An Interesting Google AdSense Case Study
When Randy Brown of grownupgeek.com began his informative website to help people deal with their computer security, all he wished was enough money to cover his web hosting expenses, which amounted to $7.77 per month. He enrolled in the Google AdSense free application program with the sole purpose of recovering his web hosting costs.
Implementing AdSense was easier, earning revenues from advertisements was easier, reveals Brown.
He says, “The income I started earning blew me away.” Visibly inspired and motivated, he researched further and came to know about the AdSense Referral program that enabled him to earn money by recommending visitors to new products and services.
Today his site receives more than 6000 unique visitors daily and his AdSense earnings contributes towards 50-75 percent of his monthly revenue. In his words, it is the “most effective tool for generating income.”
Take another case study by Google – With more than 14 percent of the US population consisting of Hispanics, it was a challenge for Univision.com to provide contextual ads and earn revenues from them. An interactive division of Univision Communications Inc, the Univision Online is one of the biggest and premier Spanish language media companies located in the US.
From its early online presence, the chief purpose of Univision was to maximize revenue from online resources.
By 2004, they were receiving 840,000 visits every month and Univision was quick and clever to maximize this incoming traffic. They began to deliver contextual ads and concentrated more on ad quality and click through rate. In other words, these were ads that were in context with the website content. Within a year, their AdSense revenues were ‘up’ by 160 percent.
“We’ve had significantly better results since switching to Google. Google helps us monetize our site better. Google is an important strategic partner. Not are we pleased with the relationship but we believe both users and marketers on our site are benefiting as well,” says Univision Online President, Javier Saralegui.
The Common Verdict – From the two case studies or success stories, we can assume one thing – for both small and medium/large scale website owners, Google AdSense has not only been a great source of income but a sustained source of income as well. Established Google AdSense earners can vouch for this!
Since we have devoted this site to help small scale entrepreneurs with online earnings, let’s reveal Google AdSense step-by-step and how it can help you.
Google AdSense – Basic Definition
Google Inc. runs AdSense application wherein web publishers are given a unique ID and Google serves contextual advertisements on the web publishers’ site. The advertisements are text-based, image-based and video-based. Web publishers earn revenue on two fronts:
Per-Click Advertisement – In ‘Per Click’ advertisement, you as the web publisher will be paid when unique visitors coming to your site clicks on the ads published. Of course, Google doesn’t allow you to click on your own website ads. If you do so, your account will be banned.
Also make sure that the computer you are using to log in to your website should not be used by other people to view your website and click on ads. Google will count this as a violation because when you sign up as publisher, Google saves your computer IP number, so any advertisement clicking attempts made from the same computer is reason enough to be banned.
Per-Impression Advertisement – Per Impression or Cost per Impression (CPI) advertisement is a popular strategy used in online marketing and advertisement. This strategy is used with text links, web banners, opt-in e-mail advertising and email.
Whenever an advertisement loads on the visitors screen, it is counted as an “impression” and a certain percentage from Google is paid to the publisher… (you).
If you want to use Per-Impression Advertisement, be familiar with few terms like RPM (Revenue per Thousand) and CPT (Cost per Thousand). Impression advertisements are calculated on a “per thousand’ basis.
In 2008, Google had introduced “Cost-Per Action” category as well but it was discontinued soon after.
Few Advantages of AdSense
- Signing up with Google AdSense is free of cost. Anyone from any corner of the world can become a member and use this application.
- There is no shortage of space. There are hundreds of domains that get registered daily and what better exposure can this be for online advertisers! New websites mean much more space and increased opportunity for web publishers to earn revenues.
- There is a steady stream of advertisement. Google’s search engine analytics has made it possible to provide contextual ads for any kind of content you can think of. The advertisers are divided on the basis of their geographical location and the kind of product or service they are advertising. Segregating the ads thus helps both the website publisher and local advertisement opportunities to flourish.
- Whenever you use the Google AdSense application, Google automatically allows you to place a Google search box on your website. This way you increase your earning potential because there is an increased chance of people using that search box to look for information. The Google search box technology is a tool to encourage visitors to linger on your website longer.
- You are given the option to optimize the ads according to your wish. For instance, you can choose the kind of ads you want to display. If your site is about “financial tools and strategies,” you can choose to display only those ads that are relevant with the financial industry. Similarly, you can change the colors, advertisement size and change the layout as well.
Few Disadvantages of AdSense
Even though AdSense is immensely popular, a kind of ‘saturation’ point has begun to set in with website publishers and website visitors. Why?
- There is too much competition. Suppose you want to create a website on “internet marketing tools” and there are 100 more websites with the same intent, how can you be sure that you can compete with 100 other websites and ensure visitors come to you only for information? The chances are 1:100 and therefore, people are finding AdSense unreliable.
- The earning percentage is less. If your website is starting up and getting only 30-40 visitors, you cannot make even a dollar daily. Moreover, your earnings depend on the kind of advertisement you display and the worst thing is Google does not inform web publishers about the revenue distribution system. Google says that if your content website is high in demand, you can earn $15-$30 per click but how much it happens in reality is the question.
- An AdSense website looks more like DIY websites these days. There are web publishers who create one page or ten page websites, uses SEO extensively and promotes them for favorable Google rankings. These website are too dependent on ‘keywords.’ For instance, if there are two keywords like “children bedding” and “bedding for children,” website developers will create two – one-page websites for separate keywords, activate AdSense and promote them. While this is a good earning source for many, maintenance costs and time to operate individual websites take a lot of time. If one cannot justify maintenance costs, there is no purpose to host such sites.
- There is no guarantee that website users actually click on the displayed ads. Truly, you cannot control user’s response. The best you can do is keep your website content updated and display fresh ads. Google AdSense is highly competitive and you have to rise above the competition to make AdSense a reliable source of income.
Never pay anyone to click on your website/s. There are people whom you can hire and ask them to click on your website ads. In return, you pay them a share out of the revenues – believe me, this is really a bad idea! Try to get more natural traffic and don’t invest in paid advertisements.
An acquaintance I knew got involved in this and before he knew it, Google had closed down and banned all his websites. Apparently, he had contracted a team of 5 people to click on his website ads from different IP addresses.
The initial first months were fine. I don’t know how Google got wind of it but the first step Google took was to shut down all his sites. Do you want the same to happen to you?
Google AdSense – Criticism
To protect your own investment in terms of time and money, you should be aware of certain criticisms about AdSense. This Google program has come under severe criticism because of complaints made by webmasters that their accounts were closed all of a sudden and all their earnings forfeited.
Complaints suggested that their accounts were closed just before they were supposed to receive their first paycheck. Webmasters also criticized that Google AdSense does not reimburse payments until the amount reaches $100. However, if you wish to close your account and not disable it, you will get all earned revenues if the amount is more than $10.
Another criticism is about the fact that AdSense displays ads that itself condemns. Sometime back, AdSense came under fire after it displayed sexually explicit material with its own ads.
If you were to do the same thing, your account would have been banned. Moreover, Google may ask you to pay them some percentage if you wish to display advertisements from other advertisers not affiliated with Google.
The reason Google gives for closing account is “click fraud” or “forbidden content.” After closing the account, an automated email is sent by Google intimidating of the same but not giving any reasons.
They also send a link to file an appeal if you choose to and the most common outcome of such cases is that the revenues are blocked and the complaint deferred.
Before signing up with AdSense, read their FAQ and TOC carefully.
In Conclusion – Earning money with Google AdSense is a tricky business. You need great content, good amount of traffic and relevant ads to interest visitors into clicking on them.
Of course, you cannot forget competition. That is why Google stresses the fact that your website should have unique content.
Finally, be careful to not get involved in any fraudulent activities like paying people to click on ads or do not display banned content on your website besides Google ads.