Your thoughts on Auto Pricing

Of all the features of the partners blog ad network, Auto pricing, the mechanism we use to determine a blogs monthly charge for advertisers, seems to cause the most contraversy and support posts in the forums.

This doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad thing, but I would like to find out your opinions on it as Im rather inclined to do away with it and set a flat rate for every blog unless the blog owner edits it to suit themselves.

Let me know what you think. The decision hasn’t been made so if it’s important to you, take a moment to influence it by sharing your opinion…

14 thoughts on “Your thoughts on Auto Pricing

  1. First, our site has been running more than one million page views a month through all of 2006, per our awstats. Only a small fraction of that is showing up in my autopricing stats. This makes my fixed pricing ($2k/month) seem overpriced when it is really a bargain.

    Second, your system doesn’t seem to account for premium topics. Not to say that mine is one, but a BMW collector blog may charge more per click than an Elvis figurine collector blog.

    Third, I agree navigation would benefit from a tuneup. Small changes to the advertiser side will make a big difference in conversion.

    Fourth, I’d like to give away space sometimes. Internal ads, friends’ sites, good causes. Enabling them will add value for bloggers and demonstrate the service.

    Congrats on the metrics sale. I look forward to the rebranding.

  2. A blogs traffic can vary over time and not having to worry about adjusting your price is a nice feature to have. You can turn it off so no harm no foul.

    As for the $25 floor, I think it is reasonable. Anything less and it’s not really worth it as a publisher. For many advertisers it may not be worth buying the ad on a low traffic site, but for certain niche areas, it very well may be. I think it says a lot that Performancing has set that ‘floor’ It’s probably a reasonable one to set for blogs. Advertisers can choose if it is worth it or not depending on what the site does.

    As for those of you who haven’t gotten an ad yet (myself included), the network is just getting started – it takes time to build up the advertiser side. I expect as time goes on, more advertisers will utilize Partners.

    All that said – I think the ‘ad network’ idea is a good one. Allow advertisers to buy slots in a complete category perhaps at a reduced rate if the publishers agree to it.

  3. When I signed up for Partners, I turned off auto pricing after I got the first email telling me it priced me at $25. The reason for this is $25 dollars for an ad on my blog is too expensive, I do not have the traffic or the page views to justify it and I knew that.

    I set it to $15 dollars. My CPM has been on an average at $15 since I signed up with Partners so I guess I made decent guess but I have yet to sell the spot.

    I think auto pricing can be a good thing as long as its accurate.

  4. “WHy would an advertiser want to display an ad on a blog that has less then 500 hits or even 1000 hits per month?”

    I get a lot more traffic than that, but I still don’t think advertisers would be willing to pay $25/month for an ad on my site. I’ve yet to have someone buy a space on my blog since I switched on auto pricing.

  5. Instead of performancing just calculating a price on the based on the traffic., I think it would be a good idea for the publisher to name a price and also the advertiser to name a price for a particular blog. Some sort of timed negotiation should be allowed between the both. There’s a chance that instead of the deal getting cancelled., it could be settled at a negotiated price…

  6. Hmm, if you split CPM ads between blogs for a certain # of impression, you don’t have to handle click frauds issue.. and for billing, just take the impression cost for 1 ad, and multiply with the # of impressions per blog.


  7. I understand those who say that 25$ is too high, but let me ask something.

    WHy would an advertiser want to display an ad on a blog that has less then 500 hits or even 1000 hits per month? Doing this would pretty much be pointless, so even if you set you ad to 5 or 10$ per month, I don’t think you low-traffic guys will have much success in doing business with, unless you display CPA ads.

    But there is a solution.

    Just turn the partner program into a mix of what it is now with and something a bit similar to the feedburner FAN network. An advertiser could pay for a specific ad on a blog, or pay for, let’s say, 1 Million impression on many blog that covers a certain topic.

    Wouldn’t that turn the Partner network into a more versatile program that would satisfy the need of everyone?


  8. Oh the time it takes to answer support requests really isnt an issue. My point was just that it seems to cause more contention than any other feature of the system

    Are you saying set the min of $25 lower for low traffic? Personally i cant see being in the program at all to be very useful if you’re getting less than 25 an ad?

  9. The pricing is too high for sites with low traffic.

    I think the solution is two-fold. First, adjust the maths behind autopricing more severly discount lower traffic sites. Perhaps also factor in unique versus repeat traffic. 50 impressions a day for the same 50 people isn’t particularly meaningful to advertisers I would think.

    Second, if you simply want to cut down on support, let people set their own price, but give them the option to opt in to auto-pricing. If people are opting in, it is more likely they will have read up on how it works before getting into it.

  10. You already know my feelings but I’ll summarise here to keep things in one place.

    The current pricing model is a good balance of fairness and flexibility. However, the implementation could be improved. It’s too easy to compare blogs on impressions and price alone. Something as small as adding a short blurb about readership (or whatever else advertisers like to know) to the blog list could make a difference.

    I’d find it more reassuring, at any rate.

  11. I think it is fine (if a bit high compared to other alternatives for the minimum), except auto-pricing keeps turning itself back on after a while. And that is not so cool.

  12. I think it sets the price too high, at least for my blogs. At the moment it’s asking for $25/month for one of mine, even though that’s a lot more than I’d expect to charge and I think that is possibly scaring away potential advertisers. I’ve been thinking about just turning off auto pricing and setting my own prices based on what I’d be happy to accept for the blog.

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