These days, nearly every publisher site promotes content that is most popular based on measures such as "most read" or "most shared." Whether this process is automated or manual, the idea is to give preferential visibility to those articles clearly of interest to the site's readers. The reasoning goes something like this: If a lot of people are liking - and sharing - this article, then let's make sure more people see it. Presumably this results in a greater number of clicks and a lower bounce rate. But the practice of promoting a publisher's own popular content can have a …
I judge a restaurant by the quality of its oatmeal. Earlier this week, I had oatmeal at Pershing Square Caf, where I enjoyed an exchange of ideas with a very talented publishing executive -- and of course, a very solid bowl of oatmeal. The oatmeal at Pershing Square Caf costs $14. I can find better oatmeal at Scotty's Diner on 39th & Lexington for four bucks, but at Pershing Square, you pay for more than a bowl of oats, you pay for the environment.
Publishers and the advertising industry have long tried to sweep the topic of ad blocking under the rug. Their idea has been that the fewer consumers who know about it, the better off everyone else is. Their efforts have met with little success. According to a report released by PageFair and Adobe in September, ad blocking is no secret. The report found 27.6% of Internet users in the U.S. use Adblock software, with that number as high as 41% for 18- to 29-year-olds.
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.