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Overall are you happy with AdSense?
I understand that this question is very open and can have many variables but to simplify things...
Someone quipped in another thread (and I cba to look it up to find who) that "AdSense singlehandedly turned a lot of part-time webmasters into full time webmasters" and I'm just about at that point. Turned my hobby site into a respectable second income anyhow.
But I wouldn't knock any points of the overall score for AdSense as a result.
If I get kicked off AdSense without doing anything wrong, then I will be straight back here with a -12/10 re-score.
Until then, I can't knock the program for having a possible inherrent risk.
The key to anything which generates money on the web is never to rely on one stream of income only.
I gave it 9/10 and not 10/10 because, while I think the relevance of ads displayed is excellent, it isn't perfect.
I have already accepted the possibility that I may lose it without having done anything wrong.
The fear only got worse last night. I received an email from them about having adsense on a page or pages that violated the TOS. It did not mention the specific URL but just gave the general category (error pages, thank you, etc.). I had no idea what they were talking about since I don't have adsense on any of these types of pages. After investigation it turned out that my database connection was down for a small section of pages.
While I have no problems with them not liking being on broken pages, not giving me the problem URLs in the initial email just heightened the aforementioned anxiety.
My other major problem with adsense is that already so much of my business was connected to google. I've been trying to diversify not concentrate more of my business on a single company.
So, my grand total satisfaction with adsense is: 7/10
1. Introduction of Adsense through the Opera browser. I'm really unhappy about this. Blocked Opera from my sites.
2. EPC and EPM tanked near the end of October.
3. Late checks and really horrible lack of communication about the problem.
It did not mention the specific URL but just gave the general category (error pages, thank you, etc.). I had no idea what they were talking about since I don't have adsense on any of these types of pages. After investigation it turned out that my database connection was down for a small section of pages.
Been there, done that. They need more/better human intervention for such issues. I had a site which had a PHP error that went unnoticed for a few hours. Medipartners came by while the MySQL error was displayed and after I fixed it ads on some pages were for database services and products. EPC for the following period was higher than normal, probably b/c some users clicked the ads. I got a warning letter which scared me, then I kindly explained the situation, and after some clarification they understood and took care of it.
However there are others queuing up ready to mimic what Adsense have done/doing.
I think they have had enough feedback to work on improvements that can be made (publishers wish list), stats by domain, direct payment, and more communication with the publisher when fraudulent clicks have been detected.
So far, I had checks returned (with google all nicely offering to do nothign about it and resend it with the next payment term). I had it stamped "missent to malaysia" in front. When I asked them to label teh country more clearely the advised me to jsut put "country (europe)" as my address, which if course is impossible as it'a a drop-down.
Currently I'm a week late for my rent and I haven't eaten properly in weeks... but in theory I'm a rich guy with a few grand "on the bank" the bank being google of course...
Until they sort that out, and I actually GET the money I earn, I can't say I'm happy. It's the carrot in front of my face so far... Heck, a shrewed investor could make as much money as I have simply through inveestment in the time ti takes google to get the money to me! (Finally got my august check this week! yipee!)
Their big issue seems to be (not sure if real or just perceived) that google is squashing free-speech it doesn't like.
I think it is somewhat ironic that there is something of an adsense backlash (don't know if it is just a handfull or more) in the blogger community since blogging seemed to be a big part of the initial impetus for adsense.
[edited by: figment88 at 6:52 pm (utc) on Dec. 12, 2003]
Deductions for bad reporting interface, oppressive TOS, cut and paste email respones, poor affiliate communication, and last of all--checks 10 days late with a pitiful excuse.
All very valid concerns, but as long as those four figure checks keep coming each month, I could care less about these issues. 10/10.
poor affiliate communication, and last of all--checks 10 days late with a pitiful excuse
I didn't experience poor communication. I found them quite good in providing human responses to email. But sending payments late does not reflect well. To blame it on the Thanksgiving holiday begs the questions: How come they didn't know it was a national holiday, and Why didn't they send the cheques prior to Thanksgiving? Poor planning/useless outsourcing agency who prints the cheques?
I can afford to wait a month or two... or a year. But that's not the point. I have a deal with Google. I keep my end of it.
joined:Oct 27, 2001
My main concern is quality control. Google pushed for Amazon-style ubiquity at the expense of quality standards, and that could have repercussions among advertisers and readers. Still, if nothing else, AdSense has helped to pave the way for future competitors by showing that aggregating contextual "content ads" is a good way for both ad networks and publishers to earn money.
I gave it 9, and neither of us have obviously deducted anything for the "..... threat of losing it through no fault of our own" that we keep reading about it.
Do we not believe the people that say "I didn't do anything wrong!"?
I'm not sure I will until I've experienced it for myself. That's the problem with forums I guess - they can be a bit like prison (not that I've ever been ;-)) - "I didn't do it!".
I think that's the part that makes it so hard to score. If you have a good site, good content and good traffic, then the fact is you will make money with AdSense.
If you try and scam it, you'll get kicked out.
So I guess the real question is "who's telling the truth"?
I appreciate I will get some people's backs up saying that, but it's human nature - until it happens to you, it doesn't exist.
It's that fact which makes it impossible to score.
I think what might be more useful, statistically, is to find out how many people here are using AdSense, and how many people have been kicked from the program.
However, I believe that Adsense is much more profitable than those alternatives for a lot of sites. I mean a lot more!