As most of you know I am not a fan of Google’s invasiveness and their propensity to overlook and eventually disregard small business in their development of new products. However, I admit, I am a big fan of Google Adsense. I have had much success and I know MANY website owners who are making a lucrative income from using the Adsense program.
Google’s Adsense program is a cost-per-click advertising program that allows publishers (website owners) to display ads that are relevant to their site’s content. Publishers have the potential to earn revenue when a user clicks on an ad which is featured within the content of the site. Clicks on ads can pay anywhere from a few cents to several dollars depending on the publisher’s niche (ex: cooking, childcare, internet, graphic design). All of the ads are controlled by Google so all that the publisher has to do is insert the code.
In order for Adsense to work well, a website MUST have good content! The days of having 5 page website with poorly written content will get you banned from Adsense. Sure, a site built just for Adsense may make you money in the short term but Google will find out and when they do, your account can be shutoff, your domain blacklisted and your profits will sink quicker than Jack when Rose let him go in the movie Titanic. These Made For Adsense (MFA) sites are usually filled with high cost per click Adsense ads with no other information at all. About 66% of their websites is filled only with ads and nothing usable for the visitor. So basically they are websites of ads without any content.
Here are 2 images. The one on the left is an example of what I consider to be an Adsense Spam site and the one on the right is a site which correctly uses Adsense.
How Adsense Works
Advertisers bid on certain keywords that are relevant to the products they sell. For example, a list of keywords for an advertiser who is selling hair care appliances could include “portable hair dryer” or “salon” and so on. Adsense software would then connect that advertiser’s ads with keywords that Google’s users search for along with websites that display Adsense ads. Google’s software crawls websites to determine what the content is about and the ads will display if they are relevant. Keep in mind, publishers DO NOT have to pay to use Adsense…Adsense pays you for providing an advertising location and will split the revenue with you as part of a fee. A Rev Share. That is a whole other topic and one not so easily explained so lets put a pin into that for now.
Reasons to Use Adsense
• If You Have international Traffic
If your website gets traffic from all over the world, you may find that many ad networks will not serve ads to visitors from outside the US. Other networks will simply not accept you as a publisher. This is not the case with Adsense. Because Adsense has so many advertisers, you can usually find someone in your readers’ region who wants to advertise to them.
• Because it is User-Friendly
Even someone with limited technical skills will be able to implement Adsense, which makes it perfect for beginners. It is also something that you do not have constantly tweak; you can just insert the code and leave it. Another benefit is that you do not have spend time negotiating with advertisers since that is handled by Google.
• Perfect for Obscure Niches
It can be difficult for publishers in tightly focused niches to make money due to the scarcity of advertisers. There will be some variation in the number of advertisers depending on just how small the niche is; however, Adsense is often able to target ads even in extremely obscure niches.
• No Traffic Minimum
Even if your website has very little traffic, you can still use Adsense. Other ad networks have traffic minimums and may not accept you if your website viewers fall below their minimum limit.
Why You May NOT Want to Use Adsense
• Adsense May Send Prospective Customers to Your Competition
Adsense serves up ads that are relevant to the content on the site. This means that if you are selling a product via your website and you are using Adsense at the same time, you may be showing ads that directly compete with your offerings.
• It Decreases Your Brand’s Value
Each Adsense ad that you place on your page actually detracts from your brand. Instead of your page having your brand as its focus and building your brand’s value, the focus is shared with the other websites advertising on your page.
• You Have Very Little Control Over the Ads
Google allows you to upload a list of 200 URLs that you do not want showing up, but that is all the say you get in what is shown on your website.
Adsense can make monetizing a website easy, but is not for everyone. It is important to look carefully at your site and at what Adsense offers before inserting ads on your pages. Remember: The biggest key to success in Adsense is having great content and patience! This is a long term solution and not a quick fix option.