Why I hate Google AdSense Part I

Posted on 22. Mar, 2007 in Online Advertising

OK We’ll first off, I should apologize, since I am a totally new to the blogging world, I now realize that if you are going to bash something you need to back it up better.  I got totally hammered over here at Problogger.net with my first (probably my last ) attempt at guest blogging.   But one thing I am not new too, is the online advertising world and I believe this is the reason Darren asked me to do a post about “how to make your site more attractive to advertisers” in the first place.   I have been buying and selling online ads for over 6 years and being on both sides of the fence so I have a pretty good idea on what ads should cost and a sites potential is for revenue.   As for my comment on Adsense it still stands; let me explain further.

First off, is there a use for Google AdSense?  Yes.   So I do agree with some of the comments made by Eric over at Memwg. He has some very valid points.  If you have really low traffic it may be in fact the only way to monetize your site, and it is good for ‘remnant’ inventory when you can’t sell any ads or get an ad network to give you a half decent CPM on the excess inventory.

Can you make money off AdSense?  Absolutely.  And I’m sure lots of you do already make, $100 or even $500 a month, which is fine, but what I’m talking about is REAL advertising dollars.   By real money, I mean  $10,000, $20,000 a month.    If you are making $500 a month in AdSense, then your site could easily be generating $5000 a month in paid graphical advertising!   Most people with great small niche sites really underestimate that value of what potential ad dollars could be on their site, and I know that a lot of this perception is skewed by getting a small pay cheque from Google each month.   You’re like, wow, $75 and all for doing something I like to do anyway.  Well how about finding someone  willing to give you $500 a month to run an ad in the same spot as that lame old Google box?    Just one advertiser would beat everything you are making now.  If you have a Blog making several hundred a month in AdSense, you should: A)    Start selling fixed graphical ads off your site directly to advertisers today either on your own or hire a sales rep to do it for you.            or

B)    Consider joining a blog network like Federated Media or b5media.

Another reason that I hate Google Adsense is because I believe they are blatantly ripping you off!  What percentage of the ad dollars do they give you??  Well Google doesn’t tell you and there is only speculation.  Some theories are 70% or 80%.  Ha!  I call BS on that one.  Have you ever gone in a purchased a campaign yourself?  I’ve seen keywords at $10+ a click.  Have you ever got $8 for one click on YOUR site?  I don’t think so.  Maybe $0.80?  The numbers just don’t match up.   If they were in fact giving such a high cut to the publishers at 80%, don’t you think they would make that information public knowledge?  Heck, I would think that would be a great sales pitch for them.    But the fact is that they are making Billions of dollars off other peoples traffic and content.  Your traffic and visitors are worth more than you realize to advertisers.  I have personally sold single fixed monthly ads on sites with only ¼ of the traffic that Problogger has, for $100,000+ per year.  That’s to ONE advertiser, on only ONE niche site.   TechCrunch sells single boxes for $10,000/month and Mashable sells his for $1000/month, your site could be selling ads for $100, $200, $500 or even  $1000 a month too!  All that I’m really trying to say is; don’t underestimate that value of your audience.