Online Ad Rates: Are You Buying The Traffic You Think You’re Buying?

I was browsing the analytics of one of the top financial sites around. Just about everyone in the financial blogosphere knows this site.

The online advertising rate card for this site lists impressive numbers. But when you look at the analytics, you might be surprised at what some of the traffic is coming to the site for.

Here are some keywords sending them traffic:

top interview questions
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sugar sandwiches
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Of course, they do have other valuable keywords sending them traffic, such as people interested in mortgage topics.

The catch is that if you just buy based on their traffic numbers in aggregate, you’re buying mortgage traffic along with hungry chefs and job seekers. Probably not what you were looking for in a finance site ad buy.

I have some ideas on solutions, like requesting/paying for access to their analytics, or just buying ads within 1 category of their content, but I’m not sure how likely people are to give anyone that access. How would you guys go about solving this? (AdSense obviously is a solution, but it has other problems, and sites don’t always use Webmaster Welfare to monetize…)

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