What does professionalism mean to you when it comes to ad networks? by Chris Trayhorn, Publisher of mThink Blue Book, September 24, 2015 Does it mean that they deliver the performance that they promise, pay on time against reliable tracking, and provide good service? I suspect that’s close to the definition that most people would agree upon. But if that’s the definition, are Google and Facebook “professional”? And what about your favorite CPA or CPS network? How do they match up? This week, as the research program for the 2016 Blue Book network rankings kicks into gear, news coincidentally came of Google allegedly taking money from the pockets of their advertisers via automated video views on YouTube. Evidence has surfaced that while YouTube effectively detects video views that are artificially produced by automated bots and reduces the view-count on individual videos accordingly, they still charge advertisers for most of those bot-views anyway: “…the bots “viewed” two of the videos 150 times, YouTube’s public view-counter only listed 25 of the views. Its system had apparently identified the rest of the views as fake and so weeded them out. Google’s Adwords ad platform, however, charged the researchers for 91 views…” If your ad network of choice charged you for nearly 4x the actual views that your ad received, would that be “professional”? Is Google professional? Maybe defining exactly what constitutes “professionalism” is tougher than it seems. Identifying the most professional CPA and CPS networks is the mission of the Revenue Blue Book. Over the next few months we will be looking at what is most important to advertisers and publishers when it comes to choosing a network – is it just a matter of which has the best offer today or the best rates, or does quality of service and confidence in their financial viability trump short-term concerns? The 2016 Revenue Blue Book network rankings are going to be the most authoritative yet, driven by the discussion we will be holding via these newsletters through to the New Year. The research process is already under way but will now step up a gear. Over 5,000 performance marketing industry professionals have already completed our in-depth survey with the main push for response still to come. Please get involved. If you have a viewpoint on performance marketing networks, or want to ask the network owners to respond, please email email@example.com. Filed under: Marketing 2.0, Revenue Tagged under: affiliate marketing, affiliate networks, Affiliates, Blue Book Top 20, publishers About the Author Chris Trayhorn, Publisher of mThink Blue Book Chris Trayhorn is the Chairman of the Performance Marketing Industry Blue Ribbon Panel and the CEO of mThink.com, a leading online and content marketing agency. He has founded four successful marketing companies in London and San Francisco in the last 15 years, and is currently the founder and publisher of Revenue+Performance magazine, the magazine of the performance marketing industry since 2002.