some analogy to airplane flights - very, very confusing.
I think Adsense is easier and less confusing than Tribal Fusion, but I do think Google could do far better at reporting and could learn from what others do. Tribal Fusion is pure CPM - you get paid for impressions. Google Adsense is mostly pay per click, although you can get some CPM from them also. Google doesn't tell you what your cut is, Tribal Fusion is completely open about it.
Why do some sites do better with CPM and some with CPC? It probably has to do with WHY people came to the site in the first place. For example, if you come here regularly, you are unlikely to click on ads. However, if you arrived here because you are Googling to try to solve some problem, a contextual ad may be related to your search, and you therefore might click. As approximately 90% of this sites visitors are from search, it makes sense that I'd do better with Adsense.
If I had enough traffic, I could tune for maximum performance: if I saw that a visitor came from search, I'd show CPC ads and otherwise I'd put up CPM's. However, in my case there just wouldn't be enough non-search traffic to be worthwhile - the small extra payoff wouldn't be worth the trouble. I'd need ten times the traffic to bother with that level of sophistication.
If your site is primarily regulars, Tribal Fusion or another CPM based network might be just right (Tribal Fusion does require at least 2,000 visitors per day so if you are under that figure don't bother to apply).
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More Articles by Anthony Lawrence © 2012-07-16 Anthony Lawrence