Sign up right now for email updates and get two free ebooks:

Adsense Profits Are Fragile

A reader asked me about my monetization plan for chrisg.com and was surprised that I didn’t feature Adsense. My answer? Adsense is too fragile for me. Then I read Darrens Speedlinking post

Shoemoney posts an email from someone trying to extort money from him as an AdSense publisher by threatening to close down his AdSense account. I got the same email asking me for $250 a month (woohooo – I beat Shoemoney by $50 a month). I guess I need to watch out for ‘special robots’—¦.

While this guy may or may not have an army of “special” robots, many forum posters have claimed that outsiders have managed to ruin their adsense accounts through over-clicking. Click fraud hurts advertisers but it can also be used to take out competing publishers.

My main dislike about Adsense though is I think to earn well from it you have to subvert your approach to serve Google rather than your reader. When I have had success with Adsense I have felt the ads have overpowered the content. For me any monetization source should be a positive for all, particularly your audience. Adsense elevates clicks to be far too important and reader-benefit as almost inconsequential.

I have nothing against Adsense or blogs that use it, I get a trickle of income over at my (woefully under cared for) Digital Photography blog. It just isn’t my go-to monetization strategy to build a publishing business around.

Sign up right now for email updates and get these
two free ebooks

"Creating Killer
Flagship Content"

"Authority Alliances"

Just enter your primary email address in the form below and hit the button!

Before commenting, please read my Comments Policy - thanks!

Comments

  1. It is..but thats the option of thousands of small sites. It’ll be a good launch pad for our other opportunities after some point of time.

  2. It is..but thats the option of thousands of small sites. It’ll be a good launch pad for our other opportunities after some point of time.

  3. Ashwin has a good point. Those who cannot find direct advertisers, sponsors or find success in other monetization setups find AdSense as a lifesaver, even if the earnings are just enough to cover the hosting and broadband bills.

    Of course you have a good point as well. I guess it all boils down to striking a good balance between ad placement and emphasizing content.

  4. Ashwin has a good point. Those who cannot find direct advertisers, sponsors or find success in other monetization setups find AdSense as a lifesaver, even if the earnings are just enough to cover the hosting and broadband bills.

    Of course you have a good point as well. I guess it all boils down to striking a good balance between ad placement and emphasizing content.

  5. For any small sites depending on adsense I prefer text link ads, instead of or in addition to. Many publishers make more money selling links than from adsense clicks, particularly in harder niches

  6. For any small sites depending on adsense I prefer text link ads, instead of or in addition to. Many publishers make more money selling links than from adsense clicks, particularly in harder niches

  7. Chris,

    Thanks for your thoughts on Adsense. You still didn’t really answer the question on monetization for Chrisg.com…

    How will you be monetizing your blog? Through private ad sales and RSS advertising? I’m always interested in blog monetization and would love to hear your thoughts on how to monetize a blog without having the ads overpower the content.

    Maybe that’s fodder for another post.. :)

  8. Chris,

    Thanks for your thoughts on Adsense. You still didn’t really answer the question on monetization for Chrisg.com…

    How will you be monetizing your blog? Through private ad sales and RSS advertising? I’m always interested in blog monetization and would love to hear your thoughts on how to monetize a blog without having the ads overpower the content.

    Maybe that’s fodder for another post.. :)

  9. I’m keeping you guessing :)

  10. I’m keeping you guessing :)

  11. I’m not a fan of Adsense. I find it ugly, and distractive, which is not good if you are wanting people to read your content.

    I also think that readers are wised up to Adsense now, and aren’t clicking on the ads, especially fellow bloggers, and I’d only click on an ad if it REALLY interested me.

  12. I’m not a fan of Adsense. I find it ugly, and distractive, which is not good if you are wanting people to read your content.

    I also think that readers are wised up to Adsense now, and aren’t clicking on the ads, especially fellow bloggers, and I’d only click on an ad if it REALLY interested me.

  13. Yup, the last time I clicked an adsense ad was a loooong time ago. I occasionally click Adwords that appear as a result of a search but hardly ever Adsense

  14. Yup, the last time I clicked an adsense ad was a loooong time ago. I occasionally click Adwords that appear as a result of a search but hardly ever Adsense

  15. The bad thing about adsense is that Firefox adblock does a good job of removing adsense from websites. On my site that means more than 50% of my visitors aren’t seeing the ads. Then again I don’t have any qualms with “preying” on IE users who are stupid enough to still be running that browser.

  16. The bad thing about adsense is that Firefox adblock does a good job of removing adsense from websites. On my site that means more than 50% of my visitors aren’t seeing the ads. Then again I don’t have any qualms with “preying” on IE users who are stupid enough to still be running that browser.

  17. There is also an element with adsense and other advertising for that matter that the adverts suck out some of the authority from the site too.

  18. There is also an element with adsense and other advertising for that matter that the adverts suck out some of the authority from the site too.

  19. @Logan, adblockers are only going to get better too

    @Jack, I can agree with that, on some blogs where the ads dominate you have to feel the blogger is just making any old rubbish up just to get adsense clicks

  20. @Logan, adblockers are only going to get better too

    @Jack, I can agree with that, on some blogs where the ads dominate you have to feel the blogger is just making any old rubbish up just to get adsense clicks