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Highest-Priced Keywords for Newbies
Why do I cringe when that question appears?

 4:38 pm on Mar 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

I keep saying there's lots of ways to skin the AdSense cat, but every time a newbie arrives asking where the high-paying keywords are, I immediately think that ain't one of 'em.

Is it possible to drive a stake in that question? Probably not, but let's have a go. Here are some problems that come to mind.

  • You're asking where the money is on one of the biggest AdSense forums around. This is like joining a real estate firm and saying "I would like the multi-million dollar homes to sell, please." It's like going to Exxon and saying "Hey, I'm just starting out in the oil business -- can you tell me where the best places to drill are?" If nothing else, it shows a kind of naivete about human beings that does not bode well for success in any kind of business.
  • You're waving a red flag to the shysters. You might as well drive to Las Vegas and wander around shouting "I'm just learning how to play poker because I've heard there's big money in it -- can someone find me a poker game?" Oh yes, my friend, you will definitely find a poker game where you will be welcomed with open arms -- so long as your wallet still has money. Let me help you out, poor newbie, with my own custom list of high-paying keywords, which I will only charge you a nominal fee for. If those don't work out, then I have some more I can sell you. I may have some other tools and services I can sell you, conveniently priced at... whatever you can afford.
  • You need traffic to make money. OK, so someone in a giant AdSense forum publicly points you to keyword X. First, keyword X was probably widely known to pay good money and, if not, then it sure is now. So it's guaranteed that people with more experience, speed, and resources than you will be competing to rank for keyword X and related terms. So, you ain't gonna get free search engine (SE) traffic for keyword X -- how will you get traffic?
  • MFA's swarm like flies at your high-paying keyword picnic. Let's say you do rank for high-paying keyword X and start raking in the cash. Cool, well, I'm too lazy to compete against you for actual rankings, so I'll just make a Made For Adsense (MFA) website that has the crappiest text in the world, surrounded by nothing but the same ads you're making money from. Then I'll use AdWords accounts to buy ads targetting keyword X on your website. You'll get flooded with ads that bring people to my website, where I'll get enough clicks to pay for my AdWords campaign plus a small profit.
  • Buy high, sell low! Asking where the high-paying keywords is is a way of finding where the good money used to be. If everybody knows the CPC is high, then lots of people have already jumped on it. If you absolutely, positively must focus on high CPC (instead of lots of modest CPC keywords that you personally are uniquely qualified to get traffic for), then at least try to focus on what's going to be high-paying tomorrow, not on what's high-paying today. You want to buy Google stock before it peaks, not just before it tanks.
  • You need ad inventory. Sometimes the very reason that keyword X is high-paying is that there's little ad inventory for it. Suppose I make custom, roboticized homes and discover that I can make a profit by buying ads at $100/click. So you target "robot homes", spend months gettin your website up, ranking for all the relevant terms, etc. You're real smart, so before long you have a month where you send me 10 clicks. Woo-hoo, you're making $1,000/month already! Oooops! Turns out I can only make 3 homes per year, and I got my 3 orders out of your 10 clicks and I'm done with AdWords for the year, so now you're sitting there with your robot home website wondering why it used to pay well and doesn't anymore.
  • All eggs in one basket. Very often, the newbie search for high-paying keywords is immediately followed by the quest to rank highly with Google for one or two keywords. Relying on free search engine traffic for one or two keywords as a business model is nuts. Google for "google update" here and read the mounds of posts by people moaning that the latest algorithm tweak has "wiped out" their business. That could be you, working a year to get to the top of the heap for keyword X, starting to make money, only to find that the slightest algorithm wind shift blows you off the mountain.
  • High-paying for who? If I tell you that I'm getting $1/click for keyword X, does that really help you? Smart Pricing means that Google is free to pay you $.01/click for the exact same ad they pay me $1 for.

Does the price per click ever enter into a sane AdSense business plan? Of course. After you think about what topics you can create content for, and whether you can get reasonable traffic for them, and whether very many different companies are buying ads that would display for that content, and... all that stuff. It sure makes sense when deciding which of two topics to go after to see which might be paying more per click (even though that's no guarantee of what you'll get).

There's two basic tools. The free Overture bids tool lets you enter a keyword and see what (they claim) people are bidding for that keyword. AdWords has a free tool that also claims to offer some keyword pricing information. Google for "keyword selector tool" to find both of them.

For figuring out how much money you'll make, these tools are pretty crappy. But for comparing whether keyword A would be likely to pay you more than keyword B, they can be useful.



 5:11 pm on Mar 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

I was JUST about to say the same thing :-)

this post should be "stickey'd"


 5:26 pm on Mar 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

That was gonna be my suggestion once I get up!




 5:50 pm on Mar 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

Words of wisdom! Finally someone unleashed them :)


 6:17 pm on Mar 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

Great post. If there would be a newbie guide, this should be in it.


 6:17 pm on Mar 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

Haha, I think you just put a few swindlers out of business :)


 6:19 pm on Mar 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

Awesome post!

I agree that this would make a great sticky post. But change the title slightly to something like "Short list of Highest-Priced Keywords" and subtitled "Fast track to 6-figure income."

Another thought is that it would be nice to maintain a stockpile of "high-paying" keywords for those types of posts. You know, stuff like "hiccup", "Guantanamo", and "Christmas presents." When someone asks, just throw out one or two and let them go to work building their site.


 6:25 pm on Mar 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

I suggest we create a WW-hall-of-fame with Ronburk being the first member!


 9:49 pm on Mar 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

>>>If nothing else, it shows a kind of naivete about human beings that does not bode well for success in any kind of business.<<<



 6:00 am on Apr 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hello ronburk

Actually your whole theory is based on "People judge high paying keywords with Max CPC". The higher the CPC, more the keyword will pay!

I respectfully agree with you here and this is not the way to find out high paying keywords. But questioning the existance of high paying keywords and their genuinity is also wrong here!
Newbies ask for high paying keywords because they like to have a higher EPC and more stable income. Higher epc and more stable income is infact what everbody wants.

CPC is not the only factor that lets you judge what a high paying keyword is. Keywords do exist that are high paying and have more payouts.

When talking of more payouts, I dont talk about higher EPC, I talk about more clicks and more stable income. And CPC never indicates you the stability of traffic, clicks and EPC that you will get.

I have been in Adsense for more than 3 years now and I guess I have enough experience into this. And there do keywords exist that I call "AdSense Niche Keywords"

When people go out for high paying keywords, judge keywords on the basis of CPC, they get burned and the negativity is created. Yes! If the content is created genuinely, around the topic you know, this stability, traffic, clicks and income automatically comes guaranteed. That is where the word spreads "okay! dont get adventureous with high paying keywords and just stick to the content that you know about and you will have a stable income"

Yes! if CPC on a keyword is like $40 but with only 2 advertisers are bidding, obviously you will never get $40. But keywords do exist where like 400 advetisers are willing to pay at an average $0.70 or $1.00 with good number of clicks and traffic! which I guess is a good keyword to target! Most of the people bidding on that keyword bid higher and there are plenty of people who are virtually competing against each other to pay you higher.

Point is, High 'payout' keywords do exist! But newbies cant see it. Only experienced people can see it. Adsense doenst depends upon only CPC. There are many other factors that define the profitability of the keyword. I personally have got EPCs like $0.70 on a stable basis! High paying keywords will give you higher payouts once in a blue moon. Thats why everybody in life experiences some extra ordinary EPC once (like $7.xx is one of the extraordinary click that I got from a 'high payout keyword')

Hope that makes sense


 6:44 am on Apr 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

Great thread, but since were on the topic, what are the high-paying keywords?

I have a grand to spend if anyone would be willing to share them with me or has a program I can buy that will help me find them. Just stickie me!


 8:08 am on Apr 1, 2006 (gmt 0)


Those newbies are such pests. I can’t believe they would ask about the most profitable keywords.

Maybe there should be a list of questions that are off limit to all those who have less than 10,000 posts. That way we wouldn’t have to entertain such nonsense.

I did like the OPs analogy of Exxon and asking where the oil is. It brought a smile to my fact. But, I have to admit that if I was a new oil company and I saw an Exxon representative the first thing I would ask is – Where’s the oil? I couldn’t help myself. He might laugh, he might point me in the wrong direction or he might just tell me. What I do with the information he provides is the measure of me.

Anyway, maybe those newbies ask those questions because they don’t know what questions they should really be asking. It takes time to separate adsense myth from adsense fact.

Just my opinion.


 8:46 am on Apr 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

Someone actually stickied me some addresses where I can get highpaying keywords.

... my faith in humanity is shaken


 9:16 am on Apr 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

"Someone actually stickied me some addresses where I can get highpaying keywords.
... my faith in humanity is shaken"

Twist, that's, amazing. Perhaps it would have helped if you had used a smiley. I thought 800+ posts was enough evidence for your question to be a joke...


 11:17 am on Apr 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

I thought 800+ posts was enough evidence for your question to be a joke...

I thought a reply from myself pointing out the sarcasm and the complete contradiction of the thread title and purpose would be enough.

... but it wasn't, I have been stickied again


 4:05 pm on Apr 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hi ,

I am a newbie to adsnese and the first thing I wanted to know were the high paying keywords. I guess this is normal.

Then I realized my website does not have those keywords because it was not designed for adsense.

After 3 months with adsense with $0.05 clicks , I am now up to 0.10- 0.15 per click. I am in a specific niche . When surfers donot find what they want , they move on quickly. Last week , I received USD 0.50 to USD 1.00 per clik for a few ads, that were paying only 0.10 just a month back. I guess smart pricing can be positive also! I have been smart priced upwards! :) or am I too naive?


 5:37 pm on Apr 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

I guess smart pricing can be positive also!

It sure can be. Of course, you can also see wild fluctuations just due to advertisers entering and leaving the auction, and brand new AdWords users sometimes vastly overpay for keywords until they realize their mistake. It's hard to sort out the effects, especially when you have low traffic and few pages to average out the volatility.


 2:25 pm on Apr 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

and brand new AdWords users sometimes vastly overpay for keywords until they realize their mistake.

aah, that happened frequently back in the days. good ol' times with stupid newbie advertisers. nowadays they are more and more ungenerous ;)


 4:05 pm on Apr 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

twist wins for funniest post(s) in this thread. Dang it, those people beat me to it. I was going to offer you my super-secret list of high-paying keywords, PLUS an exclusive option on beachfront property in Arizona, AND I will even throw in the Brooklyn Bridge if you act now!

Great post, ronburk. I wish it were a sticky.



 6:15 pm on Apr 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

"Kitty litter": make your million with your MFKL site today...

(For a UK demographic use the keywords "cat litter" instead.)




 7:30 pm on Apr 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

In my case, the highest paying keyowrds are on my pages with the most traffic.

I look at it just like I do SEO. It's great to get ranked high for "my main keyword" and it's great fun when I get those rare $1+ adsense clicks. I'm not going to turn any of them away. But my highest traffic pages get their traffic from long tail search phrases and they also pay me the most money $0.05 to $0.50 per click.

I know that it may not be the most "professional" way to do it, but I would rather have sites that interest me. A hot sauce review may not pay as well as a site about mortgages, but it is easier to rank well, and it is a lot more fun to write.


 6:24 am on Apr 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Great Post! Do you know where I can find the bucket of money?

Hey Jolly, watch that crack about beach front property in AZ. We've already got the signs made up "Welcome to New Yuma Beach" and "Havasu on the Ocean". Just waiting for California to crack off into the Pacific.


 11:07 am on Apr 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Highest-Priced Keywords for Newbies
Why do I cringe when that question appears?

OK, dude, listen. We knows you are smarts and all. Isn't this forum for sharing all I think? You are having all the high paying keywords but not telling. That is selfish and not good karma. But it is your right. Then you coming here and saying ha, ha, I not telling... that no good.

Why you take so much trouble to tell you not sharing?

I go another forum now. :(


 4:16 pm on Apr 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Good post, I have chased the rainbow for my pot of gold also. Many hours of research into the perfect keyword / traffic combination with HIGH CPC PAYOUTS!

My attempt was a dui web site for a city in the US. It was the best damn web site ever made keyword-keyword-keyword-keyword.NET

ROFL. Anyways, I did not know at the time the Overture was not an accurate measurement of traffic, eventually got to the number 1 spot in MSN and Yahoo for about 2 months before I got kicked to page 3. While I was number 1 got almost zero traffic for my keyphrase. Which goes to show how accurate overture is. Any of you care to share your newb attempts at gaming the adsense system?


 4:53 pm on Apr 5, 2006 (gmt 0)


You seem to be from my country.

Especially for you , I share my hard work for free .

Cleveland auto accident lawyer
Cleveland auto accident attorney
Oxycontin abuse
graphic design chicago
florida lawyer
web conference
dish network
home alarm system
antarctica cruise
helicopter for sale
legal advice

All above USD 7 a clik.

I may be a newbie but I am well informed. :-)


 6:21 pm on Apr 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Newbies, I hate 'em,! Let's ban them all! They should all be tarred and feathered, I say!

Only Junior Members and above should be allowed in! This is almost my 40th post so I'm almost now one of the club! (er...I hope).

Let's keep all those dummies with less than 35 posts out of the good forums. And if any of them ask me for a good keyword, I have one ready, and it begins with the letter F***! :0

Ok, Ok, I'm joking of course. Yes, we newbies are not as well informed as you gurus, but that's why we come here, to learn from the village elders. Of course we will ask dumb questions. I never asked that one in particular, but I'm sure many of mine were not much better.

BTW, how can you discourage lurking if you put the fear of God into a nervous, shaking beginner? Doesn't Brett try to bring people OUT of the woodwork, and not shovel them back there? Isn't THAT what this forum is about?


 6:37 pm on Apr 5, 2006 (gmt 0)


Point taken.
But don't forget that most new members get generous help and support in this forum...


 7:16 pm on Apr 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

This is almost my 40th post

OK, tip: If you've got a measly two digit post count... try not to draw attention to it! Some of us may not have noticed :)

And if you're "a nervous, shaking beginner" get the hell away from those HTML controls and Apache levers!

::shaking head:: Jeez!


 7:50 pm on Apr 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Humblebeginnings: for sure I've had great help on this forum , and I think it's just fantastic.

As my measly post count goes up, hopefully so will my knowledge, and I will try to give some back on this forum.

Oddsod: only a double digit posting count? My goal was just 40, now I need triple digits! The bar keeps going up... :)


 9:33 pm on Apr 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Yes, we newbies are not as well informed as you gurus, but that's why we come here, to learn from the village elders. Of course we will ask dumb questions. I never asked that one in particular, but I'm sure many of mine were not much better.

I don't think anybody at WW has a problem with new members joining up and visiting and asking questions in the following sections,

Browser Side World [webmasterworld.com]
The Webmaster World [webmasterworld.com]
The Search Engine World [webmasterworld.com]
Local [webmasterworld.com]

but when new members come out of nowhere and head directly to the "how can I make money" sections, I think it makes others wonder what their true intentions are, making useful content filled original websites or easy money.

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