Google Adsense makes sense

It has been a month since I succumbed to the advertising devil in disguise. But in retrospective Google Adsense is indeed impressive and makes perfect sense for small-time publishers. Regular bloggers have achieved the tag of informal journalists and are publishing czars in their own right. But there is no free lunch in a capitalistic society. I moved to Typepad couple of months ago from Rediff for greater flexibility and customization of my blog. This additional coolness comes at a cost; $8.95 per month to be exact. Google Adsense gave me not only a way to cover the costs, but also superceded my expectations by making some more. In a nutshell, all visitors see the ads on my blog, some click on them, and advertisers are happy to get traffic on their commercial websites, even if the visitors don’t buy anything. They pay Google for customizing the ads, according to the content, for my blog and Google pays me a share. How much is Google paid and the percentage of my share is not clear yet.

But like the Discover Card ad smartly puts it, why not make money for the things you would do anyways? The ads are neither an eyesore nor impede the reader’s experience of my blog. It just sits there, waiting to be clicked. Everyone wins when the visitors click. Some regulars at my blog have been clicking, I presume, helping me to pay for my blog. Unfortunately, Google expressly prohibits me from posting my exact earnings (the few online terms of contract you have to actually read), so I can’t share that information.

Ever since I installed Adsense, I wanted to understand the relationship between the ads and the amount of money it generated for me. Initially, I thought it was the number of clicks and I was almost tempted to click away myself (damn! Google prohibits that too) but later on, I realized that it was the content of the ads that mattered. This is evident from the fact that Google prevents me from writing anything about gambling, online casinos or poker since those ads generate almost $8-10 per click (imagine the possibilities). Now I can never write about that report I did couple of years back on Internet Gambling. Certain other subjects also generate more revenue than others for e.g. electronics, cable television, marketing strategies, science, etc.

The basic fundamental is customizing your website or blog for keywords which are “low in supply and high in demand”. The topics I generally write about do not rank high in terms of revenue but I don’t think I will want to change the topics I cover. But for someone who already does write about stuff that generates high revenue, they would make a killing. My brother’s alumni site makes more than double than what I make on my blog although I have more than three times daily visitors. The fact that he refuses to move the high-earning keyword from his front page is another story. I cannot do that on my blog nor would I because it would defeat the entire purpose of my blog. Although the system is prone to fraudulent clicks, Google claims to have monitoring algorithms to keep an eye on abuse and they threaten to terminate the contract if they find anything suspicious. But so far, Google hasn’t troubled me so I think that everything is fine so far.

Finally, I cannot ask my visitors to click on the ads so I will not do that too. It is fun to see the customization of ads depending on the post; my rants on Bush display anti-Bush ads, book reviews display book vendor or fan sites ads, and so on. But if you have a blog/website that needs to be supported financially, check out Adsense. It doesn’t need any monitoring or maintenance jhanjhat although checking your earnings everyday can get addictive.

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  • Kiran

    Cool info man! I have known about Adsense for a while, but have never felt TEMPTED till just now! :)
    But what you gave here was very good info – for when I decide to succumb, or when I decide to switch to a paid site perhaps!

  • Patrix

    Kiran – Rediff is fine as long as it is paid. But if you move to a paid site, it does make sense to make some on the side. No shame in that…as long as you don’t let ads dictate your content.

  • Toro

    I’ve been thinking of moving to a different host too. Except I really do not have that many visitors to help pay for the space through Adsense. Not that Google would help me move, but that they might make it easier. :-)

    Thanks for the info. I’d probably do better sticking with Rediff/BlogSpot for some time.

  • Jahnvi

    This is my first comment here, you have a great blog. I look forward to reading it every morning. Will check out the ads definitely. :)

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  • Patrix

    Toro – Or maybe after you move to a new place you may get more visitors but there are other free places like Blogger, LiveJournal, and Blog-City which offer enhanced features.

    Jahnvi – Nice to have you around.

  • Nami

    Hi Patrix – I bought movie posters from via your site. I was thinking of putting them up in my media room in my basement and didn’t know where to go buy them. Visiting your blog really helped me (and looks like u too ;-)).

  • alpha

    Hi patrix,
    I am a regular reader and through your Google ads, I came across some porn sites and got kicked out of work. Now I am bekaar. Can you send me some money?

  • Patrix

    Nami – I don’t believe that those ads really made money by just being on my blog. Shows that its a mutual thing.

    Alpha – Considering that porn ads never showed up on my blog (at least on my machine), I guess the ads subconsiously examines the desires of the visitors and gives them relevant ads. But since you are a regular reader, I can put you up on Patrix Welfare. Fill the 200-pg application and I will get back to you…some pornstar recommendation letters will help boost your application.

  • Twilight Fairy

    Hiya! Hmm… I did explore this option and in fact I painstakingly read the *whole* terms and conditions, policies, FAQ and what not of google adsense .. (by the end my eyes felt like stones :-|)..and I must say, some are *quite* funny!!.. have signed up too.. but for one, to begin with, I didn’t really want my blog to have any ads.. that’s why I removed the rediff one too.. but now that I have realised that Haloscan is a paid service (They move ur comments after every 4 months till u pay them), I think I shd try this way of recovering my lost comments :`-(
    .. There’s somethign I am not really sure of. Since you are paying typepad, perhaps it’s ok.. but I am not paying rediff anything to host my blog and in turn if I start putting ads on my page, dunno if that’s covered somewhere in their terms & condns, .. will have to check..

  • Twilight Fairy

    of course, AFA clicking the ad goes, I guess “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” will work fine here :-)

  • Patrix

    Twilight Fairy – that understanding is better understood than said out loud but I am looking fwd to seeing ads on your blog. Hope your application comes thru

  • Ramanand

    Thanks Patrix, I found that very useful!