In general "online advertising" is neither advertising nor worth the bother. The official estimates for something like Google Adwordsense (probably the class leader) are that 30% of the clicks come from bots. More credible estimates simply put a few nines in front of that, 93%, 99.93%, what have you. Ad clicking is one of the more important income streams for botnets, the very existence of which is pretty much predicated on the interplay of Microsoft incompetence, Google Advertising and the persistence of the general population in using computers even while computer-illiterate. That aside, it is a commonly accepted fact that the last person to ever legitimately click an online ad was Randulf Dalland of Norway. The late Randulf Dalland.
On a lark, and also because even well established fact can take a little verification now and again, and also because my media buying person needs to be put on the rack, and also for other reasons which I won't go into because of tedium and also furthermore, I started an advertising campaign on Digital Point (arguably the largest webmaster forum on the interwebs).
Ii picked display because pretty much nobody uses it anymoreii. DigitalPoint allows geotargetting of display campaigns, which seems to work reasonably well : they don't disclose the IP or Country of origin even though they make a list of each display instanceiii. So, armed with a list of those countries which boast GDP per capita over 30`000 we were ready to begin. Here's sorta how a report looks :
As you can see, something like 80k impressions. DigitalPoint claims 84 mn pageloads per month, which would come to about 2.4 mn a day. Seeing how my ad has a 75% chance of showing on such a pageload and the data reflects almost an entire day it would seem that something around 10% of their pageloads are the result of requests coming from the 1st world (and it would also tend to imply geotargetting works).
These 80k impressions generated a total of 42 clicks, which are also reported - but this time, o joy! we get IPs. The 0.05% CTR itself isn't surprising, unless you mean it's on the high side - I think worldwide average CTR has been dropping constantly since the 90s, it fell under 0.1% sometime in 2010 and is still going down.
Out of those 42 clicks, we have as follows :
- 22.214.171.124, which is (according to Project Honeypot), a combination spider + comment spammer, first active over a year ago, last seen a week ago. It racked 48,324 visits masquerading as 30 different user-agents and made 25,517 web post submissions. 126.96.36.199 appears 12 times in that list, thus constituting 28.5% of the total interest my "advertising campaign" generated.
- 188.8.131.52, which is (same source) a spam harvester. 3 visits, 7%.
- 184.108.40.206, which is also a spam harvester, has a couple mailer servers associated, has been active for the past year. 3 visits, 7%.
- 220.127.116.11, which has been mailing for a couple years now (up until last month, so who knows, maybe a new owner cleaned it up). 1 visit, 0.5%.
This takes out about half of our already dismal CTR. A majority of the remainder IPs trace not to residential networks but various server spaces, but hey, let's pretend sophisticated users go through VPNs to proxy their Windows traffic. Happens all the time! On the positive side, I was able to verify one IP as being used by an actual person, because she's published her IP while asking for some help with undelivered emails (har har) on some unrelated forum.
If you think this paints a pretty glum picture overall, let me point out to you that DigitalPoint wants 3 USD minimum CPM for geotargetted display campaigns, and wait, I'm not even done. I had the zany idea of making a support thread on the forum, which read like this :
As you might have noticed, MPEx is now advertising on DigitalPoint.
Let's get a few things out right from the start :
I. Bitcoin is a new, cryptographic virtual currency. The short story is that each coin exists as the solution to a mathematical problem and can only be spent by the person knowing its secret key. There's a hard limit on the total number of Bitcoins that can exist, the entire system lives as a p2p network, it's been going for about three years now and is all the rage.
The long version can be found on the bitcoin.org site, or on the dedicated wiki, or in general via google.
II. MPEx is a Bitcoin-based stock exchange. This means there's a number of shares you can buy, and also other type of contracts (such as options).
MPEx has been in constant operation for over a year now, is the main exchange for such things in BTC etc.
MPEx is based on GPG, which means you can't make an account, in the traditional sense. Instead, you have to register a GPG key (there's also a fee), and then you talk to it by sending GPG signed messages. The FAQ goes into detail.
There are also brokers who you can use, such as coinbr.com or private individuals (ask on irc, for instance on #bitcoin-assets on freenode).
This thread is so that you may ask whatever questions. I'll stick around for a while. Don't be shy, ask away!
My thinking was that well... DigitalPoint hasn't actually seen any advertising in who knows how longiv, an ad may shock people. Not to mention that Bitcoin is far from household status as of yet.
I'm glad to report that the respective support thread was viewed something like a hundred times, and collected no less than 10 replies. That's right, it comes to almost one in two of the scrubbed click count. However...
Yesterday, 3:23 pm #2 matamare
This guy host stolen porn, on the same domain as his "STOCK EXCHANGE". He is a former romanian spammer, pornographer turned bitcoin entrepreneur. Just be careful!
Yesterday, 3:28 pm #3 polimedia
Get real. Wth.
Yesterday, 3:29 pm #4 matamare
Yesterday, 3:36 pm #5 polimedia
Dude, it's a chan. Simmer down.
Yesterday, 3:40 pm #6 matamare
Sure it is a chan with only one user, yourself.
Yesterday, 3:44 pm #7 polimedia
So what are you then?
Yesterday, 4:04 pm #8 matamare
One of the people you paid to post on that website.
Yesterday, 4:06 pm #9 polimedia
Proof or get lost.
Yesterday, 4:07 pm #10 matamare
freelancer.com/job-search/polimedia/ last one. You just changed your demands to more exotic ones.
Today, 2:17 am #11 polimedia
Are you mentally ill ?
While I do appreciate that some loser Romanian speakerv/scammer wannabe is preoccupied with my success and well being enough to make a DP account just for this, it still seems rather slim pickings. I have taken the time to read a couple threads around there while preparing this article, and to be fair the sort of idiocy quoted is not in any way out of place. The typical thread runs something like :
mt33 of the Nightfall
how can make money from blog post ?
as you know there is many websites regarding blog post , I don't know how should earn money through it ?!!
if someone know please explain
you could paste an adsense unit in the post
mt33 of the Nightfall
i know adsense but blog post is a way of make money that can work through website related to blogpost ! for example : www.payperpost.com
sushie Champion of the Naaru
To make from Payperpost, you neeed to have a very good blog with big popularity and many readers, you must be a sort of influencer. Then, you propose your blog on Payperpost and if advertisers are interested to your blog, they will want to make a post in your blog.
It is like that you can earn by Payperpost.com
To be honest, I don't really mind sinking a few dollars into exposing the general population to Bitcoin, and MPEx. The problem is that I do not wish to spend any money or any time on the borderline mentally retarded part of the general population.
This was the problem the Internet was originally going to solve, incidentally. The very point of the Internet was to create a way so the intellectually superior can exchange ideas without the intelectually inferior getting in the way. Fifty years (it has been fifty years!) later the problem is still unsolved.
So I guess the problem stands : dollars, I have plenty of those. Find me a way to exclude the retards.———
- Not really I myself personally, but for pronominal convenience let's pretend. [↩]
- Nobody uses CPM (pay per thousand impressions) anymore on the false supposition that CPC (pay per click) is "more efficient", in the sense that you "only pay for real users". Nothing could be further from the truth, click bots are by now so advanced as to make any CPC scheme a guaranteed fraud. Any CPC scheme. (And for a laugh, see the last image in this article.) [↩]
- In fairness : none of the identified clicks geolocated to countries outside of the specified set. [↩]
- Slots were filled with Google Adsense so you can imagine. [↩]
- Matamare happens to mean something like yogramma. [↩]