Category Archives: AdMob

Review of Adwhirl

adwhirlI recently tried a product called AdWhirl from AdMob.  AdWhirl is an open source ad aggregation tool.  Basically you put an AdWhirl ad in your application, it will query the various ad agencies and try to find the best ad to place on your page.  In other words, you could run ads AdMob, Quartro, iAd, your own ad network, etc.  The idea is excellent.

The setup is not for the faint of heart.  AdMob will let you use their server, but you should really setup your own AdWhirl server so you are in control.  You will also need to register directly with each and every ad network you will be using.  Registration can take weeks, so you should do it as soon as possible.  On the application side, you will need to include the library (jar) for each platform, which can make for some large applications.  After that there is some minor configuration, but nothing too bad.

I really like the idea, but this implementation isn’t for me.  When there is an update to the ad network libraries you have to update your application.  I would have liked it better if the jars were loaded on the server, so the clients didn’t have to talk directly with each and every client.  I also don’t like having to run the service on my own server, for busy applications, it might eat up a signficant part of the savings.

The absolute worst part is getting paid by multipal ad networks!  In the industry  you have Net-5, Net-30, Net-60, Net-90.  Its really had to stay on top of.  A check can eaisly go missing and you would never know it.

When would I use AdWhirl?  If I had an application that generated a lot of views (inventory). I might want to sell my own inventory, AdWhirl would allow me to sell a portion of my inventory, and still use a network for the remaining.  Excessive inventory is a huge problem publishers, and AdWhirl is a good solution for it.


MoPub, Omar Hamoui, and another great Marketing Blog

mopubSo a bunch of people have been leaving Google/Admob to start a new company called MoPub.  It looks like an ad aggregation service like mobclix or adwhirl.  But, they have funding, so maybe it will be great.  I have signed up for the beta, will let you know if you hear anything.

Along the same lines, Google lost Admob’s founder Omar Hamoui for personal reasons.  Its never good when founders leave after a merger…

Also, I found this great blog: Reseo Blog Search Marketing Blog.  Lots of good content to check out, he has been blogging for years.


How to download Admob SDK

So a while back I needed to grab a new copy of the Admob SDK, I had a hard time finding it on there site.  Hopefully this will help someone:

  1. Login to Admob
  2. Go to the Sites and Apps Page (Should be default login page)
  3. Mouse over one of your apps, and click the “Manage Settings” button
  4. To the right of your publisher ID is a link that says “Get Publisher Code”  click this link.
  5. Click the button that says Download AdMob Android SDK.


Google AdSense Ads are now in Admob!

Logging in to Admob today, I got a really nice message:

Google AdSense Ads Enabled

Congratulations! Apps in your account have been enabled to serve Google AdSense ads. For any unfilled ad request, AdMob will attempt to serve Google AdSense ads to help improve your fill rate. No further changes are required on your part. This program applies the Google AdSense Online Terms and Conditions. You can change your Google AdSense ad settings at anytime. Go to “Manage Settings” for your iPhone or Android apps and then click on the “App Settings” tab

Here a few tips to remember:

  • Stats for Google AdSense ads will be consolidated with your existing AdMob network ads, including all revenue and impressions.
  • Reporting for Google AdSense ads will be delayed by up to 48 hours.
  • AdMob ad filters will not apply for any Google AdSense ads served to your app.
  • More information is available here.

Admob has ad filters turned on by default.

When I started using Admob, my fill rate was around 70% and my erpm was very low.  One way I increased my fill rate and erpm was to enable “Age Appropriate Ads”  on my apps.  I’m not a big fan of the ads, they tend to be flirty PG-13 stuff.  Admob defines them as:

An ad is designated age appropriate when the content or service promoted is not suitable for all audiences. Examples of age appropriate advertising are gambling and personals ads. AdMob does not accept ads that promote adult products or services.

Turning on the age appropriate ads doubled my erpm (from $.02 to $.05) and bumped my fill rate to 99.7%

To adjust your filters you need to login to admob, click the marketplace link, hover over your application, click the manage settings button, then click the “Category / Type Settings” link.  The age appropriate ads are at the bottom.  By default they are turned off.



Size of Admob network

So I finally made it to the bank to cash my admob checks.  I had two checks, one from July and one from August.  When I looked at the difference in check numbers it was under 900.  Admob also offers deposits via paypal, so of course they have more than 900 clients.  My guess is that most users of admob are small developers and Admob has under 1500 clients, but thats just a guess.  I found this page from 2007 which said that Admob has over 1000 publishers working with them, so it would seem that publisher growth has slowed a bit?  What do you think?


Its all about the click through

So I spent some time this afternoon sifting through admob reports, trying to determine why my ecpm was so low (a few cents).  I noticed there is a strong correlation between click-though rates and ecpm, so much so that I think the vast majority of ad sales are sold cost per click, not cost per impression.   So you should concentrate on running ads that users want to click on, don’t display too many ads, and give the users time to click on the ad.  Also, by default admob turns off age appropriate ads.  I turned them on and it doubled my click though rate, and increased my ecpm by 1000%.  The ads are slightly adult but nothing worse then you would see on late night cable and it boosted my fill rate quite a bit.


Making Money in Android Development

So far I have released four android apps:

  • Bus Stop Alarm
  • Fire Starter
  • Private Browser
  • Free Private Browser

I have used three methods of monetization:

  • Admob
  • Mobclix
  • Direct Market Sales

I’m serving up quite a bit of ads, ~20,000 a day.  But, my RPM is only a few cents and I end up making under a dollar most days.  Mobclix started of paying very well but fell very fast.  I have had better luck with direct sales, but am still only making a few dollars a day.  I read online of people with RPM’s around three Generic Viagra Online to five dollars.  At that rate, I would be earning $60-100 a day, which would be very exciting.

I’m planning on writting Admob and Mobclix to ask why the RPM’s are so low.  I was also thinking of trying adwhirl…

I would love to know if anyone has any ideas on how I could improve the  monitization of my apps.