In continuing with our Publisher Spotlight series, this week we caught up with Michael Huddleston, owner of Digital Camera Tracker. We're glad we got the opportunity to speak with him about his immensly popular photography site.
Chris: Michael, please tell us a little about yourself and Digital Camera Tracker...
Michael: Digital camera tracker was started in 2005 and has been going strong from the onset. I owned a photography studio for many years and because of that close connection to cameras decided a site that acted as an aggregate review site that helped consumers make better buying choices would be a fun and profitable project. I had NO idea is was going to be so much work. :)
Chris: What goes in to reviewing digital cameras?
Michael: Consumers can spend hours researching digital cameras and trying to figure out how reviewers actually feel about a particular camera. In fact, a lot of camera reviewers don't even provide an overall rating for individual cameras. To make it easier for digital camera tracker visitors, for each camera we present a collection of "review snippets" from reviewers across the Net, star ratings - when a reviewer provides an actual rating and finally, when a reviewer does not provide a rating we give a thumbs up or thumbs down to indicate if the review was favorable or negative overall. Which means we read every camera review across the net.
Chris: I'm sure the review aggregation at Digital Camera Tracker makes it very easy for the consumer to get to the meat of the reviews. So i have to ask: Why do you use the Shopzilla Publisher Program?
Michael: Shopzilla quite frankly is one of nicest publisher programs on the market. Using Shopzilla's API lets us present ads that are remarkably relevant to whatever camera review our site visitor is reading.
Chris: What tips can you share with the owners of other content sites about maximizing ad revenue?
Michael: Everyone would agree that flying under the consumers ad radar is a key to success. It's not about insulting or badgering site visitors with ho hum obvious ads but it has more to do with blending and incorporating ads that present relevant choices at relevant times. Shopzilla allows us to not only place ads but by using the API we can be much more surgical with placement and presentation.
Chris: Anything else to discuss before we conclude the interview?
Michael: YES! I used Google search on my site for a long time and quite frankly the only reason I used it is was because everyone else seemed to have it. Big mistake! Once I dumped the Google search and provided my own site search which had Shopzilla ads integrated into the results my profits went up - way up.
Chris: I've never heard this tip before, but it definitely makes sense, particularly if users are heavily using the search functionality on your site. Thank you for sharing this with us, and hopefully some other folks out there will give this a try and post their results in the comments below.
Thanks again for answering our questions and being our Publisher Spotlight today.
To everyone else, please comment below if you have any other questions, and be sure to check out Digital Camera Tracker for reviews, ratings, and photography tips.