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Exploring the Impact of Made-for-Advertising (MFA) Websites on Ad Campaigns

January 23, 2024
5 min read

Headlines like 'Know how these Friends characters are doing now? The 3rd one is a shocking revelation!' are hard to resist, leading us down a surprising path. Often, these websites resemble a carnival of ads, covering every available space with flashy and pop-up ads at every click.

So, what about the Friends characters? To find out, users often have to navigate through multiple pop-up ads and make dozens of clicks. Welcome to the world of 'Made for Advertising' (MFA) websites.

What are MFA Websites?

MFA websites are essentially modes for ad arbitrage, cleverly designed to showcase numerous ads. Their purpose is to generate low-cost traffic from search engines and social media platforms. Laden with filler content, clickbait headlines, and interlinked pages, these sites aim to maximize display and video ad impressions.

What Advertisers Think vs. Reality

Advertisers may be drawn to MFA websites due to the promise of high traffic volume. However, the reality is often different. User experience and content quality on these sites are typically below advertiser expectations. Users are directed to non-relatable ads, causing confusion, and in many cases, false navigation buttons lead to increased page views but offer a subpar experience.

The Attractive Bait

MFA websites seem attractive to advertisers due to their above-average viewability rates (77%, according to Ebiquity) and lower CPM (30-40% lower than other websites). Despite these apparent benefits, the low-intent clicks on MFA sites can lead to wasted ad spend.

Why Advertisers Should Take Action

While technically not ad fraud, MFA websites can negatively impact a brand. Advertising on these sites may result in low-quality placements, a spike in invalid traffic, damage to brand reputation, low conversion rates, and poor ROI.

Avoiding MFA Websites During Media Planning

Preventing MFA website placements is challenging, but advertisers can take steps to minimize their impact. Instead of solely relying on SSPs and DSPs, advertisers can evaluate the cost-effectiveness of impressions versus performance and prioritize quality traffic.

Maximizing Safety Nets

To avoid MFA websites, advertisers can collaborate with trusted tech partners like mFilterIt. Ensuring transparency in ad placements helps adhere to brand safety protocols, preventing association with unsafe or non-contextual content.

The Way Forward

Brands must be vigilant about where their ads appear to protect their image. Increased transparency in media planning allows brands to leverage greater value. By using the right technology and staying informed, advertisers can navigate the challenges posed by MFA websites and gain more control over their ad placements."

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