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Adsense verses Affiliate Programs

 11:42 am on Oct 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

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



 4:57 pm on Nov 1, 2004 (gmt 0)


I have a gallery site for (free) Web multimedia.

Each item has its own catalogue page, plus there are various synthetic views so you can look (say) at all GIF icons. I must have 20,000 pages+ given that I have 12,000+ different items in the Gallery. (I used to group items together but it was kinda difficult to understand and scroll through.)

But then, this has taken since 1997 and 30+ generous contributors to build up! B^>




 6:07 pm on Nov 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

One thing that noone seemed to mention is that making changes on your website can have dramatic changes in your revenue.

For example, Google originally limited you to 1 ad unit per page, which they now lifted to 3 ad units per page. I made changes to ONE section of my website, and my AdSense revenue DOUBLED! I am now implementing that change on the other sections of the site and hope to increase the revenue even more. Sometimes changing the size and position of your ads can make all the difference in the world!

With affiliate programs, I haven't had much luck, but I also haven't created specific content to better target people who would be interested in those affiliate programs. In my experience, untargetted or poorly targetted affiliate programs do not work at all. My next step to further monitize the site is to make content that is both useful in of itself, but also would be a good match for various affiliate programs. I also am looking at what affiliate programs would match existing pages.

I have heard many people say they make a bundle off well-selected affiliate programs, and that is one of my next tasks.

Google AdSense has provided an easy means of monitizing pages that otherwise would have produced no revenue, and is a good first step in monitizing a website. However, I think that you would be missing opportunities to make money if you didn't explore other opporunities. Every little bit helps, even the small ad in the corner that brings in $10 a month. Unless I need that real estate for something that will bring in more money, I might as well leave it there adding to the pot, even if it doesn't pull in as much revenue as the others.

Plus, diverse revenue streams will insure continued income even if one income stream fails to produce in the future.


 3:57 am on Nov 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

WisTex, Are you saying that adding more than one ad unit per page has doubled your income?


 6:47 am on Nov 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yes. Originally there was only one ad unit on almost every page of the website. Adding two more ad units per page doubled my Google AdSense income. More people were clicking on it since there were more Google Ads on the page.


 7:41 am on Nov 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

This is a rookie topic.

If you have 2 or more affiliate programs available in your category you will do better by promoting the merchants.....period!

Adsence is just a middleman, it wants a slice of the action. How can you ever achieve the best possible result by including an unnecessary middleman like Google?

Dealing direct always pays best, so okay some of you make some money from AdSence and think it is the bee's Knees.....step back and consider the phylosophy.......then you will understand why you are giving away 60%+ of your potential profits to Google.

For the minority that screws Google and the suppliers in the rare cat that that allows it......good for you!


 9:23 am on Nov 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

affiliate publishers are middlemen too-consider..

manufacturer makes product
internet retailer(i.e. amazon) buys for resale
retailer pays % of sale to affiliate
affiliate buys adv. from google or other
google pays % to adsense pub.
product finally bought

plus add all the normal middlemen involved in commerce + shipping costs
of course this model may not hold up for too long :)


 1:59 pm on Nov 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

How can you ever achieve the best possible result by including an unnecessary middleman like Google?

It's a trade-off between time and money.

Either you paste up the AdSense code once, let Google handle everything else and take a lower commission.

Or you research, test, optimise affiliate programmes that you find or negotiate yourself and take a higher commission, continuing to split-test, rewarding successful APs with increased exposure and getting rid of APs which don't work.

Anyone who has time to do the latter would be better off focusing more on Affiliate Programmes than on AdSense, but not everyone has the time.


 3:41 pm on Nov 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

Anyone who has time to do the latter would be better off focusing more on Affiliate Programmes than on AdSense, but not everyone has the time.

Uh, what else are you doing?


 7:37 pm on Nov 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

Affiliate programs are much more profitable.


 12:05 am on Nov 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

Just tried Adsense for a few days, so far pathetic earnings compared to my aff programs :(


 7:01 pm on Nov 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

5,000 pages? I assume then you are using a vendor's data feed to create many of those pages?

Yes, the sites with more pages generally utilize datafeeds. Many people who use datafeeds just generate useless duplicate content. If done right, however, datafeeds can be used to provide tremendous value to site visitors.

For instance, I just recently found out that my cholesterol is high. I don't want to take medicine for it. I've already researched dietary and lifestyle changes (exercise) and am starting that. I'm now researching dietary supplements. After spending about half an hour Googling, I found a couple dozen vitamins and compounds that are supposed to help. Ideally, I'd like to find a supplement that combines many of those ingredients together. Google wasn't much help. But I found a site that was.

The helpful site was an affiliate datafeed site. It looked like they combined datafeeds from about a dozen different online health supplement stores. They organized everything by category. There was a category for Cholesterol. Inside, it listed all the supplements, which store sold them, and for how much. Within a few minutes, I was able to find the supplement that seemed to have the best balance of ingredients, plus where to find the best price.

While this is a totally different industry than any of my sites, it's very similar to what I do with some of them. Everyone is looking for something. Help them find it, and you'll have a successful site.


 7:44 pm on Nov 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

Going from forum to forum I've noticed that there seems to be a huge debate about which is better, AdSense or Affiliates. However now I've started seeing that there is a shift towards combining the best of both to deliver affiliate referrals through contextual ads. Has anyone else seen this trend occurring?

[edited by: jcoronella at 8:13 pm (utc) on Nov. 9, 2004]


 6:11 am on Nov 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have been running affiliate programs for years now. Just recently I added Google Adsense to my pages and my revenues shot up 30x. I am amazed at how much income potential there is with Google Adsense. It was a dream come true for me. I didn't even have to drop my affiliate programs, and I hardly noticed a dip in sales from them either. I would say that adding adsense resulted in about a 20% drop in affiliate sales for a 30x overall growth in revenues.

If you have not placed google adsense on your pages, I would definitely apply for an account and try it. You might be sitting on a goldmine like I was!


 12:49 pm on Nov 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

.. adding adsense resulted in about a 20% drop in affiliate sales for a 30x overall growth in revenues

What industry are you in? I can't believe Adsense can actually help you achieve such figures.

For me, Adsense is totally pathetic ;)


 3:24 pm on Nov 10, 2004 (gmt 0)


"This is a rookie topic"? Which rookies are you referring to?

I think it's typical rookie thinking to assume that it ALWAYS makes sense to deal directly with advertisers.

Maybe it does sometimes. Maybe it does if you have plenty of available time to manage those direct relationships.

But for every site, in every niche, across the web? There are a lot of different ways to succeed.


 3:32 pm on Nov 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

I didn't even have to drop my affiliate programs, and I hardly noticed a dip in sales from them either.

Yeah, I was quite surprised when I plopped Adsense on my money pages last year; if there was any impact on affiliate sales, I missed it.

It's almost as if Adsense reinforces the sales pitch: if you're that confident to have competing ads, you must be recommending a good product or service.

Then too, the folks clicking on the ads might just be the ones who aren't going to by on the site anyway, might as well give them someplace to go and make a few cents.


 3:29 pm on Nov 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

I would be really surprised if you can find an affiliate program that generates anything close to the revenues you get from Adsense.

I know of one affiliate that made 7K a couple of months ago from just one merchant... and the next most successful affiliate of that merchant wasn't too far behind that figure...


 2:08 am on Nov 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

I run an affiliate product aite with AdSense ads on the bottom. I figure if they don't find it on my page by the time they get to the bottom, the Google ads are an alternative. AdSense only makes me about 5% of my earnings monthly (but still a nice little check). If I had to choose I would say affiliate ads over Adsence 100%



 9:42 am on Nov 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

"I personaly think AS is more risk. They know if you are doing well. They see that you are making lots of money and can get you banned out of Google SERPS."

What? That doesn't make sense.


 10:38 am on Nov 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

It's one of those conspiracy theories from people who forget that if you are making money from Adsense then Google is too.


 10:56 am on Nov 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yeah, it would be to Google's financial benefit if they give sites using Adsense very nice rankings.


 11:16 am on Nov 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

Except that they don't :)


 11:39 am on Nov 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

For some sites they give very nice rankings :)


 11:41 am on Nov 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

And you have proof of the connection between running Adsense and getting nice rankings?


 11:43 am on Nov 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

Not what i meant. Meant using Adsense has nothing to do with your rankings. So you can have nice rankings and Adsense. But i think they should push all sites using Adsense to the top. You know i have Google's best interests at heart and want them to make lots of money:)


 10:34 pm on Nov 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

Placing adwords and affiliate programs on a page together allows you to optimize the type of traffic you are getting to your page.

Adwords help you to capitalize on exit traffic. They couldn't find what they were looking for at your site then they should try one of the other sites bidding for similar keywords to those on your site.

Affiliate traffic is more interested in what you offer on the page and is interested in purchasing.

There may be some overlap but overall it helps maximize the monetization of your site.

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