SEO vs. Click Bait. Digested Thoughts.

1) The Golden Age vs. Click Bait

“In the golden age of digital, Google SEO ruled the web. Back then, you wanted the best possible placement for your organic search results. This meant following Google’s rules for almost every aspect of your online architecture. That was then.

Today, clickbait and recommendation platforms rule the web. The consequences of this transition are unfortunate. Publishers are economically motivated to use any means to maximize page views. This has spawned a plague of traffic brokers who specialize in traffic laundering at an almost unbelievable scale.

At its core, ad tech’s sorry state is a function of scale and misguided media procurement strategies. Publishers need more traffic than they can realistically generate because their “real” traffic is undervalued or, some would say, indistinguishable from fraudulent traffic. If you need to take an order for 20 million impressions and you only have 2 million to sell, you will use a traffic broker to procure the additional 18 million impressions – everyone is doing it, even if they think they aren’t.

Today fraud is out of control.”


2) Re Targeting To Death

“There are new tools emerging that enable publishers to combine common measurements for content adjacency, context, and behavioral targeting with pattern-matching algorithms to rank users into “in market” clusters (as opposed to targeting specific people). There are several programmatic creative tools capable of putting the right message in front of the clusters. The machine learning algorithms can continuously refine the clusters and, in many cases, can identify attributable paths to purchase. The result is the ability to guarantee a business outcome at a price.

If publishers believe that advertising works, they can prove it by assuming some (or all) of the risk for a greater reward.

And yet, it won’t happen this way. There is no Adtopia, and ad tech will be with us in its current form until someone goes to jail.”