I’ve been testing the AuctionAds and ShoppingAds services for several months now. Despite some promising results early on (as mentioned in this post), I am very disappointed with the overall results. Over the past six months, I tested a variety of AuctionAds and ShoppingAds ad blocks from in numerous positions on various sites. As a result of real world obligations I haven’t devoted much time to site development lately and the ad blocks remained in place longer than their performance warranted. Bad for my bank account, but good for testing purposes. The final result? In over six months of testing I made less from these services’ combined totals than I typically make from AdSense in one day.
Both AuctionAds and ShoppingAds allow for product images in their ads and this is one of the reasons I expected them to be successful. However, Google’s targeted ads clearly outperform AuctionAds’ and ShoppingAds’ keyword based ads despite AdSense’s lack of product images.
Unfortunately, I can’t rule out issues with the AA/SA backend as the cause for the low earnings. For example, I received several clicks on the referral based service (AuctionAds) but none on the CPC service (ShoppingAds), a fact that is inconsistent with all other ad blocks during the same period and suggests a problem with unrecorded clicks. Additionally, earnings appeared and disappeared rather frequently on reports from both systems. Bugs are to be expected in new products, but frankly, if I have to devote a significant amount of time to double checking earnings reports, it’s just not worth it for me.
My current recommendation regarding these services is to fight the urge to be an early adopter. Wait until these services become more mainstream and work out the bugs. Currently they require more effort than they are worth given the viability of other alternatives.