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Google AdSense Forum

Adsense Or Affiliate?
Which route is the best, simple as that........

 9:35 pm on Mar 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

As the title suggests, if you were to choose a route to go down, would you go adsense or affilate marketing?

Which is the most sustainable
Which doesn't piss off users
Which brings in the best bottom line
Which is easier to manage

The reason i'm asking is because i've been running adsense for a year with good effect, peaking at around $100's a day across the site. This month i ran a small test at the bottom of a fairly busy equipment based page with links through an affiliate scheme to a shop. This has been up 20 odd days and made me 32 which is far more than the page makes in adsense (which is also running on there).

Should i push the site down the affiliate route or continue down the adsense (or a happy medium)




 9:41 pm on Mar 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

Why not keep both and just format the page to keep it pleasing. That way you also have 2 streams of revenue vs. 1. If somehting catostrophic should happen to one, your not completely dead.

I have been doing that for a while now, although my affiliate hasnt come close to adsense. I would love to know which other affiliate your happy with. fell free to PM if you feel kind today. :)


 9:44 pm on Mar 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

Each site has its own unique characterists, so there is no blanket "either/or" answer to your question.

Why not use both? Experiment with different placement and different programs on each page and see which works best. You may find that AdSense works best on some pages while a relevant affiliate program works better on other pages.


 9:47 pm on Mar 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

There's no simple answer.

Are you talking about monetizing a "content site"? If so, you may be able to profit nicely with both AdSense and affiliate links, depending on your topic.

Are you talking about a pure affiliate site or a made-for-AdSense site? If so, you'll need to determine which business model will be sustainable for the longer time. (That's anybody's guess.)


 9:49 pm on Mar 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

Reminds me of when ol' Ray Kroc sez to himself "Should I sell hamburgers, or milkshakes?" Sadly, he never was able to choose between the two.


 9:50 pm on Mar 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

LifeinAsia is right. There's no definitive answer. On some sites I work on AdSense pays better. On other sites affiliate programs perform better.

What you need to do is set up your site with both contextual ads and affiliate ads--test each one to see which does better for you.

On some sites I have there are no affiliate ads available anywhere so I have to rely on Adsense. But, on other sites I have there's no one bidding on Adwords so there would never be any Adsense ads.

Test several options and keep testing until you're happy with the performance.


 3:59 pm on Mar 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the responses,

I'm sure doing both is going to benefit me the most, but i don't want to detract one from the other, particularly if the quality of sale generated is going to continue to pay like it has.

I often find adsense puts me off websites, especially if it's "in your face" and some nicely placed banners or deep linking is a much more discrete way of doing things.

I'm lucky as this sector is potentially a high-value purchase sector which seems to lend itself to affiliate schemes.


 4:04 pm on Mar 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Its a content based site, not a "buy this/buy that" which is why i'm suprised with the response as i've certainly not forced the affiliate links on anyone (which may be the reason it's worked...)



 4:20 pm on Mar 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Its a content based site, not a "buy this/buy that" which is why i'm suprised with the response as i've certainly not forced the affiliate links on anyone (which may be the reason it's worked...)

I think it's a "trust issue": With so much sleaze on the Web (and the Internet in general), some (many?) buyers gravitate toward sites that they trust, whether those sites are brand-name "e-tailers" or content sites with affiliate links.

On my own site, I earn more from affiliate bookings than from AdSense, but AdSense does a great job of "filling the gaps" with contextual ads on pages about topics that don't drive affiliate traffic.


 7:28 pm on Mar 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

what kind of % does adsense do compared to your affiliate schemes?

Although as site like yours is probably more likely to very well through booking leads and so forth..


 7:41 pm on Mar 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

buyers gravitate toward sites that they trust, whether those sites are brand-name "e-tailers" or content sites with affiliate links.

That's dead-on. I have a couple of purely e-commerce sites that don't have much in the way of educational content... really just meant to push sales. Then I have several other sites that are content-rich and are meant to inform or educate more than makes sales. Lots of articles on the latter type of sites. I find that those content sites get higher CTR and make much more adsense money than the e-commerce sites. But to my surprise (at least initially), the content sites even outsell the e-commerce sites through the affiliate links I have on them. I'd advise you to keep both adsense and your affiliate links, but test placement positions. You can see the trend very quickly, so no change should hurt you for more than a few days if it's a dud. I've been surprised many times by a seemingly small placement change that ended up yielding significantly higher adsense CTR and/or affiliate sales.


 8:31 pm on Mar 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

most affiliate schemes aren't that dissimilar to adsense, if you think about it...

most schemes operate something like this: 'if they come back and buy something within 30days of clicking your link then we'll pay you a share'

that means that all you have to do is get them interested enough to click the link... pretty much the same thing as what you have to do with adsense.


 8:38 pm on Mar 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have both Adsense and Affiliate liks on my content based site.
Adsense performs better but this is because I focused on it untill now. (placement, colors, border, no border, etc.)
However I am sure that I can boost my affiliate revenue to about the same level as Adsense. I think the essential thing is to keep trying to find the best solution (placing, sales copy, header, etc.) for your site.


 11:08 pm on Mar 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Affiliate links have other purposes as well (besides just making an income). You can learn from them how popular particular products are in that niche, which is extremely valuable info if you ever take a site from affiliate sales to direct sales. I'm in that process now with one of my sites - going from 100% affiliate commissions to selling those products directly through a drop-shipping program. It's obviously a lot more work, but I'm hoping the extra hours and customer service issues will be offset by an increase from the current 6% affiliation commissions to about 25% profit through direct sales. We'll see. Point is, without a couple of years of tracking which products sell best through my affiliations, I'd be more or less clueless about which products to make 'front and center' when I take this site to direct sales. It should be a huge advantage!


 12:19 am on Mar 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

I make about twice as much from Amazon as from AdSense, but then two thirds of my content consists of book reviews.

Where I have both Amazon and Adsense on a page, Amazon goes first (an AWS-generated 728x90 block on top of a 728x90 leaderboard, at the bottom of the page).

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