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|Fallacy of AdSense Failing|
insignificant sample size of complaints
People are constantly saying AdSense is failing, going down the toilet, and of course everyone claims absolutely everyone is having these problems. The only thing is "everyone" is just the limited finite group of usual complainers constantly complaining which assumes the AdSense universe is only comprised of all of their complaining peers.
Have you ever wondered about the thousands or most likely millions of AdSense publishers out there that you never, ever, hear complain about AdSense?
We have people from WebmasterWorld like Markus Frind who make so much stink'n money [webmasterworld.com] you're more likely to read about them in a magazine article [inc.com] than bellyaching in a forum. I personally know a site making upwards of $50k/mo. but they won't be online chatting about whether it's going up or down either because it's chump change to them. Then you have a bunch of people that slapped up some website just to subsidize paying for mama's weekly box-o-smokes, bubbas beer, or someone thrilled they added anything to their income and just happy to see the extra money.
There's lots of people making money, but ask yourself why aren't they discussing AdSense?
Where are all the so-called AdSense gurus, why aren't they speaking out?
My guess is the AdSense gurus figured out long ago that the minute you tell someone how you're making money, a bunch of wannabes try to duplicate your site instead of doing their own thing. Some simply try to scrape the site to hopefully get a slice of that pie, buy knock off typo domains, anything and everything just to cut into someone else's income, therefore the common sense thing to do is simply keep your mouth shut. Who needs the grief of more competition when they try to simple help the community by showing them how to make an AdSense success story.
That's why I don't think you'll see those stories anymore, they're out there all over the place and they're keeping their mouths shut because of the sheer competitive nature of the internet.
The time for show-and-tell is long over.
Well said. :)
This is worth reading too...
Incredibill this happens only if you are first to start with or have something very unique, Copying the idea doesn't work, why there is no another twitter or facebook?
why does webmasterworld doesn't have adsense ads?
|Incredibill this happens only if you are first to start with or have something very unique, Copying the idea doesn't work, why there is no another twitter or facebook? |
I was out there early, not big but #1 in my space, been scraped and even my AdSense code copied. DMCA's, C&D's and lawyers about the only thing standing between me, my livelihood, and being buried alive by lowlife scum.
re: Twitter & Facebook, it's a bigger thing to copy, takes real money, resources and serious IT, and until recently hadn't proven to be cash worthy except bilking VC money.
Groupon, on the other hand, was an instant cash cow and everyone is out to tackle them.
From Lame Wolf's link, and quoting the illustrious Mr Frind:
|Forums like webmasterworld are certainly interesting as you have a lot of Type 2's data mining type 1's for ideas. :) |
There are many ways to skin a cat. My feeling is that a lot, if not all of the regular posters (including me) are just as opportunistic as the neophytes whose goal is to subsidize Bubba's beer. Evidently, we're a bit more sophisticated in terms of how we interpret the data (there is more information available to us to compare rumors and random findings with). And maybe more importantly, we (I at least) have independently developed a whole array of specific resources that we use in our decision making process.
Over time, and building upon experience I'd say that many are bound to become type 2's...
Give a type 1 guy the beer money, before long you will be able to buy the bar.
Edit: to wrap up the unfinished thought...
The same principle applies when discussing either Adsense revenues or ranking losses: while it might feel nice to vent about the big bad Google when you suffer a setback, and even though it's useful to compare notes - it might just be more productive to analyze the situation using introspection.
Take a step back and look at your wonderful sites. What are your visitors looking for? Is there maybe a better way to give them what they want? How would someone look at what you have to offer when they have never visited your site before?
When an algo change takes place or when EPC's get shuffled around, Google might just have put on a fresh set of goggles. No matter whether its vision is temporarily blurred (or appears to be from your perspective), does your site still look as appealing?
You know what, from today, right now in fact, I'll start working on developing my website each and everyday.
It's all about gaining traffic, most of the Adsense Guru's have solid content, or a solid product, that brings in millions of pageviews, which in turn converts to 6-figure Adsense income. They don't whine because they don't concentrate heavily on their earnings (exceptions of course), all they do is multiple the number of visitors. :)
My "new" target is to manage my time and hit the 2 million monthly pageviews mark, by Feb 11 2012.
This is a great way to stop all open and democratic discussion, poo pah it all the way to the bank simply because many are doing well therefore those who are having problems are not to be encouraged to discuss their issues.
If you were being shafted and couldn't ascertain the reason why wouldn't you want to know?
Fantastic post iBill, well worthy of not bothering to come to WebmasterWorld at all, iBill's world is hunky-dory, no one else matters!
|Where are all the so-called AdSense gurus, why aren't they speaking out? |
My guess is the AdSense gurus figured out long ago that the minute you tell someone how you're making money, a bunch of wannabes try to duplicate your site instead of doing their own thing. Some simply try to scrape the site to hopefully get a slice of that pie, buy knock off typo domains, anything and everything just to cut into someone else's income, therefore the common sense thing to do is simply keep your mouth shut.
Yes, but if we are talking about speaking out on forums like WebmasterWorld wouldn't these big publishers be posting anonymously anyway?
I think that if we had enough members here to make a viable and decent sample group and the polling facilities to conduct a simple but anonymous poll, we could gain a little more insight.
Ok, you may say that the gurus don't waste time in forums let alone participating in polls, but who needs gurus when they are probably the minority anyway. Those average to reasonably successful publishers who participated would have nothing to lose in answering what would amount to a few yes and no answers anonymously.
I do concede however, that we would probably have difficulties in building a viable sample group anyway.
|Fantastic post iBill, well worthy of not bothering to come to WebmasterWorld at all, iBill's world is hunky-dory, no one else matters! |
That's not what I said, don't twist my words, I have my ups and downs like everyone else.
I said where are all the AdSense gurus?
I'd like to hear from some of them but I doubt it would happen from the reasons I gave above.
|People are constantly saying AdSense is failing, going down the toilet, and of course everyone claims absolutely everyone is having these problems. |
The last couple of months have been the worst I, and several other posters here, have ever experienced with AdSense since 2004 therefore it is understandable that they/we post and discuss about "What the hell happened?"
There are posters here who have not experienced this at all therefore why is this? Why can I specifically point to a couple of days before Thanksgiving Day when I experienced an almighty crash?
I'm not even a US site, I'm global, why would I, and several others here who experienced precisely the same thing, suddenly get hammered like this?
It's nothing to do with whinging and whining, it's trying to comprehend precisely what Google did since I changed nothing and my traffic has stayed the same.
Trying to dispel other experienced publishers' comments as almost irrelevant and not worthy of discussion is not what I thought this forum is about.
|There's lots of people making money, but ask yourself why aren't they discussing AdSense? |
Because that's the nature of many business these days and especially so with small self-employed ones, many try and keep their successful methods secret as long as they can.
I can assure you I have a lot of e-mails from people using AdSense, only a couple of days ago I received this:
"I worked my butt off on my site in December- optimising and making if better for my visitors; I've had an increase in traffic, click-thru etc, but earnings have sunk. Someone is getting a bigger slice of the cake, and its not the publishers."
This person and obviously many others does not even come to this forum, what do you want me to tell them, that there's absolutely nothing wrong?
I think there is a huge gap between those that aren't talking and those that are talking. The $50,000 a month club no doubt have a hotline directly to Adsense. Why would they come here to complain about their woes?
Those that lost their beer money have probably never heard of this site because they aren't true webmasters or they drank the case of beer their website Adsense account made them and are passed out in the back of their pickup truck.
I understand that some may be annoyed by the complaints, but you don't have to read those threads, just count yourself lucky if all is doing well. I didn't follow those threads much myself until it happened to me around Thanksgivings. The way I see it, in all fairness, there are people in the Google search section that discuss their little ups and down of traffic, the latest algorithm changes and how they are affected. For some, traffic is normal, for others, it suddenly got cut in half and they like to talk about it to find solutions. Well, some people have their EPC or CTR suddenly drop dramatically here and they want to do the same. I don't understand why the unlucky ones with regards to traffic are misunderstood victims with otherwise great web sites, but the unlucky ones with regards to Adsense earnings are whiners with poor web sites. I'm not sitting idly, I try to analyze the problem and work on possible fixes, but in the meanwhile, it's nice to read if others in a similar situation are still struggling or found a solution. If I find one, I'll post it.
Adsense TOS clearly says you can't discuss specifics openly. Silence in my case means I am very dissatisfied, not the opposite.
I don't know what qualifies a person to be a "guru" but I do know there are people having success with AdSense.
That said, I remember the early days of AdSense and this forum when there seemed to be a lot of helpful, friendly discussions about growing a business monetized with AdSense. Now it seems that complaints and accusations aimed at Google dominate.
The negativity isn't a good bait to attract input from those who don't share it.
I don't know how practical it is, but I've often wondered if WW shouldn't divide this forum into two separate forums - One for AdSense problems, troubleshooting and complaints and one for AdSense business development and growth.
Anyone could participate in either forum while following the guidelines. It works here for other discussions, why not AdSense?
farmboy, aside from the OP's post, yours is one of the most constructive posts I've seen in this forum in ages. You've got my vote.
I support farmboy's recommendations.
One thing I've noticed here though is that once a person (sometimes a newbie, sometimes not) comes saying they make money with Adsense, personal attacks and questions on credibility are immediately raised.
It seems that some people just can't believe that some folks are making good money with Adsense. Doesn't make a good impression on lurkers or newbies who may have something good to contribute to the discussion, but may fear attacks.
|It seems that some people just can't believe that some folks are making good money with Adsense. |
What is conspicuously missing in all of these discussions are definitive facts. Technically, we cannot reveal AdSense details, however a specific websites size, reach, ad-market, traffic, uniques, pageviews, market penetration and website configuration would be revealing.
For example, if one says they have been growing revenues 15% every year for five years, what exactly does that mean? Did they go from $1 in 2009 to $1.15 in 2010, or did they go from $100,000 to $115,000?
There are some folks around here that always report AdSense earnings growth – When I do the math in my webspace and calculate my earnings at their revenue growth; I would be a very wealthy publisher.
Pragmatically, AdSense success is in the eye of the beholder, and with little to compare one self to – who knows who is actually a successful publisher or not.
Thanks Alika for noticing what you've pointed out. It's very true. New to this forum doesn't mean new to IT in general. I'm not an Adsense publisher or advertiser yet I could explain things that I have experimented with and observed and know to be true -- intangible but true. Yet I wouldn't consider posting the theory because in other threads that I post things that can be verified they sometimes get ridiculed.
Literally I have noticed that I can favorably influence an out-of-district advertiser targeting my metropolitan area in my niche by giving them backlinks and taking them away. When I do it I see them go from the bottom to the top and back and forth according to if I have linked to the or not. Meanwhile they probably are thinking "what are we doing wrong, one week we are up then we are down, what's up with our quality score again now". I'm referring to advertisers in Google SERPs right hand column.
It has nothing to do with what they are or are not doing. Sometimes it's what going on in areas beyond our control. Knee jerk reactions to sudden fluctuations in SERPs or ad pecking stack order is the worst approach to finding out what's going on.
But it doesn't surprise me in this impatient "instant gratification" society.
Totally agree. The last thing I as a successful publisher want to do is to tell others how I do it or stop others from doing something stupid that is hurting their business.
Business students learn it on the first day of class: competitive strategy.
As brutal as it sounds, we want to see our competitors literally dead and there is nothing immoral about wishing that your competitors went out of business because they were clueless or followed a wrong strategy.
I'm with Farmboy on this. Well said Farmboy!
Lot's of good comments in this thread.
Doing well with AdSense or not can be a bit hard to define sometimes. Your CTR can crash while your EPC rockets upwards, is that doing well or not?
And AdSense doesn't operate in a vacuum. Traffic changes can dramatically affect it. I suppose traffic issues sound like they are better suited for another forum, but I'm not sure that's always true. Maybe they would fit well in the "business/growth" section Farmboy proposed.
Back to Farmboy's post, I kind of like the idea of splitting the forum in half by topic.
But is there enough postive trafic and threads traffic in this forum to support that? Or is it a matter of "build it and (hope) they will come"?
|I don't know how practical it is, but I've often wondered if WW shouldn't divide this forum into two separate forums - One for AdSense problems, troubleshooting and complaints and one for AdSense business development and growth. |
On the topic of splitting the forum, I've often wished there was some way to separate the issues on the basis of the type of site, hobbyist or pro/ecom/etc.
Mine is a hobby oriented site, I'm not looking to make a living at this, but AdSense has more than met the "living wage" standard over the years, and that has allowed me to enjoy my hobby even more, thanks AdSense.
The point is that my focus as a hobbyist is probably far different than that of someone running a publishing "business" or supplementing income from an ecom site.
When I first came here years ago there was a small --but loud- group of disgruntled members who believed Google was always cheating us, always turning the knobs to screw us out of fair earnings. At that time there was a member known as EFV (old timers will recall him) who drove the nay-sayers nuts with his perpetually optimistic attitude.
That group would often quote that what was wrong was happening to "everyone", just as iBill describes. But of course it wasn't, for there would probably be no old timers who stuck with AdSense if it was as manipulated and unfair as some claimed.
I guess my point is this: things haven't changed that much.
|I understand that some may be annoyed by the complaints, but you don't have to read those threads |
Actually, incrediBILL *does* have to read the threads; he's a moderator in this forum.
I understand the frustration that some people have when their earnings suddenly tank and they have no idea why, and coming here to express that frustration.
What I don't understand is why (in some cases) they still are here complaining about it six months or a year, or more, later.
I think it comes down to an attitude about how you run your business, and whether you control your destiny or you let your destiny control you. The success stories are out controlling their businesses.
I don't think adsense is failing. On the contrary.. I think it's doing quite well. It's certainly (IMHO) becoming more elitist though.
I'm not posting to cry about this. It's their ball, their court... I don't cry anyway. I adapt. Adense has determined my traffic isn't the sort of quality that returns them maximum benefit. "Smart" pricing was only the start. There have been several other tweaks to this algo and no, I don't have any documentation for this but I could tell you almost to the day when they happened.
So what? The girl I came to the dance with left with somebody else. There's other girls out there. I still have my traffic and traffic is king baby.
|I think it comes down to an attitude about how you run your business, and whether you control your destiny or you let your destiny control you. The success stories are out controlling their businesses. |
Bingo! They're out there figuring out what to do to improve their site. Constantly re-evaluating their business, fixing things that might be broken and making improvements (both breadth and depth). But having that attitude is not a trick that you can learn by reading a tutorial or how-to.
I was just browsing, as just spotted an adsense advert for POF (see article). Maybe he needs even more money and visitors ;)
|It's all about gaining traffic... |
Not saying you're wrong, because you're not. And I'm not commenting on your beliefs, because I don't know them. I just want to state that there is a commonly held belief that all that is needed to make money is traffic. Nothing can be further from the truth. Traffic is just one consideration out of many. The truth is that certain niches with high traffic are losers in terms of making money.
|...most of the Adsense Guru's have solid content, or a solid product, that brings in millions of pageviews, which in turn converts to 6-figure Adsense income. |
Solid content will not make money either. I know a group of bloggers with a good following because of their solid content, mentions in the news media, extensive inbound links from other bloggers, a site that even rank #1 for "(Niche) Blog," who I know for a fact are not making significant money. The only reason I can see for them to keep the site up is ego because that site is not putting bread on the table. The core memmbers of that group have branched out and started more blogs because of the poor earnings of their main site but I can tell that those projects are failing as well. They even installed BlogAds on their main site to supplement their AdSense income. No offense to anyone, but if you want to know which niches are having trouble realizing adequate AdSense earnings, check out the list of publishers on blogads.
Quality content is not a prerequisite for earning good money on AdSense. That does not mean that low quality content is necessary. That is not what I am saying. I am saying that High Quality Content does not guarantee good earnings.
Certain niches do worse than others. Some topics do better than others. But it's more than just certain topics. You can be in the right topic but still not do as well. It's who the content is focused on, what kind of site visitor are you cultivating?
Traffic does not equal high earnings. The kind of traffic a site receives, the intention of the site visitor, where on the buy cycle they are at, all of that determines the level of earnings.
[edited by: martinibuster at 6:54 pm (utc) on Feb 11, 2011]
|I think it comes down to an attitude about how you run your business, and whether you control your destiny or you let your destiny control you. The success stories are out controlling their businesses. |
Love it, netmeg.
The past two weeks have had me re-evaluating things because of the possibility that Google's latest 'content farm' sting could (in my opinion, wrongfully) result in my bread-and-butter site being penalized. It's a lot harder to keep plugging away at a job which I'm otherwise passionate about, knowing that I could finish this year with significantly lower income.
So what do I do? I'm working on my first Android app. I've had to re-invent my business model many times in the past, and I'm too young to say I can't do it again. I'll do what I can to control my own destiny.
|Traffic does not equal high earnings. The kind of traffic a site receives, the intention of the site visitor, where on the buy cycle they are at, all of that determines the level of earnings. |
This is a message that some here, myself included, have posted time and again, but always gets lost or ignored in the sea of information. It is a tip that anyone who is seriously looking to use Adsense for their business needs to consider.
It's not traffic. My site's traffic is miniscule compared to what I see here discussed sometimes, but Adsense works well for my sites because of the type of visitors it attracts. I've seen Adsense work even if your site does not get millions of visitors per month.
Oh, and yes, I do remember EFV.
Another vote for high traffic is not the golden path to high earnings.
That's one for the list-of-AdSense-fallacies thread I'll start some day. Another one: the only way to build good content is to choose a topic you love.
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