|Google buying or partnering with all my ad networks|
I don't work with Adsense except on a YouTube account where it's the only option for monetization. Reason: I don't trust Google at all. I've heard too many stories about them closing Adsense accounts for reasons that aren't clear to the publishers. Years ago, rather than build up some big money through Adsense only to have Google suddenly ban me for no reason, I decided to take the safe path and use other ad providers that don't do that.
It worked, too - many ad providers pay far better than Adsense, at least in my niches.
But in 2012, Google bought one ad network I'd been working with, so I quit working with them. Then Burst Media, a long time partner of mine, jumped into some DFP partnership with them that required me to set up a DFP account or something... I kind of stopped reading because I figured the next stop would be Google eating them for a snack between brunch and lunch.
As a consequence, my income has fallen... not hugely, but enough that I'm concerned. If this keeps up, I don't know if I should give in and work with Google or at least Google-related companies, or hold out and hope... what? Clearly the FTC is prepared to let Google take over everything. Clearly none of Google's competitors are managing.
My top ad provider is looking super-shaky this quarter - even worse than some of my others. If they fold because they can't compete with Google, I'm in big trouble.
Should I just give up and work with Google, and spend the rest of my online years biting my nails all the time, or hold out and hope something improves?
|spend the rest of my online years biting my nails all the time |
Did you read their terms and Conditions ?
As long as you do not violate them you should have nothing to worry about. There are millions of us who use it and have not been banned.
Do not let the few that did get banned scare you away. Yes they are vocal, and yes they claim to have done nothing wrong. It's their best way to get back at Google: say they did nothing wrong and point it all at the large company.
And even if they cut you off, you still can go back to other networks... you have nothing to lose (well technically any income you might have accrued would be forfeited in the even of a closure of an account).
DFP: it's not going to handle payments AFAIK, so again there: it's just a technical means of tracking & deciding what's shown to what visitor. While it's overly complex and next to impossible to comprehend it's not DFP that's paying you is it ?
Lose the paranoia unless your site(s) would violate the T&C.
Think of it from an advertisers viewpoint - why bother with the lesser ad networks when you can work with Google? Unless for a variety of reasons (ad content, site content, been kicked out, can't figure it out) you can't.
Your best bet is if Facebook ever decides to do an AdSense kind of thing. They'll have to get over the privacy hurdles, but THAT would be a barn burner, because they have a lot of targeting that Google doesn't.
Dunno if it will ever happen, but that's the best bet for a viable competitor in my book. Bing just can't seem to make it work. (And it's not like they don't have the resources)
Ya know in general I dislike Google, I use as few of their products and services as possible. They've become too "big brother", they track and retain too much information on people. That's my personal opinion.
With that said, lately I've tried to separate my personal feelings about them with my business dealings with them. In other words, if AdSense is the best way to monetize my content sites, then that's what goes on there. My business of running web sites relies solely on advertising income so I want the best ad in the best spot at the right time. If the ads suck it will annoy my visitors or give them a lesser impression of my site. I find that AdSense overall does the best job on my site. I've tried other ad networks, even in-text ads, Chitika, etc. But at the end of the day it's a business and AdSense pays well and has quality ads (I blocked all 3rd party ad networks).
diberry, I'm glad you've looked at alternative options, and used them. For sure some publishers get banned, but you can't let that interfere with your life. Just like any one of us could be hit by a bus tomorrow and die, it's a part of life. With AdSense, keep your nose clean by running a quality site and your chances of being banned are reduced. Stay away from buying links, duplicate content, and the other stuff Google doesn't like and you reduce that risk. Personally my thoughts are I'm going to do what I can now to monetize my sites to their (almost) full potential now (without going overboard) and put some money in the bank in case something happens down the road.
Honestly my advice would be to be to try AdSense out on a limited basis and see how well they perform relative to your other options. You already use them to monetize YouTube, so it's not that much of a stretch to use them more.
I'm not sure if you rely on the income as a side job or your sole business, but if you try to take an approach similar to mine where you minimize your Google dependence and think of business vs personal opinions just maybe you can be in a win-win situation :)
|Bing just can't seem to make it work. |
I have to disagree with that. I've found their program to be a good Adsense competitor.
Probably depends on the niche. Most of my sites are geo-targeted, and they get a lot of local ads for goods and services from Google. Bing just gives me generic travel and dating stuff. I keep trying 'em, but they just don't earn for me.
Thank you so much for the thoughtful responses, everyone. I think I may have been unclear about something.
I'm not really considering running Adsense at all. In my niches, I've tested it several times over the years, and CPM banner ads from other networks consistently outperform Adsense. I'm not even tempted to run Adsense ads, as that would lower my income.
The reason I'm losing money right now is NOT my refusal to use Adsense. It's my refusal to use companies like Burst which have entered into partnerships with Google wherein Google may be able to collect all sorts of info about my sites and my niches... and maybe determine who gets to be a publisher and who doesn't.
From the beginning of my online earning, I realized you don't put your eggs in one basket and have done everything in my power - including occasionally losing a bit of potential income - to avoid all forms of Google reliance. The problem is, this is becoming more and more impossible to do as they are taking over so many companies! If I work with companies who are working with Google, I may help ensure that dominance, and I am genuinely concerned that someday I won't be able to make any money online ever again due to Google's dominance.
But if I don't work with these companies, the end of my online earning days may come even sooner. That's two companies in less than one year - who knows if any of my other ad providers will be truly Google-independent by the end of this year?
That's my dilemma. I hope I've made it a little clearer.
|to avoid all forms of Google reliance. The problem is, this is becoming more and more impossible to do as they are taking over so many companies |
Yep that's the reality...
|I am genuinely concerned that someday I won't be able to make any money online ever again due to Google's dominance |
The cliches I can think of:
- If ya can't beat 'em, join 'em.
- A necessary evil.
No offense but I truly think it is a losing battle to stay independent of Google in all forms. The only true option that I see is to sell advertising directly and use something other than DFP to serve the code. If you don't want to do that then your options are very limited.
I believe monetising website with ads is one model. You can also use something else (start your own ad network even); offer a service etc. If you join AdSense what do you have to lose? At the worst, one month earning.
As for me, I use adsense (my own account and my wifes). However my wifes got banned. The lesson to learn is that when you get banned, there's little you can do. Getting reinstated is plain lucky, regardless of the blamegame. And customer service is non-existent. So think beyond (as you've already very well done so far).