I see its founder's name is Rhett Butler!
This looks like a great site. The main thing that comes across is that there is a terrific amount of work going into it.
What I did notice is that on his about us page he openly tells people to support the site by buying from Amazon. By association some people may also be clicking on the Google ads? On his about us page he also mentions that the site is fully supported by Ads.
On some of his pages he asks people to "Help support mongabay.com when you use this link to buy from Amazon" then directly beneath the link he places a Google Ad block.
I would have thought that this was getting pretty close to encouraging people to click the ads? If Google were to decide that it was then his earnings may be "gone with the wind".
I asked Google about a similar arrangement recently 'Can I put a "support the site by buying through our advertisers" up against the ads Here, which are far away from the adsense There?' (and had a layout for them to look at.) I didn't even want to say 'click'.
They said No.
So, I guess if he gets reviewed he will be SOL.
|AdSense paid $3.5 billion to publishers in the first three quarters of 2007 |
I went to the site being discussed and viewed the home page plus selected 2 of the internal article pages at random. The only place I saw an AdSense display was on one of the internal article pages. It was a square or rectangle and was only displaying one small ad in the entire block and that was for a non-profit organization - might have been a PSA.
There are more ads than that.
Try going to the section labeled Tropical Fish. Click on each page within that category and you will find adsense text ads front and center on every page. I think his ads are a good example of not overdoing and maybe analyzing where ads are performing the best and sticking with that. Instead of sitewide. More ads doesn't always = more money.
The exact call to action used is "Help support [site].com when you buy from Amazon.com". I see nothing against the TOS or even borderline about saying that.
|"Help support [site].com when you buy from Amazon.com" |
This is borderline IMO. People are encouraged to click the Amazon ads on the site. It's just a small step for anyone to say, heck, I just click any of the ads. And that may include Adsense ads. Alternatively, what if Amazon advertises on Google Adsense? What if a visitor who wants to support [site].com clicks an Amazon ad on Adsense?
Go to his about us page and in the paragraph headed mongabay contributors click the ladies name and you will see what I mean.
Whoa, step back and think for a minute: Is WebmasterWorld now into outing sites that might be a bit borderline?
It's hard for me to believe that a site like that can earn so much per month. I know many publishers, including myself that have way better sites then that and don't even earn one tenth of that amount per month.
Articles aren't always real specific and concrete. The total revenue may possibly include all forms of revenue, Adsense, Amazon, merchandise and other sources. He may have said he used Adsense and that the site makes $15,000 to $18,000 a month. The two may then have been tied together by the writer. It still is good any which way but it's possible that Adsense alone is less.
With the recent pagerank downgrades, the pagerank 6 it still has is pretty good as well.
This is the kind of article that gets friend ands family asking me if they can do it and if I can help them. Around the same time, they are asking how to view a picture attached to a email.
|It's hard for me to believe that a site like that can earn so much per month. I know many publishers, including myself that have way better sites then that and don't even earn one tenth of that amount per month. |
I've never understood statements like your ..
Just because you arent earning as much..there fore this guy cant be either
anyone doing a 1 million visitors a month should be bringing in far more that 10k a month ..even with just ppc like adsense
In my experience with 1M+ visitors, getting 15K is VERY possible. I'm not making that kind of $$ but with the right content that's possible.
|Articles aren't always real specific and concrete. The total revenue may possibly include all forms of revenue, Adsense, Amazon, merchandise and other sources. He may have said he used Adsense and that the site makes $15,000 to $18,000 a month. |
That's certainly possible. Also, the article said that he uses ads in several formats that are supplied by AdSense, so maybe the AdSense text-ad units are just the tip of the AdSense iceberg.
Given the site's topic and focus, I do think it's unlikely that he'd earn $15,000-18,000 per month from AdSense text ads alone, but then again, who knows?
|Is WebmasterWorld now into outing sites that might be a bit borderline? |
No, we are just commenting on the topic being discussed.
The par in question is:
|...a site with articles on rainforest conservation and other environmental issues, makes $15,000 to $18,000 a month from AdSense, using various types of ads. |
To my mind he's talking about just his Adsense earnings, though I guess the journo could have miss-quoted him.
Given the traffic, I'd agree with Swanny007 and dauction that the numbers are certainly credible for the level of traffic. The more you delve into the site the more placements you'll find -- adlinks, skyscrapers etc, but I'd expect the in-your-face square adverts at the top of each par are his bread and butter.
Good luck to him.
|anyone doing a 1 million visitors a month should be bringing in far more that 10k a month ..even with just ppc like adsense |
Exactly! I was thinking the same. With 1.3M users I would make at least 50K just from one link ad box or one banner.
Income is not profit.
Anyone with a large site will tell you that administering a large site can be a costly venture unless you're versed in server administration.
He has articles and large sections of articles copied right from newspapers (New York TIme, LA Times, and (ha ha) the Wall Street Journal) and other institutions with weird disclaimers about it being fair use because it is for "educational purposes" and a note saying the articles have not always been authorized by the the copyright owner.
I hope he has some of that Adsense money put away for possible legal expenses.
Also, I'm not sure why it has lots of pages on stuff like Bacterial Vaginosis, Petroleum Refinery and Knee Arthroplasty when it is supposed to be a site on saving the rain forest. :)
[edited by: Jane_Doe at 2:43 am (utc) on Jan. 16, 2008]
[edited by: martinibuster at 6:32 pm (utc) on Jan. 16, 2008]
[edit reason] Removed URLs. [/edit]
ha ha -- well spotted jane_doe
Ahhhhh.. so that's the way to do it... rip an article from the New York Times, slap a corny disclaimer on it saying it's okay to do that because section 107 of the US Copyright Law says you can, further state that you're not profiting from it, then slap adsense on the page and watch the bucks roll in.
Boy oh boy I see some major revisions in my current business model on the horizon. I've obviously been doing it all wrong.
|Also, I'm not sure why it has lots of pages on stuff like Bacterial Vaginosis, Petroleum Refinery and Knee Arthroplasty when it is supposed to be a site on saving the rain forest. :) |
Sounds like the blog site by a nationally syndicated political columnist that has scraper pages with PPC ads on unrelated topics.
As an unabashed liberal, I hate it when left-wingers get greedy and act like capitalist pigs. :-)
|Whoa, step back and think for a minute: Is WebmasterWorld now into outing sites that might be a bit borderline? |
News reports disqualify individuals from reasonable claims of privacy rights or undue criticism. Volunteer your site for a national news report, and you open it up to all kinds of public scrutiny. In this case by Adsensers, the general public, and Google itself.
You really should make sure it's squeaky clean before talking to the WSJ. Not saying his isn't (I haven't seen any ads on it yet).
His unsubstantiated traffic claims and income don't sound unreasonable, as others already noted, but the traffic numbers are significantly higher than (c. 3x) those provided by compete.com. I have no idea whose stats are accurate.
I'm trying to figure out what people buy from visiting his site that is valuable it generates $15-18k/mo. Although it could just be a volume deal. How many clicks generate 15k?
500,000 clicks/mo @ $0.03/click = $15,000/mo
I also don't get why he sounds like a charity if he's raking in 15k/mo. Please donate, I need the money!
Even so, I disagree with the idea that begging for Amazon clicks misleads people to think he's also begging for Adsense clicks. (I've never clicked on a beggar's links in the last 10 years, so I doubt it's much of an issue.)
Should we invite him over here to discuss his site? Would that be fair?
|Although it could just be a volume deal. |
Check the total number of pages he has indexed Google using the site command. I get 915,000 pages.
I don't know about you, but personally, I usually I start to get writer's block after about 800,000 or so blog posts for the same site. :)
|Volunteer your site for a national news report, and you open it up to all kinds of public scrutiny. In this case by Adsensers, the general public, and Google itself. |
I agree. Anyone who reads that WSJ article where he talks about how much money he makes is going to look at his site and try to figure out how many pages he has, what the topics are and where he gets all of his "content".
BTW - he also has an invalid whois record. It doesn't have a real name listed and the phone and fax numbers are all 9s. Can't you get the domain name cancelled if someone reports that?
[edited by: Jane_Doe at 4:52 am (utc) on Jan. 16, 2008]
Right, so by all means, carry on with the undue criticism.
|News reports disqualify individuals from reasonable claims of privacy rights or undue criticism. |
He doesn't have his phone number listed in the WHOIS record? This is really scraping the bottom of the barrel. Seriously, is it necessary to tear this person down just because he was lucky enough to get a media mention?
|Even so, I disagree with the idea that begging for Amazon clicks misleads people to think he's also begging for Adsense clicks. (I've never clicked on a beggar's links in the last 10 years, so I doubt it's much of an issue.) |
Maybe so but don't forget that you are "informed" in this business. Uninformed people may get a totally different message.
|Seriously, is it necessary to tear this person down just because he was lucky enough to get a media mention? |
Some of the criticism is justified bearing in mind that on the surface the site looks like a charity or a "greens" site not associated with profit.
The amount of income he makes and some of the techniques used to raise it, while questionable, are clearly yielding significant results. I think that is what we are discussing. Here's an example on his "about" page ...
|Mongabay.com and WildMadagascar.org are self-funded -- there is no organization or outside funder associated with the site. Advertising covers the cost of running the site: |
Immediately below this is an Adsense block! If that is not encouraging people to click the ads then what is?
While he doesn't actually say it, the message being conveyed is that this is a non-profit website. Clearly this is not the case and I would suggest that his motives for his approach to the WSJ are more about increasing profit than increasing awareness of rain forest problems?
Seriously, If I were him, I will not disclose my earning and web site topic to the world. Withing a few days there will be 100s of new websites on the same topic (no I don't have any interest on green forest / his topics). He has just asked for more competition. Trust me people with powerful SEO technique can easily rank over his keywords and eat his income. A fame of few seconds .. I guess.
I know someone who makes 50k+ p/m from Google adsense. Last year google wanted to put his interview in a large newspaper and in case study. He refused to talk to newspaper for privacy and to protect his business.. a smart move, IMHO.
[edited by: iwannano1 at 9:54 am (utc) on Jan. 16, 2008]
Considering his traffic, earnings, and the 'please support' statement, I would guess he is getting smartpriced.
He is in a great position to do some experiments to see if NOT asking for support caused improved results for advertisers, thus ending or reducing smartpricing.
|Clearly this is not the case and I would suggest that his motives for his approach to the WSJ are more about increasing profit than increasing awareness of rain forest problems? |
Maybe I missed it, but where does it indicate he approached the WSJ?
I know in some of these type articles in the past the author indicated he or she had contacted Google for suggestions on some site owners to interview.
There is also the possibility the author found this site and contacted the owner or someone else referred the author to the site.
And of course the site owner may have went seeking publicity.
I wonder which it was?
Anyone want to predict whether this site will
(1) Still be indexed by Google
(2) Still display AdSense ads
one month from now?
| This 60 message thread spans 2 pages: 60 (  2 ) > > |