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Google's AdSense: A boost for information sites?
europeforvisitors




msg:1326685
 7:57 pm on Jun 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Google's new AdSense program may be the most significant advance in Web advertising since PPC listings were invented. It promises to generate significant income for information or "content" sites while giving advertisers a second chance to reach users who never even notice (let alone click on) the Adwords on Google's search pages.

Now that the program is in full swing and is generating significant income for information sites, a few questions come to mind:

1) Will "content sites" become more valuable? (I believe someone speculated in a thread on the AdSense forum that companies may start buying up content sites.)

2) Will we see an increased demand, with rates to match, for Web writers and editors (as opposed to Web copywriters)?

3) Will SEOs find work on the content side, helping information sites to optimize their pages for the AdSense bot in hopes of getting more targeted (and higher-paying) ads?

4) Is AdSense merely another way for Google to monetize its AdWords, or does it suggest that Google is trying to ensure that the Web will continue to grow and mature as an information medium and not just as a marketplace?

5) Will Google put conventional ad networks out of business with AdSense, or will CPMs and CPC rates for banners and other display ads rise to compete with AdSense?

6) What effect will AdSense have on affiliate programs and--just as important for WW's audience--affiliate sites?

I personally believe that AdSense is a hugely important milestone for both Web advertising and Web information sites. Overnight, my own site's revenues have shot up dramatically without cannibalizing affiliate sales. By introducing targeted text ads for information sites, Google has--in one fell swoop--restored the potential of the Web to be a commercially viable medium for niche publishers.

(NOTE: I'm posting this here in the Google News forum, and not in the AdSense forum, because the topic and discussion points are of general interest.)

 

GoogleGuy




msg:1326686
 12:06 am on Jul 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'll grab that vine and swing from it. Personally, I think it's a Good Thing to encourage diversity in viewpoints (and give webmasters more options to reimburse them for their work). Diversity in viewpoints is one of the reasons that I love Google News too. The web has and will have enormous potential as a communications medium and as a way for people to get information about what they need. Just my personal opinion, but I think we need to cherish and preserve and encourage that every chance we get.

markus007




msg:1326687
 12:52 am on Jul 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

A. What kind of clickthru rates are you getting?

B. What kind of money is google paying per click?

jmccormac




msg:1326688
 1:10 am on Jul 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

1) Will "content sites" become more valuable? (I believe someone speculated in a thread on the AdSense forum that companies may start buying up content sites.)

Yes. There is no doubt about this one. The whole advertising model is based on giving the users advertising that is connected to the webpage that they are viewing. This really concentrates the effort of publishers/website owners on developing content. It would be far easier to sell a website with revenue than one without. However this may require some new agreement with Google as ownership and potentially the tax situation would change if a website was bought out.

2) Will we see an increased demand, with rates to match, for Web writers and editors (as opposed to Web copywriters)?

I'm not sure that this follows logically. Would the money spent on employing copywriters be recovered in advertising revenue? Could the copywriters provide sufficiently niche copy to attract the necessary traffic?

3) Will SEOs find work on the content side, helping information sites to optimize their pages for the AdSense bot in hopes of getting more targeted (and higher-paying) ads?

This may be the start of the next generation of SEO - one that has more in common with fact checkers and editors in the print publishing world. While up to now, SEO has been largely technical, following a set of rules, the new SEO will require a more literate and wideranging set of skills. Perhaps those people with English and language degrees working on the web will finally find their niche.

4) Is AdSense merely another way for Google to monetize its AdWords, or does it suggest that Google is trying to ensure that the Web will continue to grow and mature as an information medium and not just as a marketplace?

AdSense is more a way for Google to monetize its search engine data. I can appreciate this as part of my work is using the search engine data generated by my engines to provide better country based indices and more accurate market and industry research. In terms of monetizing Google's search data, AdSense puts it ahead of Looksmart, Espotting and all the rest in that it gets to the bulk of the web. Most smaller website operators will be ignored by the web advertising agencies if their traffic figures are not in the millions of page impressions per month. This results in a very unhealthy web business where the top sites tend to get the advertising and the other sites get nothing. Google restored the balance to the food chain. In business terms this is the KT Event for these web advertising agencies and the big websites.

5) Will Google put conventional ad networks out of business with AdSense, or will CPMs and CPC rates for banners and other display ads rise to compete with AdSense?

It is inevitable that some of the opposition will go bust. When giving presentations on search engine technology and geolocation algorithms, I have used one particular website in Ireland serving Google results with a third party sponsored links service as an example of poorly matched services. For one particular keyword, "cars" all the sponsored links are for UK websites. AdSense will crucify these moronic companies because Google has, to a large extent, closed the link between what the user sees and what the user is looking for. These sponsored link companies will have to do what Google is doing to keep up with it. The short-term outlook is ok for these companies but as more of the smaller and midrange websites switch to AdSense, these companies will start losing customers. You could very well have a situation with Google occupying most of the market with AdWords as the main business offering and AdSense as the mass market product.

6) What effect will AdSense have on affiliate programs and--just as important for WW's audience--affiliate sites?

Short-term, the effect will probably be minimal. In the medium to long term, as more sites get into the program, there will be a cascade. It really depends on the affiliate programs. If the program is in competition with AdSense, then it may be forced to occupy the sections of the market that Google does not want such as BBSes and dynamically generated pages. But then will these sites and pages attract any more advertising than they have already attracted? The holy grail of advertising is being able to give the user an advert for the product they want when they are searching for it and have their wallet open. Google's AdSense goes a long way towards this goal.

Regards...jmcc

jcoronella




msg:1326689
 2:41 am on Jul 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

markus007:

A: Depends highly on the content of the site

B: Depends highly on the content of the site.

I have tried adsense on two sites. On one it kicks [edit]butt[/edit]. On the other it does no better than my favorite major ad network (BURST Media). Your mileage may vary, so as is the case with ALL marketing... you have to test, test, test.

Oh yeah, and make sure you test it. ;)

markus007




msg:1326690
 2:45 am on Jul 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

I just added Adsence to my niche site. My jaw dropped after seeing the results. But its probably to early to draw conclusions. I suspect sites that review video cameras, Tv's, Cars etc could make some serious coin doing this.

chiyo




msg:1326691
 3:09 am on Jul 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

I agree europe, that this model has the potential for re-establishing content and information as the real territory of the web. Up until now, the money making areas of the web were elsehwere. I DO belive Adsense is significant for many reasons you say.

The Web IS in danger of turning into a massive shopping mall, and that would endanger all our online businesses, commercial or info, if people's affection for the web reduced as a result in favour or other media. Compared to even 5 years ago, retail and commercial content makes up a far greater proportion of the web compared to the information which survey after survey says is the reason people go to the web.

If it works, I also expect much more cmpetition from new or "resurrected" info sites! If adsense cannot be scammed or spammed, im sure it will raise the quality of info sites too, as publishers reinvest their revenue into better content.

However, I am also reserving judgement. Our revenue for Adsense is also good, but it may well be that Google is paying good commissions now to attract a crtical mass quick, especially with the new OV content site advertising already on the horizon, though in the latter case the program has not spread out to niche sites as of yet. Then again thats how google tested their system first. We also wonder whether the great CTR we are getting is maybe because of the novelty for our readers, and may decrease over time.

Let's not forget history where these programs are provided with no guarantees on timing and commisson level. When Google and Alta vista wanted webmasters to have their search boxes on their sites, I think i can remember them paying 3c a click (or was it even 5c?) when it first launched. Over a quick time span that reduced to 2c to 1c then was completely canned after AV and Google had got the exposure they wanted.

So at present we are very cautious on predicting medium to long term revenue from Adsense. If OV runs out their program to smaller sites like google, things would look a bit better with the competition.

On one of your questions, yes its a great way for Google to 1) increase their revenue from adwords advertisers and increase the exposure for adwords advertisers and 2)Advertise Adwords.

But i also think it is doing something that is in Google's strategic approach right from the start. To leverage their business based on an undertsnading of the unqiue way the Web works as a medium - rather than transplanting print and traditional info/publishing/off-line/advertising models onto the medium. I think that is very clear and reinforces Google as a great innovator of the Web just by trying to work with it, rather than imposing structures on it.

mayor




msg:1326692
 5:14 am on Jul 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

I just had my eyes opened to Google's Adsense today and I'll have to say I'm impressed.

I signed up and put it on a content site ... now we'll see how it works.

The concept is brilliant ... absolutely brilliant, in so many ways you have to check it out for yourselves to appreciate it.

If the payout is reasonable, Google stands to restructure the commercial web in one roll of the dice.

ams_david




msg:1326693
 8:59 am on Jul 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hmm... Maybe the first post is a bit too content targeted to the owners specific niche site.

For example:
promises to generate significant income for information or "content" sites

How about this, more generic version, instead:
possible to generate income for information or "content" sites, with income based on the target market of the pages content

And from this:
program is in full swing and is generating significant income for information sites

to this:
program is in infancy and generating income for information sites

;-)

aravindgp




msg:1326694
 9:15 am on Jul 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

The additional advantages of using the AdSense programs are
* No hassle of writing emails, making phone calls and running after
advertisers to place ads on your Website.
* No hassle of managing various affiliate URLs, banners and accounts.
* Due to its large pool of ads at Google's disposal there's a
continuous stream of them available, allowing for sustainability of
the program.
* Lastly because of the credibility and reputation of Google, a small
Website's own credibility could be enhanced when it displays Google
AdWords ads through the AdSense program.

I believe, the AdSense program is a noble move in helping small
content publishers, and also in raising the overall standard of the
internet.

I personally am developing a site of my long time interest in Genetic Algorithms and Artificial Life.(higher form of Artificial Intelligence)
This I would have never done but for adsense.

I belive there will be spurt of adnetworks now which will cash on google adsense rejections.But this eventually should die down since if the other networks need to survive they need to offer quality for advertisers which may be lacking if they take in rejected proposals of Google Adsense.

Aravind

John_Caius




msg:1326695
 10:00 am on Jul 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

markus007:

Note that the Adsense terms and conditions state:

You agree not to disclose Google Confidential Information without Google's prior written consent. "Google Confidential Information" includes without limitation: ... (b) click-through rates or other statistics relating to Site performance in the Program provided to you by Google; ...

europeforvisitors




msg:1326696
 2:40 pm on Jul 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

I believe, the AdSense program is a noble move in helping small content publishers, and also in raising the overall standard of the internet.

I think it's also going to be a boon for advertisers. In other discussions of AdSense, some advertisers have complained that "content ads" have had a poor ROI on Google's previous content-partner sites like HowStuffWorks and Weather Underground. IMHO, that just illustrates why AdSense is such a great concept for advertisers. The user who reads an article about digital-camera technology at HowStuffWorks is likely to be a technology buff or a kid working on a school report. A user who reads camera reviews at a niche site for amateur photographers is far more likely to be a prospective buyer.

The key to successful direct marketing is reaching the right target audience--and that's what AdSense promises to do. (To use a couple of offline analogies, if you were a mail-order vendor selling ham-radio gear, would you advertise in POPULAR SCIENCE or QST? And if you were trying to generate bookings for a nudist resort, would you buy ads in TRAVEL & LEISURE or a naturist publication?)

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