BannersBroker – I’m getting heavily quoted!

Hi everybody.

Recently I’ve noticed a significant increase in traffic here to philsmy.com. It seems there are a lot of people interested in what I have to say about BannersBroker (and interested in Banners Broker I guess!).

One of the places I am getting a lot of traffic from is ‘The Motley Fool’ message boards. This is nice as I’ve been a Fool member for year! You can see that thread here: http://boards.fool.co.uk/banners-broker-12595908.aspx?sort=whole

Again, if you have any personal experience as a publisher in the banner’s broker network I’d love to here it. Please comment here or send me a message.

 

BannersBroker – the old, its not me, its you, story.

Recently on my blog post declaring BannersBroker a scam someone posted a comment giving a second-hand response from BB UK rep, Jamie Waters. Being the good netizen, I went over to Jamie’s blog and commented on his posting (and video) called Explaining Banners Broker Slightly Differently.

I said:

Hi jamie,

I have heard that you have commented on my blog posts about BB (see http://philsmy.com/tag/bannersbroker/ ) by saying that I do not know how BB makes money (which of course I do… by a ponzi scheme!) and that somehow I managed to sign up for the ‘wrong kind’ of publisher arrangement with BB.

When I contacted BB to become a publisher I was never told of the two types. Why on earth would I want to advertise BB only? I am running a large website with lots of traffic… I want to make money, not get people into your pyramid.

If you can tell me how to change to a ‘proper’ BB publishing option – where I actually show ads from this supposed massive pool of advertisers you have – then I will do it today and gladly update my articles.

I sent BB over 1 million (yes, million) impressions in the course of a month. For that I made… $0. I sent the same amount of impressions to our other, real, ad network that we use and made $8000. So, tell me what the problem is?

I would love to make money from BB. Show me how!

Jamie promptly got back to me (echoing exactly what this third party had claimed Jamie had said):

I’m afraid I have never heard of you or your blog Phil, but judging by the tone of your post I will not be following your link either. If you would care to educate yourself on how the business works and the current status of the publishing platform I suggest that you contact support, or the Independent Contractor for the country in which you are from. But by coming on my website and claiming that I am involved with a Ponzi scheme you have lost all credibility in my opinion. I wish you all the best in the future. Jamie

So, sadly, I won’t be seeing Jamie’s comments on my site here any time soon. But, I decided to fire back. What the hell.

Jamie Waters your name (and your opinion) was placed on my blog by someone claiming to have spoken to you directly. Funnily enough, what they said you said is exactly what you have replied here! Go figure!

FWIW I do know how the online advertising business works… very well. It is one of the ways I make my income.

I am currently a BB ‘publisher’ – for several months now. I send over 1 million impressions a month to BB and have yet to see a penny (whereas our other ad spots are paying out significant 4 digit amounts per month). That seems odd to me.

No one from BB ever responds to repeated emails or even phone calls (mysteriously the ‘right people’ are never in). The ‘independent contractor’ (ie the person who signed me into the MLM pyramid) knows quite literally nothing about computers or advertising and no one up the chain

seems to either. They (and BB) are simply interested in getting someone to buy more ad blocks – and surprisingly not interest in someone who could put those ad blocks before a lot of eyeballs.

Doesn’t that strike you as strange?

Similarly, BB is the only ad network that refuses to provide traffic or conversion stats.

All in all, BB seems to be a revolutionary ad network alright – one that doesn’t need a place to show its ads!

You may not care to view my blog, but, hundreds of people a DAY are coming there and reading what I have chronicled about my BB experiences over time.

Now… on to your video (which, by the way, is nicely done!) In your example I/my company is the landowner. BB have never paid us anything. And, I have been watching my ‘billboard’ and no ads have ever appeared. So… there is no ‘Starbucks’. All the is happening is that the bag of money is going from the stick man to BB. The buck stops, quite literally, there.
Please, bring me an independent website owner that will claim otherwise.

So… as for my claims, in fairness, I am not the one who’s credibility is in question!

I sit in expectation, awaiting Jamie’s response.

BannersBroker – Tell me your tales

It seems there is a thirst for real-world experiences about BannersBroker. Recently I’ve seen a steady rise in traffic – all people coming to my site here to read about my BannersBroker experiences.

But I can’t be the only one. Other people must have publishing experiences with BannersBroker. If not, then they really ARE in trouble!

So, this is a call out to all of you. If you’ve tried to become a BB publisher and failed, or were accepted or hey, maybe you even have great things to say about BB, I want to hear it!

BannersBroker… verdict: scam

Well, it’s not an accusation I level lightly, but, I have no option but to conclude that BannersBroker is in fact a scam.

To summarize my experience with this ‘ground breaking revolution in internet advertising’:

I did the OPPOSITE of what most people are doing with BannersBroker. I didn’t sign up for an ad/pub combo, or as an advertiser. In BB-speak, an ‘advertiser’ is someone who pays them money to buy blocks (of various colours) that will get ‘filled’ with advertising from other sources. The buyer then gets a portion of the revenue made from selling this advertising.

That is the way most (if not all) of the people I have read about use BannersBroker.

But I didn’t do that.

I happen to run a high traffic website – the leading lottery site LotteryCanada.com. We get around 300k VISITORS (not hits) a month according to Google Analytics. We do well now with traditional online ad networks placing ads on our site. I thought I would use BannersBroker to see if we could make a little extra money.

So, I signed up for BannersBroker as purely a ‘publisher’. Almost immediately I ran into difficulties as no one I emailed or spoke to on their support chat seemed to understand how a publisher in their system worked. One support person said I had to pay to be a publisher. I said that was like the Wall Street Journal paying Macdonald’s to have an ad in the paper.

Anyway, after about 10 days the good people at BannersBroker approved my site and gave me a chunk of (error full) javascript to place on the site. Which I did. And I left it running for 8 weeks.

After a couple of weeks I was curious as to how we were doing. It was then I realised that BB offer NO STATS of any kind for publishers to see how many impressions, clicks, etc they have generated. Nor a way to see the running tally of revenue. Every other ad network we use does allow this. In real time usually.

So, I contacted BB support. I was told that BB only offer a monthly report (which of course makes it impossible to tweak the placement of ads). So I said fine. When would I get that? I was given a hard date of August 20th. That date came and went without a word from BB. So I contacted support again. I was told that their servers were undergoing some maintenance so things were delayed ‘this month’ and I would get something September 1st.

September 1st came and went and… nothing. Repeatedly chats with support failed to produce a report. No money was ever credited to our BB account (forget about any ‘real world’ bank account).

To ad to this, here are the kinds of ads we saw:

This is the ad we saw at least 80% of the time.
On rare occasions we would see scintillating ads like this.

 

Unfortunately the only conclusion we can come to is that BannersBroker is a scam. Without publishers like us showing the ads how on earth can their ad network be making money? In addition, without advertisers buying the ad space, how can they make money?

I believe that BannersBroker is a classic ponzi scheme – people who take money out are actually just getting money from people who have bought in.

We have since removed BB from our site. I hope that anyone reading this has the good sense to stay away from BannersBroker, or, if you have already invested, take your money out if you have the chance.

BannersBroker – Another 10 days of silence

Well, just to keep things up to date I thought I’d mention that another week has gone by and still no response from BannersBroker. We’ve had their ‘ads’ on LotteryCanada.com for over a month now. In that time LC has had over 1.1 million page views, half a million visitors, etc etc.

BannersBroker still refuse to give us any kind of status report. And still, as far as we can tell, 99% of the time the ad block from BannersBroker shows ‘Place your ad here’. I didn’t think that was the point. I thought it was all about the space people were leasing and how much advertisers were paying.

As far as I can tell there are no (or very few) advertisers actually buying space on the BannersBroker network.

I still recommend extreme caution or outright avoidance of BannersBroker.

BannersBroker – publisher reports still not forthcoming

A month ago we started running ads from the ‘new internet sensation’ BannersBroker on LotteryCanada.com.

At the time I was a little concerned and disappointed that unlike every other ad network BannersBroker offers NO statistics (real time or otherwise) on their site.

So – I live-chatted with their technical support person on August 16th who told me this:

23:40 Phil Smy: so we will get a report on Sept 1?
23:41 Victoria Bannersbroker: Yes you should be able to see your earnings on Sept 1st

Well – Sept 1st came and went… and no reports appeared. Now I have approached them again and I was told:

06:17 Jason bannersbroker: Im not sure when they are sent as they come from another department but usually every 30 days
06:18 Phil Smy: we can never get a straight answer from you people…
06:18 Jason bannersbroker: I think I just provided you with an answer

In the time we’ve been running BannersBroker on our site we’ve had over 1 million page views, and around half a million visits.

So I am hoping for a nice chunk of change from BannersBroker!

So…we sit and wait.

BannersBroker – forgot to mention

In my last post I complained about the poor service that BannersBroker provides what should be its most valued assets – its publisher network.

But I forgot to mention that most of the time this is the ‘exciting’ ad we are displaying on our site:

This is what the 100,000 affiliates are placing on my site. Really?

BannersBroker claim to have 100,000 people pumping out ads. And they can’t seem to find any to go on our site.

BannersBroker – a very poor publishing network

Recently I’ve heard a lot of buzz about something called BannersBroker. It is supposed to be a ‘revolutionary’ change in how advertising works on the internet.

Their focus is on getting people to sponsor adspace that they sell. They then give you a slice of the money.

Whether that works or not I can’t say, but, to have ads on the internet you need to have sites – publishers – that show those ads. So, I decided to use my site lotterycanada.com as a test bed. LC gets around 2 million page views a month. I figured this would give a good amount of data.

We are still in the first month with BannersBroker. I’d like to report that we are making money and everything is great, but, there is no way for me to know! BannersBroker have an absolutely woeful backend for publishers. Sorry, let me correct that… they have no back end for publishers. Every other ad network lets you see how many impressions you are getting, your revenue, etc. The trend now is to show this in real time. Or at worst daily. BannersBroker actually refuse to EVER show this information to the publisher. You will get a MONTHLY report that shows your revenue. How detailed that is we will see.

But monthly is all but useless in the internet world. If we want to make changes, lets say move the ads around to get better performance, there is no way you can do that with monthly feedback.

For now all I can is strongly recommend that if you have a high volume website try and get a traditional ad network (we have great success with Casale) onto your site.

In a couple of weeks I will get a report, which I will post here. Of course, if we get a few thousand dollars (or more) then maybe I will change my tune. But, who wants to bet our revenue will be under $100?

Professional Darwinism

One problem people of my personality type have is this love of starting things and an inability to finish them. Start new projects, blogs, businesses… anything.

I am very guilty of this, as a quick google will confirm. But recently there have been a lot of upheavels in my life and this has brought this character ‘trait’ (read: flaw) into sharp focus. It is kind of like an illness where you see every moment as having a wide blank canvas before it, enticing you to spill some paint on it. But, in truth you have about 50 canvases behind you, in various states of completion. Life is NOT a blank canvas. It is a single painting, that you can rework. Even DaVinci overpainted – started with something then covered it up, creating something new. But, the point is he was always aware of what went before.

Sometimes I think the easiest thing to do is just start something new. It’s exciting. I am a serial business-starter. (I hesitate to call myself an entrepreneur). But, whereas I do believe that a failed business can teach you almost as much as a successful one, sometimes you have to say enough is enough!

Recently I met a young guy who was driving me from the airport to my mother’s house (a very long drive indeed). He is in his mid 20s. I asked him how he got to be driving this bus and he told me of the path his career had taken. And I was impressed. He had done something that few people do in any field – created a nice evolution. He went from part time with one company, to school runs, to permanent bus driver for an institution and now he was waiting to hear if he would get into the city bus line, with all the stability that offered.

I meet a lot of people, especially in the software business, who don’t do evolution as well as this bus driver. They don’t build on their skills. They don’t move from company to company, increasing their responsibility and pay. (I believe staying at one company too long is death to your upward mobility). This evolution is something I used to do well, but recently have stagnated. This 25 year old bus driver has inspired me to look at that again and see where I can go and what I can do.

Now, you may well ask what is the difference? Aren’t you just finding another justification to start a new business or something else new? No, not really. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with starting a new business. The point is to start something that builds on your knowledge, skills, experiences. Don’t start a bakery, then fail at that and start a day care centre. Take what you learned at the bakery and apply that to something slightly different. It is about evolution!, not one great leap.

So, what does all this mean? I am going to sit down, try to get an overview of my professional evolution, connect the dots and see where that line points. Throw in a handful of dreams and off I will go!

See you soon.