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Exchange Ratio Calculation

Exchange ratio, a common term used by banner exchanges, measures how often a member's banners are displayed. Our exchange ratio starts at 0.67 (or 3-to-2). That means for every three banners displayed at your site, our server will display your banners at least twice at other sites. But that's not all.

Besides hit credits, other factors also affect your exchange ratio. Each of them plays an important role in the calculation. If your exchange ratio should fall below the mininum 0.67, please read through the following sections for clues.

Hit Credits

Hit credits is the most important factor in deciding your exchange ratio. Generally speaking the exchange ratio will approach 1.00 when you maintain eight hit credits or more in your active account. All members with the same amount of hit credits should receive the same base impressions. Beyond that, the number of banners being displayed at their sites will earn them additional impressions.

For example, consider two members A and B both having 20 hit credits, which translates to 10 base impressions per day. If member A only displays 2 banners today at his site, our server will display his banner 10 times at other sites. But for member B who displays 300 banners at her site, the server may display her banner 10 + 490 = 500 times. Member A's exchange ratio is 5.00, which is much higher than member B's 1.67. But member B receives more impressions overall.

We cannot predict the base impressions for any given level of hit credits. It depends on the amount of hit credits that are currently in circulation. If the average hit credit is higher, then the base impressions will be lowered for those with less hit credits. It is a good idea to maintain at least 5 hit credits in your active account. Of course more would be better.

Banner CTR

The click-thru ratio (CTR) of your banner can negatively affect your exchange ratio. CTR is the average number of times a banner is displayed until it has a click-thru. When a banner is first uploaded, we assign it a CTR of 150:1 until its first click-thru.

If the combined average CTR for your banners is too high, then your exchange ratio will be lowered. The high CTR indicates that your banners are ineffective by design, so we will show them less often until you re-design them. This prevents members from becoming careless about the effectiveness of their banners and relying solely on their hit credits.

On the other hand, members with good banners, i.e. low CTR's, are rewarded with slightly higher exchange ratios. These banners benefit all members because they earn more hit credits for the sites that are displaying them.

The combined average CTR is weighted by the display probability of each banner. For instance, if a member has two banners which have display probabilities of 100% and 50%, the CTR for the first banner would be counted twice as much. If the CTR's are 40:1 and 80:1 respectively, the average CTR will be 66.7:

(40 * 100 + 80 * 50) / (40 + 80) = 66.7.

When one of your banners has a CTR of 200:1 or higher, you should consider re-designing it. See our Banner Design Tips page for tips and links.

Target Categories

Poor targeting may work against you. For example, if you target only one category and it contains very few sites, then your banners will be displayed less often than if you had targeted more sites. So be careful not to be too restrictive.

Banners at Your Site

The banners being displayed at your site also affect your exchange ratio. You should consider them as a key factor in improving traffic to your site. By placing the banners on more pages and better locations, you can increase hit-credit earnings from click-thrus.

Account On Hold

When your account is on hold, we will continue to track the number of banners displayed at your site and save any undisplayed impressions. But after the first day of being on hold, your exchange ratio will drop to the minimum 0.67.

For example, suppose you have enough hit credits to give you an exchange ratio of around 1.2. On the first day that your account is on hold, your site displays 100 banners. So we will save 120 impressions for display later. But if your account is still on hold for another day, we will only save 67 impressions, assuming you also display 100 banners on the second day. When your hold is cleared on the third day, we will display your banners 187 (120 + 67) times to make up for the lost days.

We implemented this rule because in theory, a member may leverage his or her hit credits -- collecting undisplayed impressions without spending any hit credit. The proper way to accumulate hit credits is through the savings account and automatic transfer. See the Hit Credit section of your account for more information.


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