Pros and Cons of Adsense

May 15, 2009 by lindac
Could you comment about the pros and cons of including adsense in our sites? I have seen a great deal of discussion about using adsense to help monetize a site and would appreciate a bit of clarification.
Thanks, Ken

 

Hey Ken - you bet. Here you go…

Pros of Using Adsense:

  • It’s easy to use - you don’t have to select the ads/products, etc.  Just paste in the code and Google will figure out which ads to run based on the page content.
  • You can run ads on multiple websites from one account.
  • You can customize your ad display and run text, images, the colors you want, etc.

Cons of Using Adsense:

  • They can shut your account down anytime. If you were making good income, that can disappear overnight. The most common reason is clickfraud and it doesn’t have to be you clicking on the ads. A competitor can come and click the same ad on your page 10 times a day and you’re the one shut down. Any clickfraud on your account, regardless of who perpetrates it, and you’re the one shut down.
  • You need significant amounts of traffic to make any significant income.
  • To make income, you have to give up the visitor. Essentially, you only get paid when people click an adsense ad and leave your site.

My opinion;
If you have a popular site with plenty of visitors that return regularly, you can do well with Adsense. For example, Chris Pirillo of Lockergnome.com reportedly makes over $10,000/month on Adsense. Of course, he gets about a half million visits every month. (if not more by now)

For average blog owners, I think if you’re going to give up the visitor, why not find something that pays better? Clickbank.com now lets you create ads much like adsense, but for clickbank products. And, you can find pay per click and pay per lead programs at CJ.com and many of the other affiliate networks.

Let’s play pretend.

Case 1: You have an ad for an affiliate product in the sidebar. It pays $40 commission. You get 500 visitors, and 10 of them click your ad. Of those 10 people, one buys the product.  You earn: $40.

Case 2: You have adsense ads in the sidebar. You get 500 visitors, and 10 of them click your ad. If the ad pays you $2, you earn $20.  You’d need the ad to pay $4 to match the profit of having sold just one affiliate product at $40 commission.

That’s where the “numbers game” part comes into play. If you’re running affiliate ads, you can choose what products to advertise. You can target lead generation or affiliate products with good commissions. With Adsense, you don’t get to choose which ads run, or how much they pay.

Hope that helps!

2 Comments »

  1. Ken Garrett said :
    May 18, 2009 at 3:52 am

    Linda,

    Thanks for your perspective and insight.

    Ken

  2. Ken Garrett said :
    May 20, 2009 at 4:03 am

    I guess I have the best of both worlds with one of my affiliate products. It pays per click to the site and a commission for sales. I made my first product sale there today. It makes your point about the number of click payments compared to the sale of a product. The pay per click for 153 click refferals is equal to only 17% of 1 product sale.

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