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AdSense case study in November's Business 2.0

     
8:21 pm on Oct 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Did anyone else catch the article in this month's Business 2.0 about the 19 year-old who runs a cell phone blog and "makes $55,200" using AdSense? I'd link to it, but I think you have to be a subscriber to view it. It looks like a blatant AdSense TOS violation to me. Here are some quotes from the article:

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"He's one of a rare but growing breed: the independent blogger who, through smarts, dedication, and a bit of luck, turns a profit. In August alone, his all-cell-phones, all-the-time website, <snip>, earned him $4,600. Given the time he put in, that works out to about $70 an hour."

"...Mobiletracker serves more than 300,000 pageviews a month to 140,000 unique visitors, according to Web-tracking sites. And every time a viewer clicks on one of <snips>'s Google-provided ad links, the search engine giant kicks back some money to Gales, depending on what an advertiser is willing to pay. Generally, the more expensive the products or services advertised on a site, the bigger the payout..."
----

[edited by: Jenstar at 10:34 pm (utc) on Oct. 25, 2004]
[edit reason] No URLs please [/edit]

8:23 pm on Oct 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

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No.

He's talking about his pageviews, not his adsense impressions.

8:24 pm on Oct 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

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he might have asked for permission from G, thereby promoting Adsense.
11:54 pm on Oct 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

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check out the guys site. The whole thing seems like a violation of TOS. What point does the site have besides only serving AS ads? Isn't creating a site for the specific purpose of serving ads a violation?

Maybe the reason he gets away with that and with the article quote is because he is with G? I seriously doubt it, but I can't believe he would risk having his site found to be in vioaltion simply for having a quote in an article.

2:03 am on Oct 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I enjoy reading Business 2.0. This article about 19 year old boy making "a respectable living by working the Web few hours a day" surpised me. If this is about promoting AdSense - it is very poor example.

The site is nothing else, but the information from the various sources summarized into one page. I really doubt, that 19 years old boy with no college degree and no real work experience can write a confident review on such hi-tech subject as mobile technology.

This site services 3 ad units, two of them are identical.

So what we should learn from this? Violate TOS? Build a site about "something expensive" to get more money from advertisers? Do not go to college?

This is my opinion.

3:08 am on Oct 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I really doubt, that 19 years old boy with no college degree and no real work experience can write a confident review on such hi-tech subject as mobile technology.

Well, he is proving you wrong and making ~$5k / month from it. Not huge, but not bad either. Good thing he doesn't believe your statement ;)

3:40 am on Oct 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Heh - Shall we all email Google and kick up a stink so he gets kicked out of Adsense? As tempting as it is he's just trying to scrape a dollar same as every other Joe Bloe out there. If Google have a problem with it I'm sure they'll do something in due course.
4:04 am on Oct 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I know a one page website with only 2k byte content and 1 adsense. It makes 5K from adsense too. It needs a combination of writing, seo, and high price keyword.
4:58 am on Oct 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

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His site is just showing PSA's to me - someone dobbed him in already?!
11:28 am on Oct 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

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There have been many other publishers who have received permission to have their stats published. I have quoted articles here before that have done the same where permission was given by AdSense. He could possibly pop up as a new case study shortly - the others who have had specifics published online with permission were all case studies.

Whether this guy received permission, I don't know. But I am just making people aware of the fact that he might have ;)

As for PSAs, if he was suspended, there would be nothing appearing where the ads should be, so that is not the case here.

11:51 am on Oct 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Leave the guy alone, he's earning money and bothering no one. Dont rat him out for the sake of it.
2:07 pm on Oct 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I think they are just jealous because he is making a good amount of money from his website.
4:25 pm on Oct 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

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<Dont rat him out for the sake of it.

No Point, It's already done if its posted here.

5:37 pm on Oct 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

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>>check out the guys site. The whole thing seems like a violation of TOS
>>Leave the guy alone, he's earning money and bothering no one

Essex_boy, I haven't seen the site but if a site is violating TOS - and thereby possibly cheating advertisers - is it OK as long as they aren't "bothering" anyone?

5:48 pm on Oct 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I have the URL of the site. I looked at it. It has nothing wrong. The guy is hard working. His site is also linked to Google News, so he got a lot of traffics.
5:32 am on Oct 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Hey guys that is me and I am actually a Webmaster World user... No need to hate or try to "rat me out". I am available to answer any questions.

Google OK'd the release of the numbers, they are big fans of the site too (it's making them money as well). They also added me to the press list for good AdSense cases... Because I *am* a fan.

I write all the articles. It's a lot of work.

What point does the site have besides only serving AS ads? Isn't creating a site for the specific purpose of serving ads a violation?

Actually, it's one of the best resources for mobile phone news on the internet. Thousands of people have the site book marked and check it every day to get up to date in the industry. It's a little insulting to say that all the hours of labor have no point. I have nearly 1400 hand written articles that are all timely posted.

I really doubt, that 19 years old boy with no college degree and no real work experience can write a confident review on such hi-tech subject as mobile technology

This is down right offensive. Whatever your age, I am not impressed that you can frequent a message board and demean another person's intelligence.

I *personally* get cellphones for review from the major co's and carriers. I photograph them with a professional digital camera and put them through their paces.

People like you are exactly why I don't advertise my age, you see a limitation. I see possibilities.

5:55 am on Oct 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

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People like you are exactly why I don't advertise my age, you see a limitation. I see possibilities.

Nice, very nice statement...

Curiously, why would I be seeing PSAs on your site? I checked it when this thread first started and got PSAs then and still do now. I'm in S.E.Asia - would have thought you'd pick up a lot of readers out here as it is cellphone mad...

6:02 am on Oct 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I'm sorry if I came off a little too in your face--this thread was started out of hate and that's just not right. I'm a person too.

About the PSA's--I see regular ads. On the front page the targeting is a little rough (it changes lots of times a day, about a lot of different topics within cell phones). Permalinks have the best targeting.

It could just be towards the end of the day and people our out of budgets. Not sure. Earnings are on average though.

6:11 am on Oct 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I saw the site when it was mentioned in the Business 2.0 article - there were absolutely no TOS violations that I found, and I always saw targeted ads, never PSAs. I suspect anyone seeing PSAs is due to a regional issue. Using your AdSense Preview tool to US/UK/Canada all show plenty of ad inventory.

Yes, some sites are out there putting "not so good" content, but this is definitely not the case in the site mentioned in the article. It is a quality site with great content. If a publisher was not on the up-and-up, I can't see that he/she would draw so much attention by being featured as an entrepreneur success in a well-read business magazine.

And as I said in my previous post, many publishers have received permission from Google to give out stats for publication in articles - and jonknee confirmed this as well.

In my opinion, age has nothing to do with how well someone can or cannot do on the internet. I know publishers in the 10K FedEx club who are in their late teens and early twenties - with quality content sites.

Kudos to jonknee for doing this, and hopefully it will bring you even more traffic and earnings ;) I am sure many publishers here would like to be in your shoes right now!

6:22 am on Oct 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I meant nice very nice in a positive way! - I agree with what you say
6:22 am on Oct 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

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>>It needs a combination of writing, seo, and high price keyword.

That's it? How about links?

8:13 am on Oct 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I think the person who saw the "made for adsense" website actually visited the [site].com instead of [site].net. Is this the case?

I actually have the site in my RSS feed reader, since I'm in the same mobility area (or close), and I think it's a great resource.

11:38 am on Oct 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Think you are spot on. The .net site is a good example of what you can do with quality content , exactly what Google is after. This type of site doesn't happen over night. Whether it was built with adsense in mind is the question that interests me. Though at the end of the day it doesn't really matter because if you create the content, traffic will come and monetizing this is actually the easy bit.

It takes dedication and guts to commit yourself to a site and idea and run with it- especially at the beginning when you really have o believe in it because the income is zero or very low.

Hats off to JG!

1:32 pm on Oct 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I am seeing proper Adwords there, not PSAs.
1:54 pm on Oct 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

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----
Posted by jonkee:
I'm sorry if I came off a little too in your face--this thread was started out of hate and that's just not right. I'm a person too.
----

Jonknee,

I'm sorry if I offended you. I was quite impressed, actually, by the content of the site. I think that it provides a very useful service and is well written. My TOS question to the group was regarding the disclosure of revenue -- not whether or not the content is well-written. I think your site is exactly the kind of site that AdSense was created to support.

I'm glad to hear that you received permission from G to publish this. I think it's about time that people can share with others how successful AdSense can be.

2:53 pm on Oct 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

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That's it? How about links?

I think links come under seo...

Edit: heh for got to say well done ;)

5:06 pm on Oct 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Good point, the .com site is someone out of Hong Kong that won't sell the domain. One of those co's with 1000s of lead in sites for its search engine. Lame, but with hardly anyone typing in URLs these days it doesn't hurt me too much.
 

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