Thank You for not Blocking the Ads
I posted a news entry with the same title on 23 March 2010, but since we got a lot of new readers since then, I just want to recap everything since it’s very important to us (including some updated information):
Without the ads on the website, Sandra and Woo would very likely no longer exist. The revenue is mainly used to pay Powree and Lisa for drawing and coloring the strips and to pay for the advertising for Sandra and Woo on other webcomic websites. It would be hard to justify all the time that’s invested in Sandra and Woo (and soon Gaia) if our comic would reach only a fraction of its current audience.
Therefore I’m happy that only a small minority of our visitors block the ads on our website with an ad blocker. Not blocking the ads and checking them out once in a while is the simplest method of supporting us financially!
That said I want to talk a bit how advertising on mid-sized websites like ours works since most normal internet users certainly don’t have much knowledge about it:
There are four advertising slots on our website: the leaderboard at the top, the two skyscrapers on the left and the right sidebar and the rectangle above the comment section. To get banners for such ad slots, you have to apply with your website at an internet ad agency. Google AdSense is open for practically every website, but they also only pay per click as opposed to per page view which is more profitable in most cases. Therefore it’s a good idea to apply at other ad agencies as well, but most of them have more or less strict requirements regarding the content of the website, the number of visitors and the placement of the banners on the website.
A key feature of most general purpose ad agencies is that they offer an option in their administration panel to specify what to do with the ad slot when they are unable to deliver a banner for it, for example because the visitor is from Russia and none of their advertisers is interested in serving ads to Russian visitors. Therefore you place the ad agency that pays the most on the first position of your ad chain and the others in a chain after it. The fill rate of an ad agency is depending on various factors such as their place in the ad chain since the “best” visitors are already taken by the ad agency in the first place.
Our four ad chains, which are 3 entries long, consist of the following ad agencies: ContextWeb, SayMedia, Lijit and Technorati Media.
We could also deliver ads from the following ad agencies, but they pay less or their fill rate is just too low: Burst Media, ValueClick, BannerConnect, Project Wonderful and Google AdSense.
In 2009, there were severe problems with obnoxious ads for teeth whitening products and other scams that appeared all over the internet. After the user backlash, most ad agencies now take greater care to only deliver ads for legit products and services. Nonetheless I still use the possibility to filter ads by category if the specific ad agency offers such an option in its administration panel.