Largest Ad Networks & Other Ad Solutions
When it comes to monetizing your website, have you been putting all your eggs in the Google AdSense basket? If so, it may be time to start checking out other ad networks and advertising platforms in order to maximize your revenue potential. With a little experimentation, you may be able to increase your monthly earnings by a significant amount.
To help you decide which ones to investigate further, we’ve put together a list that gives a little more information about each network or platform, including minimum requirements (if any), restrictions and basic features.
Here are some display, native, and programmatic platforms to consider
Before you check out the list below, it’s important to ask why you are exploring more ad networks. Many publishers look for the largest ad networks or alternative display networks so that they can earn higher CPM’s and get more money for their inventory.
However, once you finish exploring the list below, the best thing for you to do is make all of these ad networks compete for your inventory to ensure you’re really getting the best deal. Stats show, ad mediation is the best way to do this.
If you’ve been thinking about investigating native ad solutions, check out Content.ad. With this option, you can promote links to sponsored content by using one of Content.ad’s native ad formats or creating a unit of your own. The responsive ad units are fast-loading and highly customizable.
While Content.ad isn’t quite as large as some other content discovery networks (such as Outbrain or Taboola), it still generates 30 million clicks a month. Also, this is a friendlier option for publishers who are unable to meet the minimum traffic requirements of some of the bigger players in the native ad field.
Conversant is an innovative, cross-device advertising solution that includes ads from over 5,000 advertisers across a wide variety of industries and verticals. In addition to supporting traditional ad units such as standard display, banners, video and rich media, Conversant also an impressive collection of mobile-specific formats that allow you to take advantage of the rising use of tablets and smartphones.
Conversant currently works with tens of thousands of website and app publishers to deliver high-quality ads, and applying to the network is a fairly straightforward process. Conversant does have a minimum traffic requirement for new applicants but it’s pretty low – just 100 page visits per day (or 3,000 visits a month).
With over 10,000 advertisers in 87 countries, Criteo works with publishers of all sizes to display relevant ads customized for each visitor who comes to your site. The solution utilizes retargeting technology to show ads based on an individual user’s browsing history so that viewers are more likely to see ads that are of interest to them.
Criteo is designed to work with your advertising stack. That is, you set a floor price CPM and if Criteo can’t meet that price, the opportunity is passed back to you behind the scenes to fill the slot with an ad from another network, such as AdSense. Criteo’s advertisers include eBay, Dell, Hotels.com and Sony, just to name a few.
Founded in 2001, Exponential is a well-established advertising solution that works with premium advertisers who have large budgets. As a result, CPM rates for Exponential are higher than they are for many other networks, and ad quality is top-notch. Exponential is very transparent about its revenue model – at the current time, it pays publishers 55% of all revenue earned from ads displayed on their sites.
Unfortunately, if you’re a small or medium-sized publisher, your site may not meet Exponential’s minimum requirements. In order to be accepted into the Exponential Publisher Network, you need to have at least 500,000 unique users a month.
Google AdSense is one of the largest and most well-known advertising networks for online publishers, with a reputation of being easy to set up and configure. In 2014 alone, AdSense paid out almost $10 billion to publishers showing ads from the network. There is no minimum traffic requirement to sign up for AdSense – all you need is a website with original content that adheres to the network’s program policies.
AdSense supports a variety of ad types, including text, display and rich media along with responsive units that are automatically resized for the device on which they’re being viewed. If you have a WordPress site, you may want to check out the Google AdSense plugin that lets you easily place ads on your site via a point-and-click interface.
If you’re already an AdSense user, you may want to connect with a Google Certified Publishing Partner such as Ezoic to help you optimize your ad earning potential.
Formerly known as Casale Media, Index Exchange is a premium media exchange that selectively screens every publisher before accepting it into its marketplace. When accepted, publishers gain access to a robust platform that lets them create multiple audience segments with well-defined rules to help optimize ad displays.
Although Index Exchange is an excellent option for more-established publishers who want tighter control over the ads shown on their sites, other networks on this list may be more suitable for small and medium-sized sites.
Infolinks supports a variety of non-traditional display ad formats that are designed to improve viewability potential. When setting up your ad configuration, you can choose a combination of formats that includes InFold, InScreen, InTag and InText options to create a layout that best suits your site and planned ad strategy.
As one of the largest ad marketplaces, Infolinks works with 150,000 sites across the web to show 4 billion ads each month. There is no minimum traffic requirement, but you will need to wait to be approved before you can start showing Infolinks ads on your site. It typically takes 48 hours for your application to be reviewed.
Kiosked is an independent advertising automation platform that lets publishers incorporate in-media, in-line, in-screen and interstitial placements into their site. The platform also supports in-scroll ads, which slide in and out of view as a visitor scrolls down a page of your site, as well as custom placement options that can appear under captions, under the comments section and in other elements on each page.
Since its founding in 2010, Kiosked has grown rapidly to be a leader in the native digital advertising world and now has offices in New York, London, Los Angeles, Sydney, Helsinki and a number of other global metropolitan areas. If you’d like to see some samples of Kiosked’s ad formats and placements, check out the platform’s demo center.
Komoona is a fully automated platform designed to help publishers who want a solution that is easy to set up and configure. In addition to supporting multiple ad formats and screen sizes, the flexible ad delivery system lets you set a floor price of your choosing and use a passback tag if there are no ads available that satisfy your requirements.
Since Komoona uses machine learning algorithms and other technologies to determine what types of ads will give your site the highest yield, you’ll want to give the service at least a week or two to learn about your site and its visitors before you start comparing it with AdSense or other ad networks.
One of the biggest AdSense alternatives, Media.net serves ads from the Yahoo! Bing Network Contextual Ads program, which reaches 151 million searchers in the United States. Since the network has an extremely large advertising pool, relevant ads are available for all sites no matter how broad or narrow your content focus is. Media.net welcomes publishers of all sizes – you don’t have to meet any minimum traffic requirement to apply.
In addition to having an auto-learning algorithm that helps determine the best ads to show on each page of your site, Media.net gives you the option to take more control over which types of ads are displayed. You can filter advertisers, block ad topics and even assign keywords to ad units if you choose to do so. Media.net also supports mobile advertising with specialized mobile ads that are optimized for viewability and load time.
With over 200 billion monthly ad requests, OpenX is one of the world’s largest advertising exchanges. The exchange is used by over 34,000 brands and all of the advertisers on AdAge’s Top 100 list, so there is there are high-quality ads available in almost every niche imaginable. On top of supporting a wide range of sizes and formats for desktop and laptop environments, OpenX provides multiple integration methods for mobile apps and mobile websites.
OpenX gives publishers a good amount of control over what types of ads appear on their sites. To help avoid channel conflicts and advertiser dilution, whitelisting and blacklisting features are available. Also, you can set price floors in order to optimize revenue opportunities.
As one of the largest content discovery networks, Outbrain serves 200 billion content recommendations each month. Publishers who are accepted into the network can integrate the native ad units into their sites with minimal fuss, and high-functioning editorial control features make it easy to customize the experience for your site’s audience.
However, to participate in ad revenue sharing you have to meet some pretty hefty traffic requirements of at least 10 million page views a month. If your site isn’t in that ballpark but you’re still interested in native ad formats, you may want to check out Revcontent or Content.ad instead.
Revcontent is quickly becoming one of the leading names in the native ad industry, currently showing 200 billion content recommendations a month. Like Content.ad, Revcontent doesn’t have a stated minimum traffic requirement for publishers, but your site will have to go through a quality review process before being accepted into the network.
Revcontent supports both in-stream and gallery implementation of its content recommendation widgets with RPMs that range from $3 to as high as $40.
RhythmOne is a fully integrated advertising solution that supports cross-screen targeting, or following users across multiple devices. That platform provides access to a variety of ad formats, including video, rich media, distributed content and native executions. Additionally, RhythmOne’s Mobile SDK can be easily integrated into your mobile app, allowing you to monetize all of your content distributed in this environment.
The eligibility requirements for RhythmOne are a bit heftier than they are for some of the other solutions on this list. Your site must be in English and either have 25,000 monthly page views or 5,000 monthly unique page views. Additional requirements and restrictions can be found on RhythmOne’s web site.
Based in Boulder, Colorado, sovrn is an advertising platform that works with online publishers of all sizes. Its list of current users includes sites such as Mother Jones, Men’s Fitness and Glassdoor. In addition to offering a full range of ad formats for display, video and mobile, sovrn has an impressive reporting interface that shows how ads are performing on your site and how you compare to similar publishers.
To help you maximize revenue opportunities, sovrn also supports a number of tools for monitoring your engagement levels and growing your traffic.
Taboola is another native advertising option for publishers who want to show content recommendations on their sites. Along with Outbrain, Taboola is one of the largest networks of this type and has a marketplace with over 5 million pieces of content. The network currently shows 300 billion recommendations each month.
To be eligible for ad revenue sharing with Taboola, you will have to submit your site for review to see if it’s a good fit in terms of traffic and quality. Minimum traffic requirements may be a little steep for small publishers.
Managing Your Ads
In order to truly maximize your ad earnings, you may want to experiment with different ad networks and solutions in addition to testing various layouts and formats. Many publishers, especially small and medium-sized ones, don’t do this because manual testing can take a lot of time and effort. However, there are automated tools like Ezoic that can handle this for you.
With Ezoic, you can link up all of your existing networks so that they’re competing for space on your website in addition to using Ezoic’s advanced ad tester tool to determine optimal placement for ads. By doing so, you can increase your earnings by 50-100% ̶ or even more. To learn more, visit www.ezoic.com today.
Image Credit: © pixome – stock.adobe.com
Tyler is an award-winning digital marketer, SEO veteran, successful start-up founder, and well-known publishing industry speaker. Tyler also serves as the host of Pubtelligence, a publishers-only event hosted at Google offices around the globe. Tyler describes his core competency as learning. He has composed content for some of the world’s top publications and has over a decade of experience building businesses in the digital space. Tyler is currently the Head of Marketing at Ezoic and serves as an SEO and marketing expert for start-up competitions across the U.S.