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Affiliates Forum

This 116 message thread spans 4 pages: < < 116 ( 1 [2] 3 4 > >     
Adsense verses Affiliate Programs
Jon12345




msg:525371
 11:42 am on Oct 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

Which is best? Are we allowed to discuss this in here?

 

Manga




msg:525401
 3:45 pm on Oct 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

I make a good 10 times more with affiliate programs. Adsense is just an extra way to monetize my traffic.

europeforvisitors




msg:525402
 3:46 pm on Oct 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

For the most part, the affiliate programs I'm promoting are FAR more targeted than the AdSense ads.

That just goes to show that what's right for Site A isn't necessarily right for Site B, and vice versa.

For my site--and for many other diverse sites--AdSense "fills the gaps" by generating revenues from pages or articles that (a) don't have related affiliate programs or (b) don't generate enough traffic to make affiliate links worthwhile. This is an especially important consideration for editorial sites, which need to create content that serves readers--not just content that leads to affiliate commissions.

Let's say that I publish a news item about Widget Cruises M/S QUEEN WIDGET in my travel news section. The story will immediately display ads for travel agencies that sell Widget Cruises. That's an instant moneymaking opportunity for me--and one that requires no effort on my part. Best of all, it doesn't detract from affiliate sales in other areas of my site: I'm still getting commissions from hotel, car-rental, railpass, and other affiliate partners--but now I'm also getting income from a story that would have been a loss leader before AdSense came along.

coconubuck




msg:525403
 4:01 pm on Oct 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

Some affiliate programs dictate how you use adsense on their specific pages. This is something to watch out for. I haven't seen any (of course, I haven't seen all affiliate programs) that completely bar you from using adsense, but it could be something to watch out for in the future.

ignatz




msg:525404
 7:52 pm on Oct 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the posts, they've been interesting to read.

I've been working for a couple months on a major (for me) new site that should do well with both. It is targeted at people shopping for a particular kind of widget. The site reviews all the widgets and shows the consumers a list of places to buy it (affiliate links), and also shows adsense.

For me, this is the first adsense/affiliate site I've created, and I'll report back in a few months. I think that the affiliate rev should give adsense a run for its money.

notsosmart




msg:525405
 7:59 pm on Oct 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

That just goes to show that what's right for Site A isn't necessarily right for Site B, and vice versa.

That's cause site B, making a few dollars from Adsense, is generally total cr@p. (No offence meant)

Thousands of cookie-cutter sites that earn some money today do not a long-term strategy make.

ignatz




msg:525406
 8:03 pm on Oct 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

Thousands of cookie-cutter sites that earn some money today do not a long-term strategy make.

Unless your strategy is to always have thousands of cookie-cutter sites eeking out a dollar a day each!

(BTW this is not my strategy, I don't have the inclination nor the chops.. I'm probably as close to an adsense purist as they get.. eheh)

universetoday




msg:525407
 8:34 pm on Oct 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have a news/content site in a topic area that doesn't really have a lot of shopping associated with it. I make a third of my revenue from Adsense, a third from affiliates, and a third from direct advertisers. The trick for me to eventually make a living from it is traffic volume, which is still growing at a nice clip. Double my traffic = double my revenue (in theory).

Affliates take several hours a week to manage, direct advertisers even more time, and Adsense takes absolutely no time. So, Adsense is the best bang for the buck for me.

I can imagine as the site continues to scale up, I'll see a better ROI on my time spent working with affiliate programs and courting advertisers directly.

If I could have done it all over again, I wouldn't have bothered with advertisers at all, just ran Adsense until the traffic hit a few hundred thousand pageviews a month. Your time is just too valuable doing marketing.

europeforvisitors




msg:525408
 10:00 pm on Oct 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

[quote]That's cause site B, making a few dollars from Adsense, is generally total cr@p. (No offence meant)[/quote!

And what's Site A? Why should we assume that it's any better? :-)

Again, what's right for one site may not be right for another--even if both sites are of high quality (not "total cr@p"). The best way to find out what works for your site is by testing--not by relying on other people's experiences or generalizations.

mfishy




msg:525409
 10:01 pm on Oct 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

Affiliate programs simply because you can encourage clicks and actually sell the offers. I generally get 75%+ CTR on aff programs and under 15% on adsense...

dataguy




msg:525410
 10:01 pm on Oct 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

That just goes to show that what's right for Site A isn't necessarily right for Site B, and vice versa.

Ditto that.

I run AdSense on most of my sites. On one site in particular I have two pages that are not allowed to run AdSense because of Google's TOS. (They are confirmation/Thank-you pages).

I've noticed that whatever ads I run on these two pages have a high rate of click-thru for the target market of the web site (they don't have anywhere else to go) so I decided to have a "sponsor" for those two spots. After a little testing, I have found a sponsor who would pay much more to appear on those pages than I could earn in AdSense revenue on the rest of the entire web site. This sponsor is getting much higher conversions at a much lower rate than he was when he was using AdWords.

I'm sure glad I didn't overlook those two pages!

ddent




msg:525411
 10:23 pm on Oct 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

Thank you pages have the potential to be extremely powerful.

You know that:
1) The person is willing to shop online, and is able to.
2) The person has their credit card out of their wallet.
3) The person is in a buying mood.

wellzy




msg:525412
 10:28 pm on Oct 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

I get about 1000X the revenue from AM than I do with Adsense. I run affiliate product links on my site, with AdSense on the bottom for shoppers who do not find what they want on my site.

wellzy

bnhall




msg:525413
 11:30 pm on Oct 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

Just to be different - I have yet to find an affiliate program for my niche that generates even 1% of the revenue I generate through Adsense.

I'm still looking though.

hdpt00




msg:525414
 4:25 am on Oct 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

I second bnhall. What I make in 2 hours with AdSense I make per month with AM.

markus007




msg:525415
 4:57 am on Oct 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have affiliate programs that earn 4x what i earn from adsense. I got so sick of the payouts i became a adwords advertiser and milk adsense for all its worth.

ogletree




msg:525416
 5:16 am on Oct 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

So the answer is: it depends.

Teshka




msg:525417
 7:09 am on Oct 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

Did the people who make significantly more from affiliate programs specifically write their sites with certain affiliate programs in mind?

Just curious since my Adsense earnings bury my affiliate earnings, but I definitely made my content sites first and thought about affiliate programs later--my most profitable site for Adsense doesn't even have a good matching Aff. program that I could find (it generally makes a few sales a day via Amazon, but that's it).

surfgatinho




msg:525418
 8:38 am on Oct 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

Here's a take on it:
If you are making lots of money out of Adsense then somebody is paying money for the keyword traffic you are attracting.

If you are attracting highly competitive keywords then there is obviously money to be made.
I.e if you have a page attracting widget traffic and you are making money from adsense click-throughs to widget sellers maybe you would make more money selling widgets yourself.

I use both adsense and affiliates. I tend to hide my adsense stuff a little deeper in the site and never put it on the first page I think a user will land on. My figuring is Adsense is the new back (or get me out of here) button.

chrisnrae




msg:525419
 10:25 am on Oct 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

I think that's a good point Teshka. And yes, I make my sites for affiliate programs and on the ones that carry Adsense, affiliate earnings are above Adsense earnings.

2oddSox




msg:525420
 12:26 pm on Oct 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

I think there's a lot more to it than just whether AS or affiliate programs work better for any given site. While some sites will obviously lend themselves better to AS/affiliate programs, a lot has to do with the way that the webmaster presents those affiliate links or AS. As much as SEO skills can bring in traffic, so can selling or marketing skills turn that traffic into rewards. Simple placement and colour schemes can make a huge difference in terms of AS revenue, just like simple re-wording of affiliate text links can make a big difference also.

I know from my own experience that the biggest monetary gains I've made through my sites have been more a result of refining my selling technique (be it AS or affiliate links) than improving my SEO (although both skills go nicely hand-in-hand). It's simply not as black and white as saying affiliate links or AS work better.

MovingOnUp




msg:525421
 12:55 pm on Oct 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

Many excellent points here in this thread.

I would agree that many sites are naturally a better fit for one or the other. I have a content site that does about the same with AdSense and affiliate programs, although it's a very poor earner in both areas. I have one site that is designed around very specific widgets, and it does about 100x as well with affiliate programs as it does with AdSense (but I still run AdSense on it). I have another site that is designed around more general commercial concepts, and it does about 30x as well with affiliate programs as it does with AdSense.

AdSense is definitely the least time-consuming method of generating income, and that's definitely a big advantage. It's also very good at monetizing content sites.

Not every industry has good affiliate programs, and even if they do, they can sometimes be hard to find. Most industries have quite a few AdWords bidders, though.

One of my biggest concerns with sites that rely almost exclusively on AdSense is a general concern. It's always extremely risky when all your eggs are in one basket. If you lose that one source of income, you're hosed. Diversify. Diversify. Diversify.

howiejs




msg:525422
 2:05 pm on Oct 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

GREAT thread.

It all depends on your niche. If you have a great product related site I feel you can do better with good affiliates (impulse purchases).

On the B2B side it is harder to see the same level of affiliate earnings as the buying cycles are different (no impulse purchases). If you can generate leads as an affiliate there is money to be made - but for a general business article / service - Adsense just seems better.

BillyS




msg:525423
 2:48 pm on Oct 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

Early in this thread it was mentioned that you can run both adsense and an affliate program on the same page. Here is an Adsense Policy, what am I missing? Seems to me you cannot run both.

Competitive Ads and Services
We do not permit Google ads or search boxes accessing Google search services to be published on web pages that also contain what could be considered competing ads or services. This would include ads that mimic Google ads or otherwise appear to be associated with Google on your site. If you have elected to receive content-based Google ads, this would also include all other content-targeted ads. If you have elected to receive Google search services, this would include other search services on the same site and non-Google query-targeted ads. We do allow affiliate or limited-text links.

alika




msg:525424
 3:43 pm on Oct 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

We do allow affiliate or limited-text links.

BillyS ... guess you missed the very last sentence

hunderdown




msg:525425
 5:15 pm on Oct 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

BillyS,

The key term in that paragraph is "content-targeted"--that means they don't want ads from services that do the same thing as AdSense, which is serving up ads on the basis of your page's content. Banner ads or static affiliate ads are absolutely fine, and in fact I confirmed that with Google when I joined AdSense.

yintercept




msg:525426
 7:55 pm on Oct 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

My guess is that 80% of the "affiliate programs" listed on web sites are really just scams to get free traffic. This is due largely to the early days of the Dot Com boom when companies like B?F? (I will avoid mentioning names) found that they didn't have to actually pay affiliates anything, they could just make empty promises and people would join.

For many companies, the "affiliate program" is just a structured mechanism for allowing people to display their logo on a web site.

The sad truth is that you have to give an affiliate merchant roughly a 1000 clicks or 50,000 page views just to see if it is legitimate. This method does not capture bait and switch operators. It can take tens of thousands of clicks to uncover a bait and switch scam.

Legitimate company can get saturated with affiliates.

With the majority of affiliate programs just being clever ways to get free traffic, I am not surprised that so many people have had only bad experience with them.

Personally, I think affiliate marketing has more to offer in the long run since it establishes a direct relation between advertising dollar and revenue. Unfortunately, the only way to find good programs is to have direct connections with the firm. Something I do not. Diversionary tactics and dishonesty kill the mass affiliation industry.

I got so sick of the payouts i became a adwords advertiser and milk adsense for all its worth.

PPC programs have the problem that companies soaking the system for all they can get drive the value of the clicks to zero. My experience with PPC programs is that they start with high rates, but have to lower the rates to the lowest common denominator of web sites in the program. Google has to be aggressive in tossing such companies out.

PS, I hope you calculate in the cost of wearing out your mouse and surgery for carpal tunnel syndrom as you proceed with you plans to milk Adsense for all its worth.

click, click, click, click (deep breath) click, click, click...(move to next computer in library)...click, click, click...

Sadly, internet commerce seems to be dominated by dishonest merchants battling dishonest webmasters.

aleksl




msg:525427
 4:31 am on Oct 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

internet commerce seems to be dominated by dishonest merchants battling dishonest webmasters.

How is it different from offline? It is the nature of "commerce".

There wouldn't have been any monopolies, dominant companies and ridiculously large profits if not for very few smart and semi-dishonest businessmen milking lots and lots of suckers.

I second the fact that there's quite a few affiliate programs (especially common among big boys) out there that use AM to promote their name for free. Buy some AdWords, and you'll find those parasites in a day or two instead of wasting months and months of time and valuable web page real estate.

markus007




msg:525428
 5:51 am on Oct 27, 2004 (gmt 0)


PPC programs have the problem that companies soaking the system for all they can get drive the value of the clicks to zero. My experience with PPC programs is that they start with high rates, but have to lower the rates to the lowest common denominator of web sites in the program. Google has to be aggressive in tossing such companies out.

Well all i know is i have several affiliate programs that earn me 4 figures a day each through google & adsense, of which 70% is profit. All i care about is my bank account, not theories :)

my2cents




msg:525429
 3:17 pm on Oct 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

* Lost Traffic *

One item I have not seen anyone touch upon is lost traffic. With the affiliate programs, your visitor can leave your site in a new window.

With Adsense, once the visitor clicks on the ad, they are gone! Chances are they may not come back, especially if the ad is on the first few key pages.

How much is a return visitor worth and what impact does it have on the growth of your site?

Galtego




msg:525430
 3:23 pm on Oct 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

Fortunately, the back button is a highly used interface element - with hub and spoke exploration of search results and link pages normal - so the loss isn't total.

gethan




msg:525431
 3:27 pm on Oct 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

>> ^ * Lost Traffic * ^

Great point - so many adsense publishers seem to be unaware of this, focusing on CTR as opposed to earnings and unique visitors.

The way I see it though is that if someone disappears via an adsense ad within one page of a site they probably weren't looking for the widget information on my site but wanted to buy widgets anyway.

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