The Rubicon Project is an ad optimization tool.
Rubicon Project Explanation
You may run advertisements on your site. The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) has a list of standard advertising unit sizes, as an example a common size is a 300×250 (refers to the pixel width and height) ad unit. When you join an advertising network such as AdSense, Yahoo Publishers Network, or others, they typically have all of the standard IAB sizes. You would then place code on your site to display ads from these networks. The code will only place the advertisements from that one network, to rotate them you would need to use a script or ad software.
However to determine which advertisements are paying the best for your site, page, position, ad type, etc., you would need to check each network every day and keep a spreadsheet. However what you would be unable to do is what ad optimization networks like Rubicon do, and that is optimize by determining which ad network to pull an advertisement from based on the page, position, geographic location of the person and more, in order to optimize your revenue. Revenue is measured by an eCPM (estimate cost per thousand). If the eCPM is $1.20 then you are making $1.20 for every thousand ad impressions.
Setting up Networks
Rubicon has two types of networks.
- Smart Matched Networks – networks that Rubicon has already set up
- Baseline Networks – networks that you will need to set up yourself
Smart Matched Networks
When you initially join and set up a website, receive your Rubicon ad code, and place the code on your site you will instantly begin displaying advertisements because Rubicon already has relationships with certain Advertising Networks in place. Therefore advertisements are being pulled from a list of about 10 already setup. These are the Smart Matched Networks. Which Smart Network advertisements are pulled from depends on settings under the Sites tab that I will explain in another post. As a quick example, you can choose to show both display advertisements (graphical ads) and/or text ads. If a network does not have text ads and you chose to only show text ads, then obviously that network will not be part of your mix.
These networks can be manually added by you. There are two reasons you would add them, you may want to add additional networks that are not already part of the Rubicon Smart Matched Networks or you may already have a network relationship and you would like to keep it.
There are a lot of networks you can choose from under the Baseline Networks. Simply click the “add” button next to the Baseline Networks heading and you will see a list. However to add one of these networks you must have a relationship with them. In other words you must sign up with them, be approved, and when entering into Rubicon you would need to have your login and password to set it up. Now when you do this you can still log into the original ad network directly to obtain stats and/or get them from Rubicon. The benefit of having the advertising pulled from Rubicon is to optimize your inventory to achieve the highest eCPM, the most money possible per impression. However, there are costs associated with this so read on.
How You Get Paid and How Rubicon Gets Paid
Rubicon charges a 10% fee. Therefore if your total revenue for the month is $1,000 Rubicon would receive $100. Now here is how it breaks down if you have added networks using the Baseline Networks. First the Smart Matched Networks are Rubicon relationships so let’s say you make $100 from them in one month, then you make $100 from a group of Base Line networks that you signed up for and added to Rubicon. For the Month you would make $200, however Rubicon would take a 10% or $20 fee since they optimized your inventory. Now Rubicon’s Smart Match Networks made your $100 minus their $20 fee (fee is on the total $200) and you would receive an $80 check from Rubicon. The $100 from Baseline Networks would come directly from those advertising networks you have direct relationships with. The question is whether you believe a 10% fee is worth Rubicon optimizing your feeds. Assuming they can take your $.90 eCPM to $1.00 or more, then yes, it’s definitely worth a try.