Digital traffic market is huge. Hundreds of ad networks, thousands of websites and apps, millions of users and billions of impressions. There are also thousands and thousands of advertisers buying traffic and running ads.
Usually advertising networks and DSPs give a lot of targeting options. Well at least you can choose the websites and apps you want to run ads, country, town or even a single house.
It’s a matter of a second and even less for the whole ad network system to decide what to do with each single impression. Well if the impression is bought, banner shows up and there is nothing special about it. But what happens to traffic that nobody bought?
There is a large amount of traffic, nobody placed a bid at. That traffic is called run-of-network (RON) traffic, audience traffic or seo-traffic. So, it’s quite obvious why it’s called run-of-network, but why all the other names?
Some advertisers call it SEO-traffic since it’s cheap traffic for rising new websites SEO. Ad networks sometimes sell 100 000 clicks for $5, so you see how cheap you can boost your website visitors. But for the lowest price you’ll probably get quite poor quality.
Why audience traffic? Well it’s just not to call it RON, since many people associate it with something bad.
RON traffic is not always bad. It’s just a mix of traffic of very different quality and usually you have no ability to choose it or somehow influence it’s quality. Some networks filter out the worst bot traffic and provide OK but still very cheap traffic though. You can also test different traffic sources to optimize your spend and increase performance.
So why people buy RON traffic if it’s so unpredictable. Well, it’s a very cheap kind of traffic and you can put it to good use if you know what to do.
First, run-of-network traffic is OK for brand awareness and for testing your hypothesis on wide audience. You show your ads to a bunch of completely different people and see how it performs. As mentioned above, it’s also good for boosting SEO a bit if you have international website and it doesn’t make much difference what traffic to drive there.
But are there any ways to filter junk traffic and get only the good part of the audience? We’ll tell about that in our next blog post!
Also published on Medium.