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The Gorilla, the Cowboy, and the Banana (site advertising)

© November 2005 Anthony Lawrence

On some of my sites, I've been running ads from three ad providers. For the purposes of this article, I'll call them the Gorilla, the Cowboy, and the Banana. I control the percentage of how many page views each of these providers gets, and have been quite interested in the results.

Originally I only used the Gorilla, and have been reasonably satisfied. The Gorilla ads generate more than $1,000 monthly for me and my only real complaint is that the Gorilla is nearly impossible to have a conversation with. If you ask it anything, it usually just grunts and points at its FAQ's and Policy Statement.

The Cowboy only rode into town recently, and so far it's been quite interesting. It has a far lower click through rate than the Gorilla, but the revenue per thousand impressions is usually much higher. However, it also seems to have a smaller inventory to draw from, so I'm not sure that the revenue would scale if I gave it more impressions. The Cowboy isn't very communicative either.

The Banana has the most interesting ads, and is the only one of the three you can actually talk to. However, both their click through rate and their revenue per thousand impressions is much lower than the Gorilla's, so it's hard to imagine me giving them a lot of page views. However, I do think that these can help combat ad blindness, so I'll continue to run them for that reason. Also, the Banana ads can be set to a non-contextual mode so the Gorilla and the Cowboy will let you run them on the same page with their ads (the Gorilla and the Cowboy are both very jealous and possessive and will not allow the other on the same page as they are running).

I've only had all three of these running for eight days, so these results are preliminary and may not hold true over the coming months, but:

For 56,188 page views, I gave the Gorilla 35,425 or 63 %. The Cowboy got 9,343 views or 17 %, and I gave the Banana 11,420 or 20 %. The Gorilla earned 72 % of the revenue, the Cowboy claimed 21 %, and the Banana limped in with 7 %.

Ad SourcePercent of viewsPercent of revenue
Gorilla63 %72 %
Cowboy17 %21 %
Banana20 %7 %

As I noted, this is a very small sample, and different sites may have different results because of their content and readership. Don't assume that your results would be identical or even similar.

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-> The Gorilla, the Cowboy, and the Banana (site advertising)

Inexpensive and informative Apple related e-books:

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Are Your Bits Flipped?

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