MGID Review for Publishers
MGID has been around for over a decade. As such, it’s changed a lot—this is an updated review for May 3rd, 2016.
Non-invasive CPC and traffic exchange network for publishers and advertisers.
Introduction to MGID
MGID offers native advertising solutions. This network provides solutions for both advertisers and publishers, and this review will be focused on the platform for publishers. With MGID, publishers are given two options: to either monetize traffic (through displaying advertisements) or by “recirculating” visitors.
Most webmasters will be familiar with the first option, but the concept of recirculating refers to sending traffic to other websites, who in turn will send traffic back to yours. MGID accomplishes this with a “promoted content” widget which can appear at the end of your posts. The network bills this as “relevant content seamlessly integrated into user’s natural activity stream,” which is marketing-speak for “the user’s experience on your site won’t include being blasted with advertisements.”
You’ll be able to choose which kinds of content you “promote” with this widget, meaning that the content displayed can be within the same niche as your site—for example, a men’s entertainment style website won’t be forced to promote content about knitting. The widget can be customized so that it matches up with the currently existing design of your website, and a full-disclosure policy ensures that users will be aware of the fact that they aren’t reading content that you wrote or endorsed. The widget works with both desktop and mobile devices and, yes, can be easily integrated with WordPress.
MGID states that visitor recirculation can increase user engagement and bring you new visitors from other publishers with websites about topics which are relevant to your own. There isn’t an upper limit on the recirculation/return ratio, and the network claims that this can reach 150% or more.
For publishers interested in displaying advertisements rather than recirculating traffic, MGID reports an average RPM of $1-3 with no cap. Advertisements have a 100% worldwide fill rate and can be shown on all devices and locations. Publishers who are familiar with Google AdSense or other display ad networks will likely find familiar territory in MGID’s offerings, with similar functionality and options available.
Advertisements can be displayed in a number of ways, which are left to the publisher’s discretion. Users can choose to display desktop advertisements as exit pops, header widgets, widgets underneath an article or blog post, and as a sidebar widget. Mobile display options include a header and under-content widget. Advertisements will be fully disclosed as such to website visitors, and will only be relevant to the category or niche that your website is in.
MGID makes it easy for publishers who have never dipped their toes into the pool of recirculating traffic—or running display ads for that matter. This network has a decade plus history and, compared to some of the newer networks on the market, this gives them the advantage of time and experience to have worked out some of the kinks which plague younger players in this field.
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5
MGID Company Stats
Program Founded In: 2004
Employee Count: 51-200 employees as of May 3rd, 2016
Profiles: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest
MGID Support & Contact Information
Address: 1149 Third Street #210,Santa Monica, CA, 90403
Phone Number: +1 424 322 8059
Support Email: email@example.com
What We like: Multiple traffic and monetization options on the same platform, easily integrated widgets, no cap on RPM or recirculation figures, low minimum payment, good customer support.
What We Don’t Like: Can increase bounce rate, relatively low payments
Publisher Terms: http://mgid.com/tos
Traffic Minimum: None
Publisher Language Requirement: Primarily English, however other languages are allowed
Prohibited Publisher Content: Publisher will not deploy the advertising on any properties that display adult, obscene, pornographic, defamatory, libelous, infringing, abusive, or illegal content, that promotes hate or discrimination, facilitates the sale of firearms or illegal drugs, or that participates or encourages participation in, illegal activities. MGID reserves the right in its sole discretion to disable the it’s services on any property at any time. Full content guidelines: http://mgid.com/content-guidelines
Advertisers & Offers
Advertising Types: Recommendation Widgets, ads or paid content links are delivered via widgets
Offer Types: CPC, Widget-based traffic exchange
Verticals: Most (see http://mgid.com/content-guidelines for details)
MGID Tech Implementation Rating: 5 out of 5
Integrating advertisement widgets or a “promoted content” widget for traffic recirculation is a fairly straightforward procedure with MGID. Publishers will be given a number of options to place and customize widgets.
Display Ad Unit Sizes Available: Widgets available for headers, under article, and sidebar. Exit pop widget available as well. Mobile and desktop.
MGID is compatible with Google AdSense and other display ads, as long as the design and style of the advertisements or recirculation widgets aren’t in violation of their TOS.
MGID Publisher Reporting & Admin Control Panel
MGID Publisher Reporting & Admin Control Panel Rating: 4 out of 5.
Control Panel: The MGID administrative control panel might seem a little daunting at first to new users, but with the assistance of your account manager and a little tinkering it should become relatively straightforward after the creation of your first widget. Users can create, customize, and save widgets. This means that even if you decide not to use a widget that you’ve made now, you can save it with a custom name for later use. You’ll have access to traffic statistics, click through rates, and more helpful data, as well as an instantly updated earnings report.
Reporting: Reporting on MGID is quickly updated and accurate. Whether you’re looking for advertisement data or traffic exchange data, these figures are easy to view and sort. You can see information based on time (date, month, time), channel, and widget type. You’ll have the option to save or export these reports at your convenience.
MGID Payment Rating: 3 out of 5
Payment Methods Available: PayPal, bank wire transfer
Payment Terms: Net 30
Minimum Payout Threshold: $100 USD
MGID Account Help Rating: 4 out of 5
Knowledge Base URL: N/A
Personal Account Manager: Yes
Easy to Contact Support: Can be reached via phone or email. + 1 424 322 8059 for US users, + 1 800 351 4940 for European users. Support email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition these standard support channels, users are assigned a personal account manager who can assist them with issues, questions, or concerns. MGID isn’t a small company, but compared to some of the larger players in the advertising network arena, they offer comparatively more rapid and helpful support.
Editor’s MGID Review for Publishers
Ad networks for publishers
One of the biggest challenges MGID has faced is assuring potential users that their widgets are compatible with other display ad networks, primarily Google AdSense. At the time of this writing the network is compliant with AdSense, but it’s in a publisher’s best interest to always review the TOS for whichever advertisement platforms that are going to be mingling on his or her site. When unsure, double check, and fire off an email or instant message to your account manager.
Which is the next notable point about MGID. The inclusion of a personal account manager is a nice touch, and adds an element of reliability to the already decent support options this network offers publishers as well as advertisers. Phone calls are returned relatively quickly and emails will be answered—depending on what you ask you may get boiler plate responses, but the inclusion of an account manager means that you have a real person who you can discuss the intricacies of your account and website with. This is rare for big ad networks.
Integration is simple with MGID, and the option to customize widgets means that they won’t stick out like a sore thumb on your currently existing website design. Creating and managing widgets is easy, and if one placement doesn’t work out, exporting settings to another widget (e.g., going from the sidebar to an under-article widget) can be done in minutes.
The option to play with both traffic exchange and display ad options on the same platform is an interesting setup, and publishers may wish to experiment to find out which option provides the most benefit. However, publishers without large amounts of traffic or traffic that’s hungry to click through probably won’t be retiring from their MGID earnings.
MGID is worth a test. Whether or not it’s a keeper will likely depend a great deal on your niche, traffic statistics, and personal goals.
Pros of Using MGID for Publishers
MGID has a lot going for it—over a decade of experience doesn’t hurt either.
Good customer service: Available through phone or email, MGID responds to inquiries relatively rapidly, and most likely faster than some of the other advertisement networks you may have worked with. Traffic exchange networks are a dime a dozen, but MGID is a great example of what customer service should look like—for other traffic recirculating setups, it’s often nonexistent.
Personal account manager: Standard customer service with MGID is good, but the availability of a personal account manager—which many major networks do not offer unless you’re a big spender or major publisher—is a godsend to individuals who need a little extra help or need detailed, website-specific questions answered.
Ease of integration: MGID’s widgets are simple to create, customize, and integrate into your currently existing website design.
Low minimum payment: This network offers a comparatively low minimum payout of $50 USD with PayPal and wire transfer .
Surprisingly good administration panel: “Surprisingly” because there’s a lot of options with MGID, with publishers having the option to recirculate traffic or to display ads. However, the network has managed to put all of these features into a single, easy to learn administration panel.
Cons of Using MGID for Publishers
MGID isn’t a bad option for publishers looking to get involved in display ads or traffic exchanges. However, there are a few caveats one should keep in mind:
Increased bounce rate possible: The nature of traffic exchange services like the one MGID provides for publishers inherently means that you’ll be sending traffic away from your site—while yes, it will be returned in the recirculation process, you’ll have to perform your own analysis as to how effective this is for your overall traffic strategy. Would it be better to retain your current users, or is your content good enough to hook new ones as well?
Ad relevance could be fine tuned: Ad and traffic exchange displays could be slightly better in terms of relevance. MGID displays “top internet stories” which, while attractive to many audiences, could be slightly better if you had more fine-tuning options to make the content as relevant to your audience’s interests as possible.
Low earning potential: An RPM of $1-3 isn’t terrible, but most publishers should expect earnings to be on the lower end of that spectrum. Display ads through MGID and similar networks are ideal for publishers with large traffic numbers or an audience willing to engage and place clicks.
Few payment options: It would be nice to have payment options outside of bank wires and PayPal, but to be fair these are likely the payment methods which most publishers will prefer.
MGID is a great network to test—as mentioned previously, whether or not you’ll decide to stick with their widget-based approach to advertisements and traffic exchange will be largely dependent upon your unique situation and typical goal scenario. The good news is that finding out if MGID is for you won’t be a complicated process—the above-average customer service, easy to use interface, and intuitive widget management and customization all make the features of this network a breeze to set up and integrate.