• Two Ideas For Improving 'Most Popular' Posts Lists
    In an earlier post, I decried the dangers of "most popular" lists, which so many publishers use on their sites as a way of promoting clicks to content. I pointed out that this leads to a sort of winner-take-all effect, in which a few articles get tons of coverage, while the vast majority of articles get very little traffic, suppressing discovery and promoting run-of-site content. I recently realized that there is an even more pernicious problem associated with this sort of favoritism: once certain articles make it to the "most popular" widget, the single most important factor in driving clicks ...
  • Serving Native
    A waiter at a Michelin-rated restaurant returns to a candlelit table for two and asks, "Have you had time to look at our menu? Do you have any questions?" The gentleman, who is out to dinner with his wife, responds.s "Yes, we're wondering about this sponsored dish, the Visa Veal Scalloppini?"
  • Why Digital Advertising Is Anything But 'Creative'
    Several years ago, when people really cared about Windows vs. Mac OS, I heard a joke that went something like this: "If cars were designed by Microsoft, we would constantly have to stop to reboot them." Today, I am compelled to make a different joke: "If our highways were designed by advertisers, billboards would jump in the middle of the highway whenever we tried to drive by."
  • Viewability Deficit Heavily Impacts Publishers' Bottom Line
    A year removed from the MRC lifting the advisory against transacting on viewable impressions (display), the discussion about viewability has reached a fever pitch. Yet to date, the conversation hasn't captured publishers' stakes in the issue. The pressure is on from brands and agencies that demand viewability to justify their spending, but publishers also need to ask themselves about the potential revenue they're losing from poor viewability.
  • Have Publishers Lost Their Minds With Outbrain?
    Sometime when I speak with a media salesperson over a beer or a burger, they share something that at first sounds benign, but then causes that moment to freeze as a market issue gets crystallized. This past week -- over a frozen Margarita, no less -- one of those moments occurred.
  • Publishers: Annoying Ads Can Cost You More Than They Earn You
    I am not the first, nor will I be the last, to decry the aggressive and often annoying way in which advertisers try their best to interfere with our online activities to promote their offerings. Intuitively, it seems that these aggressive tactics can backfire, causing publishers to lose credibility and loyalty. And recent findings suggest that, in some cases, annoying ads can literally cost publishers more money than they generate, leading to a cost of up to $1.50 CPM for ads that may net the publishers well below that amount.
  • Solving The Unsold Inventory Conundrum
    Publishers' yield optimization strategies run the complexity gamut. From leveraging multiple yield optimizers in tandem to none whatsoever, this variance is largely driven by the evolving marketplace of the digital world. Still, all publishers are focused on the same end goal: generating as much revenue as possible from their available inventory. Within such a complex marketplace, however, this is no easy feat, particularly when it comes to unsold inventory. Today's technology has allowed publishers to address this issue, but often at the expense of cost per mille (CPM). Thus comes the challenge of addressing unsold inventory while maintaining quality pricing.
  • Selling Online Ads Like It's 1999
    As a publishing industry, are we any better at selling online ads now than when we first started? How could we be, if we never got the publishing formula right to begin with?
  • Three Ways Online Publishers Are Becoming Technology Companies
    For progressive digital publishers, it's no secret that technology is the key to competitive advantage. It allows publishers to differentiate content while also making it possible to endeavor beyond that, exploring new opportunities to satisfy users or to drive revenue outside of traditional advertising.
  • Getting Behind The Eyeballs
    As someone who has spent three decades studying perception and behavior, I am fascinated with the question of what happens after an ad becomes visible to the consumer. Will she notice the ad? Will she pay close attention to it? What will be her emotional and cognitive reactions to it? Will she click it? Will she later remember it? And how is this chain of events impacted by her mood, her behavior and her past experiences?
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