Bebo And Reality Check based on $436 test

After reading about bebo trying to sell its self here,  and google paying $900 million for google adsense to show ads on myspace and other sites I thought i’d share some advertising tests i’ve done.

I spent  $436.00 on bebo last week via google.

1,831 clicks
1,641,390 impressions.  
conversions 30 times worse then the average adsense site.

In terms of conversions,  the traffic from bebo resulted in 30 times less signups then I would get from the average adsense site, and resulted in 1/20th the number of pageviews from users clicking through.    I estimate 95%+ of the clicks coming from bebo where accidental,  considering the click thru rate was 0.11% that isn’t unreasonable.  There are many forums on the internet where people complain clicks from big social networks are useless as they are pretty much all accidental.

I think the myspace-google deal was really about toolbar distribution and fox’s other properties.   Even yahoo has come out and said myspace clicks are worthless and has banned users from using YPN ads on their msypace profiles because they don’t convert at all,  and yahoo didn’t want to make a deal with myspace.

If myspace inventory starts flooding adsense, publishers will switch to YPN by the hundreds of thousands.   Categories earning $1.00 a click could easilly be reduced to 3 cents click  when so much junk inventory gets tossed into the system.

24 Responses to “Bebo And Reality Check based on $436 test”

  1. Sam Moorcroft, Says:

    Marcus, we had a similar experience with – we got tons of clicks and even profiles; conversion there wasn’t bad, actually. However, out of around 400 trial profiles, I think we had 1 (!) that paid us. Clearly, their market just wasn’t interested in more than the trial portion.

    We did some research and found that the vast majority of people logging profiles were 18-20. That age group is too young to really care about paying for a dating site. We then tried again by tailoring our ads to singles 30+. We got lots of clicks, but way less trial profiles, so it didn’t make sense to continue. The effective CPA rate was too high.
    And, hardly any converted.

    We haven’t tried MySpace, but have heard enough from others who have tried it that it is a waste of money.

  2. TheBusinessMan Says:

    Markus, I think you’re right. I recently did a small one day advertising campain on via google adwords. In a matter of minutes I got thousands of clicks. Guess what, not one conversion.

    Please understand, I am not here to say anything bad about youtube. They are a great company run by talented people. But, to advertise on these sites, you really have to know what you’re doing or else you’re going to loose a lot of money.

  3. Markus Says: is doing well with myspace, but they are basically running porn ads. Lesbians kissing and screen shaking type of stuff. So if you get super high CTR on a CPM basis you will do alright. I should test a few more ads, but if you pay more then 5 cents on a CPM basis you lose a lot of money.

  4. TheBusinessMan Says:

    Just to let everyone, we tried to promote ringtones on these sites. We lost all of our money, not one damn conversion. I just don’t get it!

  5. Christian Cadeo Says:

    Well, I think the bottom line is all this inventory will just be sold on a CPA basis which will be interesting to see what their eCPM is and how this will impact margins.

  6. Fernando Ardenghi Says:

    Regarding text-based and keyword-targeted advertising, I have my brain (and eyes) well trained to NOT see/read any of those Ads!!!
    It is more than one year that I use GMail and I have not payed any attention to ads appearing every time I read an email, nor clicked anyone!!!

    I think a lot of people also act like me, i.e. do not pay any attention (or less attention they should pay) to appearing Ads!

    Are those Ads only wasted_money?
    I think many advertisers posting Ads to Google, Yahoo or others are only throwing money to wastebins!

    Kindest Regards,

    Fernando Ardenghi.
    Buenos Aires.

  7. Alex Says:

    Did you really mean 1,831 clicks for 1,641,390 *million* impressions OR 1,831 clicks for 1,641,390 impressions ??

  8. Andrew Johnson Says:

    Interesting, because FIM has been saying they plan on building their own “mini portal” sites based off of this traffic.

    I think the key here is not age but rather it is “just browsing” traffic. There are ways to use that traffic to your advantage, but not necessarily on a sales basis.

    Much of the traffic being driving from adsense sites originates in search engines where ther person was looking for something specific to begin, possibly credit card in hand. I think Myspace’s largest advertisers will be the big brands. The positive ROI advertisers will be the kinds of things we see on TV at 2 am.

    Not to mention that thousands of small businesses are using Myspace for advertising through their own profiles, everything from tattoo shops, to concert promoters, to misc websites. I would guess a profile page were the business can communicate directly with a core audience beats the hell out of what any banner would do for them.

  9. SEO Portal Says:

    *sigh*.. can’t wait for YPN to roll out in Europe (Netherlands) as well..

  10. Good Marketer Says:

    Just because Google makes it easy and cheap to advertise on Bebo it doesn’t mean one should.

    Plentyoffish advertising on Bebo is like advertising Red Bull on Murder She Wrote.

    Why would a predominantly North American site want to advertise to predominantly high schoolers in UK and New Zealand? Not sure why high schoolers need a dating site in their lives when they 1) have Bebo 2) have too many hormones in a controlled environment anyway.

    Find a better target.

  11. Sean Says:

    The only sites converting aren’t through banners on myspace, but inside promotions that are being done by small time insiders. (re: small networks of profiles owned by one person) They’ll send out a bulletin blast to more than 100,000 profiles and have a huge spike in hours. It’s a small niche, but it’s very effective and below the radar for now.

    It’s so much more effective to see (what’s essentially) an ad, when it comes from a friend.

    I’ve found a small company to run these ads with. Expensive, but it works.

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  13. Jonathan Crutchley Says:

    Sorry that Bebo and MySpace are not doing for your websites what the internet is supposed to do; namely to find EXACTLY what you are looking for in the vastness of Cyberspace. Bebo is a dud for us (we don’t advertise to minors, and they can’t separate them), but MySpace is turning into our best friend. is looking for gay men, age 18 and up, to join our site, and MySpace can show our banner ONLY to their members who are male, over 18, and identify themselves as gay. When our first ad campaign began on MySpace one Friday night, the response crashed our system (temporarily, thank goodness). Let’s just say that the number of new PAYING members to Manhunt who joined from our MySpace advertising has more than paid for the ad. We are satisfied customers of MySpace.

  14. Dr Deep Says:

    I remember reading an interview Mark Brooks did with a think tank / research company.

    They were saying that people dont convert well from social networking to dating and vice versa.

    I guess that explains some of what Sam Moorcroft from was saying.

  15. chantelle Says:

    bebo is great because you can talk to friends

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  17. Xkgmjugx Says:

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  19. Says:

    I think on utube you can get lots of accidental clicks

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