Rating 0 / 5 - Avoid - tl;dr Vertoz will sometimes show ads, sometimes not, and sometimes they will hijack your users browser. The only thing they do consistently is not pay.
April 27, 2016 - Two weeks ago I received an unsolicited email from Akash Tekchandani at Vertoz:
I represent Vertoz (http://www.vertoz.com/) an ingenious programmatic plex. We are interested in an advertising partnership with you.
Vertoz gives you access to premium ad networks like Google Adx, Yahoo Bing, Appnexus, OpenX and many more.
We are partnered with various premium advertisers whose ads will be placed on your website.
Our In house RTB system makes sure only the highest bidding advertiser's ad is displayed on your site.
We have a wide collection of programmatic-friendly ad formats like Display, Video, Text.
Kindly let me know if you are keen to know more about us, we can take this forward via email or a call.
You can add me on skype to discuss it further, below is my Skype id
Looking forward to a positive response.
I don't usually respond to anything from an unsolicited email for obvious reasons, but access to premium ad networks for filefishstick sounded too good not to give them a chance. We used to use Google AdSense for our ad network which was quite lucrative at about $1 CPM (per 1000 pageviews) but unfortunately some of the software we list here is not allowed on the Googe Adsense network. I've tried other ad networks with very limited success. Google is #1 for a reason. I thought perhaps Vertoz could get us the premium and relevant ads we needed to get close to $1 CPM again.. Why not try it for 2 weeks??
First thing I did was check out their site. It looked professional enough. ~9,000 Alexa rank.. They must be getting a decent amount of traffic. I signed up and submitted filefishstick for approval.
Off to a Bad Start
My site was approved less than 12 hours after submitting the application, that's not bad. I logged in, got my ad code, added the vertoz ad code to filefishstick and refreshed the page. HTTP 500 error where the ads should be. Refreshing the page a few times I see either the 500 error or nothing where the ads should be. Strange it's not consistent but not too concerning, it takes a little while for ads to start coming up on any network. Checked a few hours later, no change. I contacted Akash and he told me to wait 24 hours. I did, no change after 24 hours, though my vertoz dashboard showed 15 ad impressions during that time. Clearly ads were showing sometimes, but very rarely. The inconsistencies were more concerning than no ads, how could I ever know ads were showing 100% of the time??
The HTTP 500 error - click for fullsize.
"Fixing" the Problem
I emailed Akash the above image and let him know I was still not seeing ads. He said he'd forwarded the issue to his technical team. Later that day I started seeing ads much more consistently and my Vertoz dashboard went from < 20 impressions per day to more than 100 (still much lower than expected though I don't have anyway to track the correct amount setup currently). I gave it a couple days to see what happens. It often takes awhile for the ad network to figure out which ads work best for a given site.
My impressions went up two days in a row then began to fall. I checked filefishstick and again saw no ads, just a strange error in their place "document.write('/n/n". I contacted Akash again and sent him a screenshot of the latest error and let him know I was concerned I wasn't getting all my impressions. The Vertoz dashboard was showing some impressions so clearly some people were seeing the ads. But how many were not? Akash wrote back that he'd once again contact his technical support team and added that he'd check to see "if there is some issue with the impressions" how could there not be if my users are getting a weird error instead of ads?
The "document.write('/n/n" error - click for fullsize.
No More Problems?
Within 24 hours the error was fixed and I started to see ads again, most of the time.. Sometimes I still saw no ads.. When I did see ads I was not seeing much variety, after reloading the page dozens of times now I mostly see the same ads over and over:
"Date Asian girls" ad: No complaints there.
Ads for a European online casino: Ad wasn't in English, I'm in the US and my browser is set to English, this ad should not be targeted at me.
Ad to advertise on ato.mx: This was the most common ad, sometimes 3 ato.mx ads would come up on the same page, it's most likely a filler ad for when there is no inventory and ato.mx is probably associated with vertoz. Would I get paid for showing this ad? I'm guessing no based on my results.
Fake download button ad: This was the most promising, filefishstick is a download site after all. Google adsense would show these ads almost 100% of the time on here and they paid well so I know these ads work well with my traffic. Unfortunately I only saw these ads sporadically on the side tower slot, never in the ad slot at the top or bottom of the page.
Yet More Problems - Time to Pull the Plug
It can take a while for an ad network to figure out the best ads for a given site/page. I let the site run with the ads for over a week, checking occasionally. In the roughly two weeks I was running vertoz ads I had 3,688 impressions. Much less than expected but still something.. How much did we make? Google would have paid about $3.60 for that many impressions. Vertoz? $0.00 or $0.04. The top of the dashboard says we made $0.04 for the month. The bottom of the dashboard with the detailed day by and month totals says we made $0. So which is it? Doesn't really matter at this point. I have no idea what they are basing this on. The dashboard does not show clicks, just revenue for the day. All 0's. No breakdown by ad location. I am certain that our visitors made some clicks on those ads. How many clicks and how much is that worth? There's no way to know with Vertoz but it's obviously not worth much to them. I've tried 4 or 5 ad networks now and this is by far the worst result I have ever seen.
More Reasons to Avoid Vertoz
Cropped Ads: Sometimes ads will be the wrong size for where vertoz is trying to place them leading to them getting cropped. Who's going to click on that??
No Ads: After having their technical team look into it twice I was still sometimes not seeing anything where the ads should be.
No Ads Showing.
Browser hijacking: The most serious issue I encountered. Sometimes on loading filefishstick my browser would be automatically to a site claiming I needed a critical update or on one occasion claimed I had a virus, needed to call a phone number, and would not let me close the window. At no time did I get a virus but there's no telling what would have happened if I downloaded the software they were trying to trick me into using. So not only were they not paying me for my traffic they were hijacking my visitors, possibly damaging their computers, and risking getting filefishstick blacklisted as an attack site.
My Browser Hijacked.
"Based in San Fransisco": Not that it matters much but I seriously doubt Vertoz is based in the USA like they claim. Depending on where you look they are listed as based in San Fransisco or NYC. They also supposedly have offices in London, Dubia, and Mumbai. Curiously the charts on their dashboard go right to left instead of left to right. From this I'm guessing they are based or at least originated in a country with a right to left writing system. How they could possibly have 5 offices across the world with the level of technical and business incompetence I have witnessed I don't know.
Right to left chart.
Using the Vertoz ad network is worse than running no ads at all. Based on the browser hijacking, no click tracking, very low ad inventory, and the $0 CPM I think you will actually lose money with Vertoz. Which is something I can't say about all the other ad networks I've used despite how horrible they were. Vertoz may be the worst ad network on the internet and that's saying something.
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