What is an ad-network and why do we need that?

Every on-line marketer is familiar with Google Adsense.  This platform enables publishers monetize their sites or blogs, by showing ads over their inventory or “ad-spot” or placements.  Google Adsense tries to monetize sites by implementing contextually relevant text ads.  Monetization of the site is usually done by PPC, payment per each click on a text banner.  This is a sample of a contextual ad-network, which includes many different advertisers as well as many different publishers.  The network role is to find the best match between the advertisers and the publishers.

What does “best match” mean?

This is one of the hardest question regarding ad-network optimization.   The  publisher goal might be maximal revenue, or maximal effective CPM for his traffic.  The advertiser usually doesn’t measure his goals by clicks,  rather by leads, sales or other matrices.  Another goal might be the ad-network revenue, which is actually working by revenue share, trying to keep both the revenue for the publisher optimal and the advertiser’s campaign effective.

So why are there so many ad-networks?

Adsense is a market leader in contextual  text-ads.  However, there are many reasons why there should be more than a single large ad-network:

* Adsense is contextual in nature. However, most of the Internet’s media today is actually not contextual. Whether its FaceBook, Youtube, a lyrics site or a flash game, google finds it difficult to monetize the property well.

* Not all ad-networks hold the same terms and condition.  For example, you are not allowed to show more than a few adsense banner in a single page.

* There are many different ad-formats: Banners, Pops, Interstitials, Richmedia and many others.  Some ad formats perform better the others. Some are considered more intrusive than others.

* Different Ad-networks hold different campaigns. Some networks can perform better than others depending on their campaigns.

* Finding the proper match between the audience, the campaigns, and the right ad-spot is a complicated technological task, which TLVMedia, among few others, is trying to solve.