Does Adsense Make Any Cents?

Posted on 16. Jan, 2006 by in Saving & Investing

I’m a big fan of Koray Online and thoroughly enjoyed his article on Adnonsense. I enjoyed it so much, in fact, that it got me started on a train of thoughts that I thought I would share.

When I was poking around for some information on Adsense I came across the entry in Wikipedia which listed how many sites use AdSense to monetize their content and how some webmasters work “hard” to maximize their own AdSense income. They apparently do this in three ways:

1. They use a wide range of traffic generating techniques including but not limited to online advertising.
2. They build valuable content on their sites; content which attracts AdSense ads and which pay out the most when they get clicked.
3. They use copy on their websites that encourage clicks on Ads. Note that Google prohibits people from using phrases like “Click on my
AdSense ads” to increase click rates. Phrases accepted are “Sponsored Links” and “Advertisements”.

I found this interesting because only one of those points is actually encouraging to me – building valuable content. If I may interject my opinion, I do not believe that Google’s intention was for people to design websites especially designed to boost Adsense revenue. I also don’t think that encouraging people to click on the advertisements for the sake of clicking was also a goal.

Instead, the program was designed to:

Google AdSense is a fast and easy way for website publishers of all sizes to display relevant Google ads on their website’s content pages and earn money. Because the ads are related to what your visitors are looking for on your site — or matched to the characteristics and interests of the visitors your content attracts — you’ll finally have a way to both monetize and enhance your content pages.

As you can see, the program was designed to enhance current content and to allow online publishers, like me, to monotenize my pages – not to create pages designed to make money. So, if you have good content should you place ads like Adsense on your pages?

Koray did an excellent job of “testing” this for everyone and also did a great job explaining his results. Using his test and my own observations I would like to offer these suggestions:

  1. Trying never hurt anybody: go ahead and take Adsense for a trial run. Do exactly what Koray did and take note of the ads that are used and the money that you make.
  2. Think about your readers’ feelings: this one is going to be tough to do but imagine your readers and how they would respond to advertisements. Its a well-known fact that repeat-readers hardly ever click ads; however, it is those readers that you want to please while the one-time visitors come and go. So are they going to be annoyed at the ads, or can you place them in such a way that they blend into your site? I know that I have personally never visited a site again because their site was so cluttered with advertisements – even though the content was great.
  3. Watch out for traffic: this one is tough for people with fairly “young” sites or blogs. If you have 100 visitors a day, it’s going to take you FOREVER to accumulate enough money for Google to even cut you a check. Instead, wait until your readership grows, your site gains search engine popularity, and your page stats are up. Then you will be able to stick up some ads and see what kind of revenue you’re going to be able to generate.
  4. Breaking up is hard to do: although the song is right, if your tests show that adsense just isn’t worth it, don’t hang on to it “just in case” or on the off chance that you may earn $.03 today. Instead, wait a few months, continue writing quality content, and then try your test again. The new test might show more promising results, or it may say that you should never put ads on your site. THAT’S O.K.

As I get off my soapbox let me just remind you that Adsense is a hot topic – with many people for and against it. So weigh your options carefully before jumping in – just like any other business decision.

2 Responses to “Does Adsense Make Any Cents?”

  1. kjhgf

    16. Jan, 2006

  2. chartreuse

    18. Jan, 2006

    You are right. SO many people are building sites based around AdSense that it’s actually scary. In fact, entire blog networks are being built around it. Inadvertently, Google is destroying content on the web…

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