Tuesday, January 5, 2010

CMF Ads - A critical look - Part 1

As we are heading now into Week 3 of CMF Ads new blog traffic option "Spikes" and several blog reviews about "Spikes" later, it's astonishing how positive some members are about the "Spikes".

Who are these members who have a positive attitude towards "Spikes"?

  1. Most of these members are "CMF Ads only"-members with no affilation to EntreCard or Adgitize. Some of these members get only 5 - 30 visitors per day when i look at the statistics which CMF Ads provides.
    Sure they are lucky to get -usually within 3 days- 50 additional visitors for 20 cents instead of spending three to five $ for different ad spaces on other CMF blogs to achieve the same result (within 30 days) if you can achieve so many clicks at all.

  2. Some members are EntreCard members, but again with just a small portion of traffic and mostly not very active in EntreCard, as always there are exception when we talk about more than 175 spikes advertiser (Admaster and Frugal Housewife, Kitchen Retro, Virtual Dime Museum).

  3. The other members are Adgitize members who are not advertising, so they don't get automatic traffic to their blogs. It's the same reason like in No. 1 - it's cheap traffic.
    By calling it "cheap" i really mean cheap!
Looking at the numbers from my Spikes #2 and #3, especially after you strip them down into real statistics and not just the average numbers of received visitors shows a complete different picture of the visitor's quality - not like the Admin's of CMF want to tell you that they give you better visitors than EntreCard or Adgitize or that their system is better as you don't have to write an article/daily to earn points, waste time by visiting other blogs!

Spikes - 2- just 31 seconds stay (average) but from the 46 recorded visitors (60 visitors overall including the additional 10 free visitors from 29th December) only 5 stayed longer than 0 seconds!
Spikes -3- getting better after i published the CMF Spikes poll -but only 25 visitors gave their votes yet- even when there have been 50 CMF visitors?


  1. Interesting article certainly and something to think about.

  2. I have buy spikes #2 for hitechblog but it seem to have 3-4 spikes left even after four to five days. In that condition, i cannot buy spikes #3 and i wonder how long will it take to clear out the remaining spikes.

  3. @Ricky:

    Yes, Ricky. The Clicks are my concern, too.
    I wrote this already in the CMF Ads Forum that 75% of the clicks are finished within 36 hours but the left-over clicks need again up to 36 hours with the last 5 clicks around 8 hours.

    My suggestion was reducing it to 40 clicks, so that the Spikes are finished within 2 days.

    No, was the answer of Ben, 50 seems to be ok for them and as another option in the future 100 available clicks :)

    By the way, this will be included in my second part.

  4. Cornyman,

    Before this post, your last post was on December 29th. If you buy a spike when members have already seen your latest post, what else can they do except clicking and running? If you haven't posted since your last spike, there is not much point buying another spike until your next post.

    I know that this is the case because I saw your spike coming up when you had no new posts for people to read. Is it really fair to blame CMF Ads for that?

  5. @Ben:

    Looking at my post dates, you can see that i posted the SPIKES results on 27th and on 29th i posted the poll. So there was PLENTY to read for the members who visited me through the 2nd spikes but it was the WORST result of all three spikes.

    And like i mentioned i get 50 visitors but just 25 votes, should i guess now from the 200 Spikes advertiser only 25 have results?

    The first 25 members from the 2nd Spikes might not have seen the poll as i posted it in the evening of the 29th.

    There are also a lot of EntreCard members who could vote (which don't come necessarily from CMF Ads for a visit but have Spikes running)

    My 3rd Spikes started on 1st January with the intention to get some advertiser for the empty slots and to get more results for the poll but like you can see - 50 additional visitors and just a few votes came in. At this time there had been already several members who had -like me- already a 2nd Spikes running, enough to click for 10 seconds one or more buttons.

    But it's like i mentioned in the previous posts - with incentives you don't catch many members to stay, you catch them to get the 0,2 cents and run to buy themselves a spikes!

  6. A small point: did you know it is impossible to use the cursor keys while using your comment box? That's how it is for me while using Firefox on Ubuntu. I can type, but I can't use the cursor keys. I've never had this problem on another blog, including other Blogger blogs.

    A poll is very quick to read. You may have had some of the same people visiting for spikes 2 and 3 and they could only vote once. Not everyone will vote. There is also the fact that it's been Christmas and New Year - perhaps not the best time to release Spikes, but then we chose to release at that time because we expected it to be quieter. Releasing new features at a busy time is a risky thing to do. This is also why we haven't changed the number of spikes you can buy yet - we have no idea how much they will be used in the future.

    It is possible (and I have heard this mentioned on other blogs in the past) that Google Analytics is not tracking the visitors who visit very quickly, especially if they close the page before it loads fully, if your Google Analytics code is at the bottom of the page. It would be interesting to see how your stats differ if you tried looking at another stats package. It would help to determine where the problem lies.

    Another issue with Google Analytics is that I couldn't find a way to look at a visitor's IP address. If we could get that information then I would be able to check it against our records to see who clicked the spike but didn't show up in your stats. That's really what I'm interested in, because then I might be able to ask the members how they use spikes, what browser they use etc to see if there's an issue we can fix.

    Another way would be to provide some kind of "match up" setting on the CMF Ads widget, so we can check that people are loading the page. However, this might not be much use if the page is closed after the widget loads but before Google Analytics logs your visits.

    As for the comment regarding the number of clicks we allow you to buy - you say 40, we provide 50, someone else suggested 100 as an extra option. We're not just going to change the number every time someone suggests it. What if we go with your idea of 40 clicks, but then someone asks us to change it back? Basically, we can't please everyone, and we'd rather wait a bit longer to see how Spikes perform over the next couple of weeks before looking at new purchasing options. We could just let you choose to buy any number of clicks above a certain number and charge you accordingly. That may be a better option.

  7. @Ben:

    I think it would be much more interesting to see other members open their Google Analytics log file, separated by City so that we can see if there are really only clicker or if some of my clickers read other blogs. Just looking at the average numbers doesn't give the real picture like you can see in my examples!

    I changed the code placement on my other blog to the header as Google provided now a new code - but the same effect 0 second stay for all the 10 free clicks.

    I said 40 clicks because i saw in my own three spikes that every time the last 10 clicks take almost a full day. And you saw in my previous post Frugal Housewife commenting that there is still "this one open click, otherwise i could start a new Spikes" and in this post Ricky is writing that there are for many hours the last few clicks open.
    If there are at the moment around 30-40 members who are actively logging into CMF Ads to click the Spikes and occasionally some other members who click, it would be the best to reduce the number or allow a certain number (which might be bad if someone chooses 100 and has to wait more than one week... with each day just 2 or 3 clicks as soon as 60 or 70 clicks are reached).

    For me the comment box is working, it's scrolling when i write more and i can use the keys to navigate. I have no idea how to fix the comment box for Ubuntu's operating system :(

  8. A few things:

    1) I sometimes have the same problem moving around in the comment window that Ben is reporting. Usually, I write my comments elsewhere, so it isn't a problem for me. I'm running on Firefox on Windows Vista. Often have many windows open at the same time.

    2) I think you are misreading the Google Analytics. Google Analytics only provides time on site information for non bouncing users. If the user bounces, it displays a time on site of 0.

    3) I've put up and image of my Google Analtyics for the CMF spike traffic I received. I am concerned about 15 of them coming from the same city and all bouncing. That said, of those that did not bounce, they stuck around for a good while on my site.

    For more info, check

  9. Cornyman, thanks for the review and it seems like the jury is still out on the spikes. I have not heard too many positive things so far but I will soon be checking it out for myself. After all it is very cheap to give it whirl.

  10. Hey Cornyman, Great informative post about a subject that I guess I really need to do more investigating into. I'd also like to see the pros vs the cons although you did cover them here, if it will help with our blogs then I think we should all look into it. From the comments of your readers it sounds like a good thing. Thanks for the info on the CMFads and Spike info. jj

  11. Hi there, thanks for dropping by. I'm here to return the favor.


  12. I tried Spikes on Jan 6th. My clicks lasted within 2 days but until now Analytics only recorded 36 visits, not sure why. The stats showed 2 visitors took time to look around. One person from Oakland spent 29:50 to open 3 pages (he/she probably fallen asleep)!

    Anyway, I noticed my usual 410 adgitize point boosted to 430 (highest ever) when I had Spikes, so I just bought it again to see if I can steal higher Adgitize point on the weekend ;)

  13. hi,

    I used spikes, bought 2 in the last week....though i can say they were all visitors no readers.....but i buy these spikes especially on days when i won't be able to drop on Entrecard fellow bloggers....that gives me a cushion so that i still get at 50 visitors.....

    Days when i don't drop.....the number of visitor's from entrecard drops significantly from on an average of 230-240 on dropping days to 170-180 on non dropping days...and decreases more if i don't drop next day.....

    i would say no one is getting the ideal result but for me....Entrecard would be first cause i don't buy ads....from adgitize or cmfads.....


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