Why AdSense is Not Such a Great Way to Monetize Websites

Google ADSENSEBefore I begin, let me say that I do use Adsense myself to monetize my personal finance website. It does have its uses and should not simply be discounted as completely worthless. That said, there are valid reasons for avoiding Adsense and finding alternative way to monetize your website, whatever it happens to be. Here’s what you need to know:

What Is Adsense?

Just in case you’ve been living under a rock (ala the Geico commercials) or you happen to be brand new to the world of Internet marketing, a brief introduction is in order. Adsense is the companion to Google Adwords.

The way that Adwords works is that Google sells advertising on its own site and millions of others on the web. Those ads are sold through affiliates who use Adsense. Adsense pays you a commission each time someone clicks on an ad that you have advertised on your website.

Why Not to Use Adsense

Okay, let’s get to work on why you may not want to use Adsense to monetize your website. There are a number of issues, some of which may not apply to you.

$100 Payout

Adsense is particular popular with people who have started new websites, probably because it’s so well known and it’s pretty easy to get approved for it. The thing is, when running a new website, it can be a long, difficult wait to get to that $100 minimum payout that Google Adsense requires you to have before you get paid.

Low Payout

Some clicks on Adsense pay as little as a penny a click. Most only offer a few cents. So by promoting Adsense on your website, you need to get a significant number of clicks before you’ll get to the point of actually making any real money from the service.

Lack of Control

This one irks me in particular. I specifically refuse to advertise those debt consolidation programs on my personal finance website because I feel that most aren’t particularly worthwhile. Others may not want to advertise competitor’s sites.

The thing is, while you can block a limited number of websites on Adsense, they have millions of sites advertising with them and even if you do manage to block a few sites you don’t want, you may still end up advertising sites you don’t want. Plus, because you can’t click the ads yourself, it’s difficult to find out the URL of the sites you see ads for that you don’t want advertised.

They Leave Your Site

Finally, when you put up Adsense ads, the ads open in the same window as your website. This means that you are working hard to grab people only to send them off to somewhere else.

Better Ways to Monetize

If you have the traffic to do it, you can use services like CJ and Linkshare to grab people who will buy affiliate products. You could also use Clickbank. While these are cost per action (i.e. they have to purchase a product instead of just click), the amount you earn for each is much higher. Plus, you can control what you advertise.

Bottom Line

Adsense has its uses, but it shouldn’t be the be all end all for you if you want to effectively monetize your website. There are lots of other alternatives and you should look into them before you commit to only using Adsense.

4 thoughts on “Why AdSense is Not Such a Great Way to Monetize Websites

  1. I’m glad you liked it. As I said, there are plenty of other options available for getting advertising revenue. Then again, Adsense is easier than most others to use…

  2. I don’t agree with much of this, AdSense is perfect for a huge range of sites and you now have more control over ad (and ad category blocking) than ever before. Whilst it is true there are penny clicks I have also received clicks of £1 and £2 on some websites, it really does vary enormously and you have to look at the averages over a period of time. As for loosing visitors by sending them off somewhere else. Well that’s a hit you must take, but some come back if they found what they were looking I’m sure. In the meantime if your content is engaging enough you needn’t worry about it at all.

    One thing I do agree on is those spammy debt free ads. Blocking a whole category however may not be the solution.

  3. Not saying you can’t make money from Adsense. I’m just saying there are better options for many people.

Comments are closed.