Tuesday, December 06, 2005

AdSense Undersells Your Site's Worth - NONSENSE!

While I agree with the basic premise that AdSense doesn't work for everyone, Jason Miller's article on WebProNews about AdSense lowering site-self-esteem just about made me spit soda on my screen. It appears in the current state of news you can collect a few interesting anecdotal tidbits from a couple of industry pundits and without further researching the topic call it gospel and post it as newsworthy.

Not only does AdSense not lower the self esteem of many web sites, I'd hazard a guess it does just the opposite and raises the amount of quality offers available to visitors. There are many advertisers that wouldn't normally be able to offer direct advertising on the many thousands of web sites due to the logististics of managing the sheer volume of sites and wouldn't be interested in the low traffic many of them have. AdSense thus is broadening the reach of advertisers to AdSense publishers that would normally be unable to compete for that revenue.

Many of the webmasters using AdSense successfully seem to be in a similar league and appear reasonably satisfied with the income AdSense generates. That doesn't mean they couldn't possibly generate more income via direct marketing efforts but what has to be considered is the amount of overhead dedicated to such efforts opposed to generating new content. Jason's article glosses over that a small website operation can't cover all the bases of both content generation and advertising sales without seriously impacting some aspect of their websitewhich would suffer from neglect and would in turn create the very low site-self-esteem he's telling us to avoid!

Let's look at the state of advertising in general from my point of view as my primary web site isn't a big fish that has a ton of advertisers banging on the door, more of a medium sized fish with 400K visitors a month which is a very good sized niche audience with a stable of regular advertisers. Instead of spending an excessive amount of time trying to expand my base of direct advertisers, AdSense gives me access to many advertisers that I possibly couldn't attract directly. Not to mention AdSense provides a nice daily CPM rate ranging from $12-$16 which is comparable to what CPM banners went for back in the dot com glory days.

Although my website is one of the rare hybrids with a combination of AdSense and direct advertising, new services like AdBrite have been changing that. Adbrite let's publishers sell advertising directly and still not have to hassle with issues like credit card accounts, ecommerce or billing and charge a low 25% fee for their services. However, when you look at the rates most AdBrite publishers are charging it makes AdSense cash look pretty good by comparson. It really doesn't appear that AdSense is underselling quality websites at this time but if and when AdSenses does undersell they'll probably get the boot by a number of publishers..

From posts in many AdSense forums it would appear that most of the webmasters that complain the loudest about AdSense payments are those doing websites for a pure advertising play called Made for AdSense (MFA) sites. They just crank out garbage sites intended to game the search engines and snare a top 10 position just to get visitors to click the link to their site and hopefully click the AdSense ads as they run screaming from the useless website. These are the same webmasters most likely also complaining about the Google Sandbox which tries to keep these spammy MFA sites out of Googles search results which is ironic if you think about it. Since these sites have no self esteem in the first place they won't command any big bucks from advertisers other than those already spending bucks on the AdWords content network.

That's my opinion, if you disagree drop a comment.

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