After over an year of exclusively running Google AdSense on one of my sites, I bit the bullet and signed up for Kontera ContentLinks.
So far all I’ve done is add the ad code and change the link color (at the suggestion of the account manager) to differentiate the Kontera ad links from regular links.
In the last week that Kontera ads have been live on the site, I haven’t been too impressed by them, for 4 reasons:
- Inline advertising creates a break in the reader’s reading pattern – it’s a deliberate interruption that can serve to piss off regular readers.
- After years of getting angry at snap.com previews, there are times when I get the same feeling if I mouse-over one of the ContentLink ads.
- Linking keywords to ads is a problem in itself, as the algorithm may link off-topic words to ads and reduce ad relevance.
- I haven’t seen the depth of ad inventory for the football news sector in Kontera as I have in Google AdSense.
#4 I can live without and #3 (relevance) has improved, and I think it will improve even more in the future.
It’s #1 and #2 that bother me.
Revenue-wise Kontera is nowhere near to what AdSense is bringing in, but then again I’ve only been using Kontera for a week and have spent a long time optimising the site for AdSense (without compromising (too much) on user experience though), so just looking at earnings (or even CTR and ECPM) is unfair at the moment.
When I first started showing AdSense ads on my sites, it made me very uncomfortable. Now it’s a natural extension of any site I’m setting up.
I don’t think I can come to the same decision with in-text advertising, but who knows?
I’d be interested in hearing your experiences with Kontera and especially if you’ve had success with it.