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This 43 message thread spans 2 pages: < < 43 ( 1 [2]     
Affiliate links vs Adsense

 4:22 pm on Jul 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm still not 100% certain that my experiences are exclusive, a trend, temporary or what. It's still possible that technical type issues or smart pricing are affecting my income. I'm not sure how many would agree that Google has tightened the belt on clicks that count or click that count and pay well. It's that "quality traffic" buzzword they keep talking about.

I bring this up because for me, Adsense is and always has been the lowest paying. In my situation there is pretty much an affiliate program which would/could replace my Adsense units. Yes I've had both Adsense and affiliate codes on the same site.

It really comes down to this. If getting decent click payouts from Adsense continues it suddenly becomes a situation where you make a choice. Lots of low paying clicks vs big payouts which occur more rarely. The conundrum is that IF you need glorious traffic sent to Adsense advertisers to pay well, then why wouldn't you look at sending those converting glorious peeps to an affiliate where you can get paid a big chunk of cash?

There is a threshold to this and I'm approaching it on a few of my sites. I can look at relatively pathetic click payouts or just bite the bullet and get conversions via affiliate links which make it worth more my while. If my traffic is so good or has to be so good and valuable, then the best solution is getting the best payout which would be affiliate links.

So it's really this or is becoming this. Get paid pennies on a weekly basis or get a chunk of cash once a week or once every couple weeks. The question is whether that affiliate chunk is going to out perform all those Adsense clicks.

So in summary, if you need great traffic to get juicy or good paying Adsense clicks, then ultimately you're passing up on making bigger money by sending those people directly to the affiliate links. So do you think that by having Adsense you are eating your other arm?

I know everyone is doing excellent with their Adsense incomes lately so this may be a niche discussion. If I'm required to have "gold star" traffic clicking ads who convert well, then I'm sending those people to an affiliate program instead. I just can't decide quite yet whether I wait this out of just pick a site and do it. It's a tough call.

In closing, if it's true that you need better and better converting Adsense clicks, then this crossroad is inevitable. It really comes down to if 1 affiliate conversion is worth 10, 100, or 500 Adsense clicks. The dilemma is that you won't know how this plays out until you remove Adsense entirely and just put some affiliate links. Otherwise you might be sending those converting clicks to Adsense and not your affiliate link. Sounds strange saying it that way.

Is anyone jumping ship as an experiment?

[edited by: MrSavage at 4:53 pm (utc) on Jul 14, 2012]



 8:47 pm on Aug 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

The increased click competition may cause Google to set the bar a bit higher so that advertisers don't have to pay nearly as much for traffic that clicks, but doesn't really result in an action.

Why should advertisers pay anything at all for clicks that don't 'convert" ? ..unless they are buying ( "branding" ads ) and paying CPM..

btw, I don't (as I have said many times here) use adwords to advertise, but as an adsense publisher,( and I have ecomm and other stuff ) I do not expect to get paid anything at all, via adsense, for a "non converting click"..unless it is a ( "branding" ads ) CPM ad that adsense displays..where the advertiser is paying per 1000 displays on the content network..

Re:the rest of your post,#30 in this thread, just before mine..sorry.. but I didn't understand it at all, ( a lot of the words you use(d), do not actually mean what you appear to think they do* ), which makes it very hard to parse..:)

*so many posters on here do that, and it has got worse over the last 5 years or so, ( mostly those for whom English, is supposedly, their first language! ) , it makes understanding many posts really difficult..


 9:30 pm on Aug 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

Affiliate marketing and AdSense are chalk and cheese.

Affiliate marketing is also at least 100X harder than earning money from AdSense.

Simply putting up affiliate ads is entirely futile with little or no return. The very successful affiliate marketers I know have large communities who follow their sites and market products 100% on topic to their niche.

I've been with Amazon since 1998 but every item I suggest is 100% relevant. Amazingly, you will frequently have items ordered which have nothing to do with you. For me that has always been a barometer of your own site visitor loyalty. A few months back a whole heap of baby stuff was ordered through my site. A reward for offering good free information?


 9:36 pm on Aug 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

I really don't know where the argument is, must be talking at cross purposes.

Some sites monetize best with advertising. Some with affiliate marketing. Some with a mix.

You simply have to test to find out the best option for an existing site. Or purpose build a new site for a particular monetizing strategy.


 10:23 pm on Aug 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

The argument that affiliate links can't exist on a site with Adsense is a bit baffling to me. Perhaps a righter mind can explain this. How is an Adsense ad different than a link from an affiliate offering some type of product or service? Is there isn't a product or service, then there is no need for an ad. What percentage of businesses using Adwords also have an affiliate program? I'm sure only the big ones, but the point is I could let Adsense show the ad for a trinket, or I could show a link to a store that sells trinkets. It's like going through a middle man/women to get the same result. Yeah, you might not get nickels everyday from an affiliate link but it's about the comparison after a year of running the ads vs each other.

Frankly I'm not trying to convince anyone to do anything. To sugguest that it's a big ol pile of work to make affiliate links work it complete rubbish in my own experience. It's not like we're digging holes for 8 hours a day in the heat of the day. I will say affiliate links are a lot more risky and you won't be able to use as many as you like. At the time I say this, I still have Adsense on a site where it very well makes sense to have one or the other and do a test project. In this sense I'm just blowing hot air on a hot summer day. Oh yes beware all that super duper hard work to get affiliate income!


 12:59 am on Aug 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

I don't think you quite get what I've said in this post, and I'm out of different ways to explain it to you. I'm pretty sure I know what I'm doing, and my earnings definitely reflect that. I have spent a lot of time studying on how to get the most out of AdSense and affiliate marketing. They are not mutually exclusive, but they are in no way the same, nor call for the same strategies. If you don't see that, then you don't and that's all there is to it. Good luck to you.


 12:47 pm on Aug 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

One more note, now that I think of it - your own experiences with AdSense only inform *you*, not everyone else. You probably don't want to make the mistake of thinking we're all in the same place.


 2:04 pm on Aug 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

You probably don't want to make the mistake of thinking we're all in the same place.

"Just Remember, wherever you go...there you are."


 5:40 pm on Aug 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

The argument that affiliate links can't exist on a site with Adsense is a bit baffling to me.

Not sure if anybody said this. I know I didn't as I do have sites that have both.

How is an Adsense ad different than a link from an affiliate offering some type of product or service?

Because, for the umpteenth time, affiliate marketing is more than trhowing up a bunch of links and being paid by the click. You have to presell buyers and have them reaching for their wallets as they're clicking the link.

And you have to keep the intent of the site visitor in mind.

A visitor to an informational site as a result of an informational search is very likely in search of information. It is notoriously difficult to monetize informational sites with affiliate offers (other than maybe books or dvds that offer more information), but visitors might click an ad because of curiosity.

Now look at the visitor who arrives at an affiliate marketing site by way of a transactional search. This visitor is at some point in the buying cycle and your affiliate page for that particular product or service turned out to be a good match. Pre-qualify them, pre-sell them, send them to the affiliate sponsor.

Now, here's where it gets interesting, that pre-qualify bit from above. What if the product or service you have to offer doesn't quite fit what the buyer wants? In this case AdSense or other advertising program might -- might -- be a good exit from your page in that you at least get something.

And the only way to find what works for a particular site is, again, to test.


 8:33 pm on Aug 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

Great thoughts jimbeetle. I hope I'm not sounding too edgy regarding this subject. I enjoy discussion and counter points, arguments (to an extent), etc.

I'm certainly not newbie enough to think that I am you and you are me. Everyone has their own niche or preference. I think there are a couple fact which are hard to dispute.

If a person can create an Adwords account, they have something they want people to pay for. For each ad that could possibly show up on your site via Adsense, couldn't every single one of those participate in an affiliate program? I don't understand the suggestion that Adsense is more suitable than an affiliate link. I could understand if those advertisers don't offer affiliate programs, but I'll be damned if I could ever find something that is exclusive to Adsense ads. If it works for an advertiser via Adwords, then it sure the heck would make equal sense in an affiliate program. An example? I have a link to red trinkets showing up in an Adsense ad, but I also have an affiliate link to a store that sells those same red trinkets. This is my point.

If you Adsense clicks get more and more scrutinized, at some point it becomes counter productive to be including the middle man (Adsnse) when you could take a gamble of a lifetime (being sassy) and use a simple affiliate link instead.

If people click an Adsense ad, I find it somewhat comical to think that those same people wouldn't click and eventually convert via an affiliate link.

We're just talking best use of real estate and getting maximum value from our sites and content. If people question my commentary that's fine. The fact is if you're cashing in huge on Adsense, that's clearly an indicator of gold quality traffic that wants to buy something. If that's the case for me, I'm opening my own store and selling directly or I'm making the most money I can via a simple link to a much higher return for that gold traffic. This is of course in a world where affiliate links would be paying far far greater than that Adsense click. If you're getting $5+ Adsense clicks then I guess there could be a debate about or a real question which is more effective. I'd be curious what kind of commissions a direct affiliate sale would provide if you can get a $5 payout via an Adsense click. I realize just because my Adsense fortunes have slid in 2012 doesn't mean anyone else shares the same view. That said, you don't convince me that those big thumbs and fingers on touchscreens aren't reeking havoc on click ads.


 8:49 pm on Aug 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

A visitor to an informational site as a result of an informational search is very likely in search of information. It is notoriously difficult to monetize informational sites with affiliate offers

Indeed but not impossible. I've done it for 14 years.


 9:10 pm on Aug 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

Of course not impossible. Sometimes in order to say something you have to speak in sweeping generalities or wind up saying nothing.

And yeah, ironically, my best earner is a mostly informational site monetized mostly by affiliate marketing.


 9:11 pm on Aug 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

So many of your premises are wrong, MrSavage.

Affiliate marketing only works if the user actually converts (buys something or signs up for something) Meanwhile, sites that don't exist for the express purpose of warming someone up for a sale still need to be monetized, and advertisers still want to advertise to the eyeballs on them.

Not every ad on my sites (by a long shot) leads directly to an ecommerce shopping cart.

Not all traffic converts, and not all traffic is SUPPOSED to convert.

Not all AdWords ads are for products or even services; some are for branding and awareness purposes.

Not all advertisers run affiliate programs (my sites skew heavily towards local ads - doctors, lawyers, local tourism boards, visitor bureaus, etc. )

What you propose just wouldn't work, on either the advertiser OR the publisher side.

Moreover, there's the whole mobile situation. More than half the traffic to my events sites was mobile this year. (We're talking millions of pageviews, just for mobile) Those people aren't going to convert on affiliate advertising. They're on their iPhone, probably driving, trying to find out when and where an event is. They might click on an ad for a local restaurant or something else to do while they're out, but they're highly unlikely to *complete a purchase* or generate a lead.

You need to get inside your users heads, and figure out what they're there for. If they're not there for a purchase, they will not convert your affiliate ad. But they might click an AdSense ad.

Just because a site does moderately well with AdSense doesn't mean it will work (as-is) with affiliate marketing. Unless you radically change the focus of the site.


 11:06 pm on Aug 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

Thanks netmeg, some things there for me to think about this weekend for sure.

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