I’m kind of a slave to symmetry, so in an attempt to fill up some unoccupied sidebar space on a few of this sites longer pages, I figured I could experiment with a different ad network. I was familiar with adBrite when I had an account years ago, but for a reason that escapes me at the moment, I closed it.
The adBrite site I remember looks different than the one I see now. I swear there was a public marketplace available where I could look through pages and pages of websites offering advertising in various zones. I didn’t see that aspect when I signed up a couple months back, although it could be that the marketplace is now only visible if you sign up as an Advertiser, and I signed up as a Publisher.
The service is extremely popular. I don’t think you could find an article on recommended ad exchanges without finding adBrite listed on it. They appear to be very proud of their proprietary technology and the really smart people that run the site too. While the back end apparently “functions like a well-oiled machine”, the front end could use a little love in the design department. I suppose if a site fills a need extremely well, it doesn’t matter what it looks like (see Craigslist), so I’ll just shut up about that.
To be honest, it doesn’t get any better looking when you log into your account either, but none of that should matter if the company delivers what it promises. I only had one zone for one website listed until recently and as far as I can tell it’s been displaying generic ads the whole time. I’ve yet to make any direct ad sales or income from adBrite, so I can’t comment on whether they deliver what they promise.
I have to say it’s not very encouraging to do a search for the company and find site after site after site of people complaining about being defrauded or cheated by adBrite. Is it that when you get so big, you always have your detractors or is there something really wrong with the service? I don’t know, but since I’m a publisher and not spending any actual money with them, I figured it couldn’t hurt to try and utilize them a bit more and put them to the test. I decided to add another website to my account and create a single zone for OpenSourceHack.
Unfortunately there were a couple of quick hiccups in adding a new ad zone for this site. The day after I added the adBrite code, I received an email that my website could not be approved because the site times out.
I was on the site right before I went to bed, I was on the site first thing in the morning, and I saw no indication that the host it resides on went down, so I responded to basically say…hey, it seems fine to me, can you recheck?
That’s when I received the second email with a different reason for not being approved.
I was kind of annoyed for a couple of reasons. The first was because they initially gave me a completely different reason, and the second was the fact that I had zero content about hacking and cracking on my website. I brought this on myself when I selected this domain name. I realized within a week or two of launching this site back in 2009 that I was attracting the wrong kind of attention with my poor domain name choice. C’est la vie.
I emailed them back and began writing this post while I awaited a response.
It took a couple days for a reply to this as I’m sure it had to be pushed up to someone higher to decide to let this zone survive or not, but it did. I received an email with my approval and an explanation that some customers don’t even like to advertise on domains containing the term “hack” in it. Fair enough. As long as I’m given the opportunity for advertisers to make that decision on their own, I’m fine with that. I made my bed. I’ll lie in it.
So my adBrite adventure begins here on OpenSourceHack. I’m not expecting much as it’s only used for a couple of categories, but I’ll give it a little test run. At some point in the future I’d like to report back on my (non) earnings for the various ads and affiliates I use here, and I’ll be sure to include my experience with adBrite at that time.