ADOTAS – Lijit decided to strike when Google least expected it, introducing its upgraded free analytics tool for small and midsized publishers during the search giant’s I/O conference. Egads, the poor Googlers never saw the enhanced publisher dashboard coming, complete with unparalleled metrics such as popular search terms, social referral traffic, audience demographics as well as transparency on ad performance.
The startup has pretty much declared war on Google’s publisher reign by providing small and medium-sized pubs with search widgets and other on-site tools in exchange for audience data for analysis and vertical optimization that can be used to monetize a site’s audience.
Last year it started inviting pubs to use an AdSense-like display ad platform connected to 35 DSPs and trading desks as well as premier ad networks and revenue optimizers. Lijit’s ad serving was non-exclusive and featured no contracts, allowing publishers to choose how much inventory they wanted to monetize and enabling them to quit at any time. With more than 3,000 display partners on the publisher side, daily impressions are well over 50 million and the company expects to make over $10 million in ad revenue this year.
OK, maybe that’s aren’t numbers that will make Google shake, but just like social search engine Blekko, it’s impressive to see a challenger to Big G with some tech backbone. In particular, the improved analytics offer some serious perks for publishers using Lijit’s ad platform: full transparency regarding ad requests, ad impressions, clicks, CTR, eCPM, fill rate and earnings.
The new analytics platform has already received high praise from current Lijit pub partners.
“Lijit has done it again – they have crafted what may be the cleanest, smoothest, best-working interface for general statistics tracking and ad management combined,” said Kurt Kohlstedt, executive editor for Webist Publishing and Misnamed Media. “The interfaces for most ad networks are laughably and atrociously impossible to use in any way, shape or form. On the data front, Google Analytics is nice but provides too much information. Lijit has done a great job balancing analytics with ad revenue reports right there in the dashboard.”