wheel - 11:12 pm on Oct 21, 2011 (gmt 0)
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?