The popular search engine, Google has introduced a dramatic new contextual advertising service called Adsense. This new program could mean death to affiliate programs on those web sites that qualify for the Adsense program. Why would Google advertising affect affiliate programs? Because Google is making Adsense ads available to smaller content rich sites.
Adsense dramatically simplifies the process of choosing appropriate advertising for sections of sites. Since it's all automatic with Adsense, I'm through with searching for affiliate programs to fit my content. It just doesn't pay enough to justify the effort in most cases. While I won't dump existing producers, I'm dropping those affiliate programs that don't produce like hot potatoes.
I've moved house often over the last few years and in that process have struggled to keep affiliate programs abreast of the latest contact and banking information. Several honest affiliate program managers have emailed me after getting my affiliate checks returned from previous snail mail addresses. Adsense will resolve this issue for me as I needn't keep the hundreds of affiliate programs up-to-date on my latest mailing address and/or banking information - only Google Adsense. I'm dropping smaller unproductive affiliate programs.
Allan Gardyne of Associate Programs penned an interesting and insightful article on Adsense this past week where he mentions this as an issue and predicts the death of smaller or weaker affiliate programs.
Google Adsense simply requires the host site to paste in a few lines of HTML code on their pages where they want those ads to appear. Once Google has spidered your content pages, they can assess what those pages are about. Adsense serves a series of ads that match and compliment your page topics automatically without site owner participation!
I've been impressed how Adsense has performed for me in just the last week. I've actually enjoyed looking at my own sites to see what ads are served to match my content. WebSite101 demonstrates very well how Adsense works. If you visit the HTML tutorial, you see Adsense ads for web page editing software or web hosting. If you visit my email tutorial, you'll see Adsense ads for email broadcasting software and targeted email list broadcasting services. If you visit the Domain Name tutorial, you're served Adsense ads for Domain Registrars and web hosting. If you visit the Anti-Spam Tutorial, you get Adsense Ads for Spam Filtering Software.
You get the idea.
I like not having to mess with my own ad-serving software and twiddle with the rates and I absolutely LOVE not having to do any ad sales. I'm sold and wholeheartedly recommend Adsense to anyone with sufficient content to support it.
Between my 3 main sites,
I've got over 1000 pages of good solid content that I've built over the last 6 years. I've struggled in vain to get that content to pay by carefully choosing affiliate programs to fit neatly into dozens of topic areas. My two biggest producers have been software sales and health insurance referrals for small businesses. Those have been sporadic producers.
My biggest complaint is that I can't track what is producing clickthroughs. Google simply tells me clickthrough percentage, number of ad impressions per day and average earnings per clickthrough across all of my sites. That makes it very difficult to know where to concentrate my energy to produce additional revenue generating content. But it does seem to offer site owners incentive to maintain quality content and spread the ads across all content pages.
My privacy site runs a variety of HIPAA compliance ads, GLB compliance ads, and DoNotCall List Compliance ads. It seems the money in privacy is in charging large corporations to keep them within the letter of the law so they don't get sued for violations.
It is interesting to see my own site ads to know where the money is in PPC for each of the topic areas. Sometimes it's just not what you expect. I've got an article about Google's reverse phone lookup and how to get out of reverse phone lookup databases that is on the Privacy site and it sometimes shows ads about "low long distance rates". Clearly the keyphrase "Phone number" is triggering ads that are quite off target on this page.
While Adsense won't outperform my total affiliate income from the many programs spread across my sites, it WILL, if current trends continue, match my total affiliate income and therefore double advertising income!
The biggest benefit was the incentive to rebuild WebSite101, which got it's design in 1998. I've needed to do that, but man is it tedious adapting all that content while maintaining page names and fitting it all back together with existing affiliate links and updating outdated stuff. Adsense gave me the incentive to do that by making my content finally pay for itself. It also gives me incentive to keep adding more relevant content.
I'm sold and wholeheartedly recommend Adsense to anyone with sufficient content to support it. While I won't dump existing affiliate program producers, I'm dropping those that don't produce clickthroughs and sales - fast - like hot potatoes. Get Adsense if Google approves your site. You'll love it too.
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Mike Banks Valentine is a Search Engine Optimization specialist practicing ethical small business SEO Search Engine Placement, Optimization, MarketingWork at Home Business Opportunity in Canada