|Adsense, it ain't over yet.|
There's a lot of 'I'm out' threads around here lately. Traffic drops, revenue drops.
As far as I can tell, the people that are dropping off are doing so because their businesses revolved around adsense. No traffic=no clicks=no income.
It doesn't need to be over. I work with probably 3/4's of the high end independent bloggers in my country in my niche and for every single one of them adsense is a distant second in terms of revenue. If adsense went away tomorrow for them they would hardly flinch.
And if I'm able to keep moving ahead on some projects, by end of next year they won't even use adsense. In my country in my niche adsense will be relegated to low end garbage sites.
Two points I'm making. First, there's better ways to monetize traffic than adsense. This isn't end of business, it's a darwinian wakeup call. Secondly, this may not spell good things for Google long term - if I introduce people in my niche to better paying alternatives than adsense (and I'm in a very high paying niche) what happens to adsense? If people put in the effort to monetize differently, then the webmaster community doesn't NEED adsense. That puts the control back in the webmaster community hands instead of Google.
that's a bit of a speech, but let me give you some examples - this is stuff I'm already doing.
1) direct sale of banner ads to a niche co-op type of thing. publishers band together, take the lions share of the revenue, I take a cut. We sell ads direct to large ad agencies. Double or triple the CPM of Google.
2) I offer advertisers a private database available only to the network publishers. You want a guest blogpost on these publishers? Pay to get it in the database in front of them. Kind of a gatekeeper service. You want the post syndicated? That costs. You want to make sure the post is published faster? That costs. Publishers have opportunity to make money on all this.
3) you want social media? publishers won't tweet about your product. But they will tweet about guest posts on their friends blogs. Pay to get into the guest blog database, if the articles high enough quality it gets published then you can pay again to have an entire niche of bloggers tweet about your guest blog post to tens of thousands of interested and real followers. And by 'pay' I mean publishers making orders of magnitude more than Google. Like, add a zero or two every month.
And while many of the sites I work with are blogs, not all are, and while many of them get their traffic from Google, that's not all of their business. The network I work with has on their own an extensive grassroots marketing style. Sites mention each other frequently. They post links to each other. They comment authoritatively on each other's blog. They have weekly and monthly activities like carnivals where they send visitors on a ride around the network. Most post weekly 'industry roundup links' where they point out top quality posts on other sites - and not a couple of links but dozens.
If Google traffic disappeared tomorrow, I would speculate that their traffic would drop by only about 25% and that their revenue would drop by 10% or less. And as I said, this is a competitive niche. Unbelievable as it may seem, this entire group of sites could robots.txt exclude google and it would only cause them to have to tighten their belts, not put them out of business.
This isn't new - it's been that way for years in my niche with these sites.
So did Google just screw you out of your livelihood? Or are they giving you a wakeup call to rebuild an even higher income while at the same time allowing you to take control of your own content?
|They post links to each other. |
When Panda first hit and many good sites were relegated to the dumps my first reaction was 'time to reinstate webrings' and get found by association.
Wheel, it seems like you are already part of a "deluxe" version ;o)
I agree that Adsense is not all that. I have only ever used it on brand new sites or as the last in a CPM chain, and I recently got rid of it completely.
Re: webrings. That's something I've been thinking about lately, how many of the things Google disapproves of or cautions against are actually old-fashioned traffic solutions - you get rid of them to please Google, and then you're more dependent on Google than before.
|how many of the things Google disapproves of or cautions against are actually old-fashioned traffic solutions |
"old-fashioned traffic solutions" ... which of course is why Google had to crush them, and for years they succeeded. But then as often happens with corrupt corporate control freaks, they went too far, so what goes around comes around.
I would urge everyone to get re-involved with webrings. They were popular before Google existed, so they have a track record. In my experience they cannot replace a top ranking in the SERPs, but on the other hand, you won't wake up one morning to find that top ranking has disappeared, and there is something to be said for a bunch of dependable traffic sources. Get enough of them and they WILL replace your once-upon-a-time Google position.
Post Panda Mantra: Do nothing for Google's benefit!
|I would urge everyone to get re-involved with webrings. They were popular before Google existed, so they have a track record. In my experience they cannot replace a top ranking in the SERPs, but on the other hand, you won't wake up one morning to find that top ranking has disappeared, and there is something to be said for a bunch of dependable traffic sources. Get enough of them and they WILL replace your once-upon-a-time Google position. |
Webrings in the past often suffered because they weren't kept up - they linked to sites that were down or hadn't been touched in years, or weren't relevant anymore. We need to look at stuff like this and revive the practice, but do it much better than it was once done.
Google's advice and warnings - it's all lodged in my head, and I'm working to get it out. I have a couple of sites I link together sitewide, because they're designed to work as a network. I asked several friends who aren't web savvy what they thought about how I was linking them together - they liked it, but thought the links weren't visible, and I could be clearer about what the other site was, blah blah. I took their advice with no consideration for what Google might consider inappropriate. The result? I'm already seeing an increase in people clicking between the sites.
I think some webmasters I know would read your post here and shake their heads: "You have no idea how much traffic Google sends me! I could never replace it with webrings!" I'm sure in some cases that's true. It's almost unfortunate to have a site that beloved by Google, because someday, that traffic WILL go away. Forget Panda and penalties - someday Google will not direct the vast majority of search anywhere because they'll only control 30-40% of search, period. That's just the way of things - nothing lasts forever.