Why do we not offer a PPC or PPI advertising option?
We have several real problems with PPC, PPI and other “counter”-type advertising options that have been promoted on the Web.
First, they are easily “gamed”.
A whole mini-industry grew up doing just that before even Google got wise.
Second, who’s click counters do you believe?
We’ve been counting clicks on our websites for more than 15 years and it all depends:
— Script “counters”, such as those used by the big search engines (Google, Bing, Ask, Alexa etc) are relatively slow, in Internet speed terms, and depend greatly on too many factors to be fully believed.
Alexa, for instance, is a sampling counter based on samples from browsers using an Alexa tool bar.
Do you have an Alexa tool bar on your browser? Most people don’t.
In our experience, such techniques tend to undercount by significant amounts, sometimes more than an order of magnitude!!!
— Inference counters, based on web traffic implications are less accurate than script counters because they are indirect and tend to infer trends rather than count actual clicks.
— Server-based counters, such as those attached directly to our Website servers and databases are probably the most accurate indicators, but even they can over count under some conditions, but not very often. They will also count visitors who visit and leave within a few seconds.
However, ad space buyers do not have access to these stats unless a website owner offers unique access. Most advertisers will tend to disbelieve any stats reported by a vendor without independent verification and that isn’t there yet.
So, what seems to be the best or most reasonable alternative?
In our view it is the long-standing, proven method used by other media: price for space and location plus time.
If the ads produce results, they are worth the cost. Discounts are based on time period ordered.
The only question left unanswered in the latter style of pricing is verifying results.
On the Internet, that is relatively straightforward.
A click on a link on our website results in an exchange with your webserver(s) and your web monitoring program will have the click data without any third party interface needed. It is “self-verified” without being “managed” by a paid third party.
It will tell you where the click originated (our site), when and where the visitor went on your site after the first click and how long they stayed on your site.
The rest, as they say, is true and independent “Analytics“.