Site stats auditing – not a problem

Steve Rubel worries that small publishers like bloggers won’t be able to provide the third-party analytics that advertisers are starting to demand:

According to Advertising Age a list of heavy hitter marketers are demanding third party audience data for Web sites. They will no longer pay sites for ad impressions unless they’ve been audited by a third party. And by 2008 they insist that online publishers have someone certify their processes for measuring ad-impressions.

. . .

… when you travel down the Long Tail of content, this is going to make it harder for bloggers and podcasters to generate ad revenue from the big advertisers.

I don’t think this is a problem, for three reasons:

  1. Smaller publishers don’t sell ads directly to advertisers … they go through a third party like Google AdWords or Yahoo’s/MSN’s equivalents.
  2. Impressions? People still get paid for those today? Almost all small publishers (and no, BoingBoing is not a small publisher) get paid – when they get paid – for clicks, not impressions.
  3. And finally, if auditing is really necessary for some reason, no problem. Slap Google Analytics on the site. Or any of a number of other free or cheap third-party site stats providers. Chances are very, very good that advertisers will believe those stats.

So, in my opinion: not a problem. Am I missing something?

[tags] steve rubel, advertising, pay-per-click, auditing, adsense, john koetsier [/tags]