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Trying to get this ad shown to me, I though hey, go to some VSS question and it will appear!.

Much to my dismay, I've been reloading VSS Questions for the last half an hour without that ad ever showing.

That got me thinking: Why aren't you looking at the context of a question (tags, keywords in the title/body) to provide an ad? Wouldn't that make the ads more successful by being more relevant? May be there is a flaw with my reasoning that I'm not seeing (I'm far from an ad guy).

Keep in mind that I'm not proposing deterministic ads, that being ads that are shown only when certain tags/keywords appear, but rather a random statistical model that weights ads and gives a weight boost to the relevant ads.

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2 Answers 2

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Jeff bassically answered: we can target campaigns to a set of tags. Somtimes it makes sense to tag-target (both from a budgetary and effectiveness standpoint) and sometimes it doesn't. That's why we have a staff of people to help companies decide and measure this stuff. But to expand on this specific campaign...

Click-Thru-Rate (CTR) is measured in hundreths of a percent. A banner with a .20 CTR (which is actually pretty good) will require 500 impressions (times the ad is displayed) just to get one click. One click is pretty meaningless, so you need a whole bunch of impressions to get meaningful traffic.

So for the VSS Is Dead campaign, the vss and visual-sourcesafe tags have less than 300 questions. Add up the views on those questions over a month, and you are pretty far away from a whole bunch. We generally will not recommend or advise targeting tags with less than 1,000 questions.

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Why not allow a tag focus with a general distribution ad? The user gets ads spread across a site, but they also get a heavy concentration in a particular tag? –  C. Ross Nov 27 '09 at 20:28
    
@C. Ross: we absolutely can do this (and have done it for a number of campaigns); it's really case-by-case thing. –  Alex Papadimoulis Nov 27 '09 at 21:12

Alex can answer, but we already do this. Most of our advertising is tag-based.

There are some advertisers who want to do broad advertising as well as, or instead of, the tag-based stuff.

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Oh, OK. So the relevance of a given advert depends on what the advertising party wanted then? –  perbert Nov 26 '09 at 5:42
    
It depends on how much they are paying, lambdawaver. –  Ladybug Killer Nov 26 '09 at 8:35

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