A report about the ad revenue of different political sites running BlogAds is an interesting read. The study did not address ad placement, just the ad count, and it found that most of the weblogs would make more money if they placed additional ads on their site. Political blogs have stayed cutting edge and are good examples of what is possible with other types of weblogs. I have noticed certain political blogs are now using a 3 column layout with the highlighted center column being an ad column.
SUMMARY OF FINDINGS
Traffic Is King. Page views are the strongest of the three predictors tested: it explains at least twice the variation in ad revenue that either the number of inbound linking sites, the number ads, or the political orientation do. Taken together, page views, the number of ads, and political orientation explain over 80% of the variation in the ad revenue, a very substantial amount. This indicates that the statistical model predicts ad revenue with a high degree of accuracy. Doubling the weekly page views results in a 50% increase in ad revenues.
Space Matters, Even in Cyberspace.Holding page views constant, the average effect of adding one more ad is a 20% decrease in price and a 40% increase in revenue. Interestingly, the number of ads on most blogs is well below the number where returns to revenues become negative, i.e. the point where
increasing the number of ads results in less, rather than more, revenue.
Partisanship Pays, But Unequally. When controlling for both the number of weekly page views and the number of ads, politically-oriented blogs generate no higher ad revenue and command no higher ad prices than other blogs. However, revenues from ads on left-of-center (LOC) blogs are 40% higher than average while their right-of-center (ROC) counterparts’ revenues are 23% less. There are notable exceptions to this general trend, however. While LOC blogs dominate at both the lower (below 100,000) and the upper (above 1 million) ends of the weekly page views continuum, ROC blogs earn much more in the middle territory.