Wednesday, December 19, 2007

WidgetBucks Adds New Creative for Publishers

WidgetBucks has rolled out a new ad widget style, giving publishers two display options for each of the eight sizes offered. The new ads are noted with a "B" (for "B Series") in the pull-down menu of the "Customize Your Widget" page, where publishers can also see a preview before selecting with option to choose.

Updated/Corrected Details: Two "B" widgets (300x250 and 660x330) offer search boxes within them, while one "C Series" widget -- the 300x250 medium rectangle ad -- provides a simple top 10 product list without product images and reviews. Two examples of the new styles are sprinkled throughout this blog, and one static example is placed to the right.

One modification not previously highlighted here is the ability to adjust the product rotation interval, allowing publishers to vary the pace by which products are displayed in their widgets. The default rotation is 3 seconds, but can be set anywhere from 1 to 10 seconds per item.

When it comes to popular categories of WidgetBucks widgets, the top five are MP3 Players, Laptops, Game Consoles, Flat Panel Televisions and Cell Phones, respectively. And when it comes to ad sizes, here are the top four (in order, total units used): 160x600 wide skyscraper, 728x90 leaderboard, 300x250 medium rectangle, and 468x60 full banner.

- Dean

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Vote Now! WidgetBucks Among Three Finalists in Open Web Awards on Mashable

We'd love your vote! After finishing among the top three (of 10 nominees) in first-round voting, WidgetBucks has moved into the second and final round of the Open Web Awards (applications and widgets category).

Deadline for this round of voting is Thursday, December 20 at 12 midnight EST and winners will be announced shortly after that. See a review of WidgetBucks and the other finalists on Mashable.

Thanks again! We appreciate the support.

Friday, December 14, 2007

International CPM Q&A

After rolling out International CPM ads and reporting earlier this week, we've consolidated some of the most common questions into a Q&A here on the blog. Often times, questions are asked on our blog's comment threads that are already answered in the related post -- so we ask that you read through this Q&A entirely before posting a question.

I'm seeing a really low CPM for my international traffic? Why?
As we indicated in Wednesday's post, initial CPM rates will initially be "low" because WidgetBucks is building credibility with these advertisers. As of today, we are implementing more targeted campaigns for traffic coming from countries that will quickly represent a better CPM. Specifically, those are UK, Australia, Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Brazil, India, and Japan. This means that an advertiser is delivered more targeted traffic -- and is therefore more willing to pay a higher CPM rate. Until now, advertisers are only willing to pay a base rate (or no rate at all) due to "international," untargeted ads.

How long does it take for WidgetBucks to earn credibility with advertisers?
Not long. In fact, publishers should see an increase in CPM rate over the next couple days as we expand targeting methods.

What kind of rates are you seeing across the board, and what are certain countries and regions seeing?
Rates are definitely varying by country (and see the question below on non- or low-paying regions). Most countries are ranging between $0.25 and $0.80 CPM, depending on ad size. In general, the 468x60, 728x90, and 160x600 ad sizes yield higher than the 300x250, and much more than 120x600 or 250x250.

Why is the new CPM tab in MyWidgets not showing any earnings, just impressions or all zeros?
If you see impression data but zero revenue, it means that the international traffic you are receiving for the widgets is coming from regions where advertisers aren't willing to pay. If you see no impressions data, then no international impressions are being received.

What are the non-paying countries or regions?
We are finding that advertisers are not willing to buy traffic from Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, China, Egypt, and Romania. Rates for other countries, such as Taiwan, parts of the Middle East, parts of S. America, and other regions earn under $0.10 CPM. It's really important to mention this is an advertiser decision regarding the value of that traffic, NOT WidgetBucks' decision. We repeat: this is an advertiser decision regarding the value of that traffic, NOT WidgetBucks' decision. I emphasize this because publishers, for whatever reason, will undoubtedly and incorrectly draw the conclusion it is solely WidgetBucks' decision.

I can't see the CPM ads on my site? Why not?
If you are in the US/Canada, then you will see the widget. Only site visitors outside of the US/Canada will see a CPM ad instead of the widget. Early in the rollout, we noticed a number of people asking about not seeing CPM ads internationally, but using a proxy server on our side, we have not been able to replicate this. In fact, on our blog threads, other commenters have indicated they can actually see the ads a publisher is indicating they can't see on their own sites. We continue to look into it and will monitor comments on this to see if it is persisting.

When will November earnings be posted on MyBucks?
Those earnings are now posted and available for viewing on MyBucks.

Publishers who have additional questions can check our Knowledge Base at the WidgetBucks Support Center ( Tickets are being addressed there within 24-48 hours.

- Dean

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Update: International CPM Reporting

Here's a quick update on our first reporting of international CPM earnings: Our first processing is taking a longer than originally anticipated and we expect results to be displayed by noon Pacific Time tomorrow/Thursday. Look for the new and improved MyWidgets page as well.

As we go through our initial processing -- and getting our own first look at actual rates being paid by advertisers -- we feel it's important to set some expectations and provide some perspective for our publishers prior to Thursday's reporting. To be as transparency as possible here, initial CPM rates paid to publishers will likely be characterized as "low." And in some cases, we're finding advertisers are not willing to bid on ads being displayed to visitors from certain regions. As a result, we can't guarantee CPM revenue will be earned from traffic from those areas.

As an emerging ad network (WidgetBucks launched Oct. 2), advertisers are still getting comfortable with us, and as we build credibility with them, we expect CPM rates to improve and less rate fluctuation to occur.

Again, we appreciate your patience as we offer this solution. We continue to work toward evolving functionality for our network, whether that's working with global merchants, creating more targeted CPM campaigns by country and/or category, or other solutions.

- Dean

Partial Outage – DNS Hosting

This morning between 9:08am and 10:20am Pacific Time, our DNS hosting provider incurred a server outage, resulting in an inability for some regions to access the and site resources. This issue has been resolved by the hosting provider and apologize for the inconvenience.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

International CPM Ads Now Available Through WidgetBucks

CPM ads for non-U.S./Canada traffic have successfully launched on WidgetBucks! This solution gives publishers the opportunity to earn revenue, per impression, for traffic that comes from countries other than U.S. and Canada.

In order for publishers to begin earning this international CPM (cost-per-thousand impressions) revenue, they will need to replace existing code with new WidgetBucks ad code on their sites. To update your widget(s), simply click "Copy HTML" within the "Customize Your Widget" page for that widget and re-paste/replace the code block into your site. The updated code -- which has been greatly simplified and reduced in length -- can also be replaced directly into the Blogger, TypePad or WordPress blogging platforms.

CPM impressions and revenue results will be displayed starting tomorrow, Wednesday (12/12). The CPM rate will vary depending on the geographic location of your site's visitors. CPM revenue -- along with PPC and referral revenue -- will be updated daily and available by noon Pacific Time the following day.

Once your widget code is updated, here's how it works: At the time a user visits a page containing the widget, we will sense the geographic location of the visitor. If they are in the U.S. and/or Canada, the user will see the normal WidgetBucks widget. If the user is outside those two countries, then our system will determine a country-specific CPM ad to display. We are currently working with advertisers covering hundreds of countries and offering thousands of creatives to ensure optimum monetization.

Also on Wednesday, publishers will see an updated MyWidgets page that will provide easier consumption of reporting data, including tabbed areas for all three revenue streams -- and PPC, CPM and referrals. This new interface provides a breakdown of PPC and CPM impressions, expanded referral data, and integrated blog headlines so publishers can stay more informed of network updates and changes. Click here or on the screenshot at right for a preview.

As written November 29, we continue to look into additional solutions, including pay-per-click links to global merchants. These solutions tend to require more time to deploy so we appreciate your patience as we work on those.

- Dean

P.S. Now's your chance to vote for WidgetBucks in the Open Web Awards on Mashable!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

WidgetBucks Nominated for Open Web Awards

We have just been notified by Mashable that WidgetBucks is among 10 nominees for the Open Web Awards Category: Applications and Widgets. Voting runs through Sunday, December 16. We hope you take a minute to vote for WidgetBucks. The Open Web Awards is a distributed contest to find the best sites -- in this case, the best widgets and applications -- on the Web.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

WidgetBucks Sending October Payments This Week

WidgetBucks is now distributing October earnings to publishers -- nearly 10 days ahead of schedule. The initial wave of PayPal payments was sent yesterday, while the remainder go out over the next couple of days. Checks are being processed and mailed early this week as well, including those sent to international publishers. Given large holiday snail-mail volumes, please allow for additional time for checks to arrive, especially those sent outside the U.S. Note that only those publishers who earned $50USD or more (including the $25 sign-up bonus) during October will receive payments. Considered the fastest growing ad network on the Internet today, WidgetBucks has served three-quarters of a billion ad impressions in just its first two months.

Armor Games CEO Dan McNeely and Head of Game Development John Cooney (both at left) were handed their first WidgetBucks earnings by Dean Jutilla, Marketing Director for Mpire, the company behind WidgetBucks.