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Why would you hate making money with adsense?

sometimes 'smart' people are dumb.

5:37 am on Nov 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I know a lady who runs a very nice, large, quality website. She refuses to run ads because she wants to keep it "pure". She also refuses link exchanges because she won't link to any sites that are commercial in any way. The design is crappy (long articles, not consistent structure) but the information is well-researched and honestly a great source. It would attract a LOT more visitors if she did any kind of promotion for it.

So... why are people like this? I just can't understand it. Where does this "ads are evil" attitude come from? If I could get my hands on this site... I'd add a little adsense and.... oooh, the possibilities!

6:09 am on Nov 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I'm always confounded that people who believe advertising is evil bother to invest time in an AdSense forum.

It is to see if you guys are making any sense ;)

Whether it is evil or not, most people on the forums including me do generate money from adsense. Just because I am in it, I am not going to hide the fact that ads carry some sort of deceiving materials.

What is advertised doesn't always mean that it is the best thing for the consumer.

[edited by: Habtom at 6:11 am (utc) on Nov. 5, 2007]

1:03 pm on Nov 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

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That lady actually is an original webmaster (webmistress) and not a very greedy human being, publishing something valuable and expecting nothing in return, I remember when the web started as such, when control was shifted from educational organizations & government to commercial entities money took over all other considerations and it became a game of numbers not quality, even quality for the sake of numbers not personal satisfaction. Such is everything in life now.
If I was not doing this full time, I would have loved to have no ads on my site too, that's how it all started anyway, and that's how I advise people to start.

Well said. Build the site for the sake of building the site.

I started my own site around seven years ago, purely because I was compelled to do it. It was fairly popular back then and I updated it as and when I could (doing the 9-5 thing too!). A couple of years ago I used AdSense, just to see - perhaps cover the cost of hosting my sites. These days that one site IS my job.

The site is still the same, although I put a lot more work into research and publishing than I used to partly because I have the time now and partly because it just makes good financial sense. Since all the extra work (perhaps motivated through income?) the visitors are way up and more interestingly I have a loyal and growing bunch of regulars who pop in every day and often contribute to the content. I have met with an interesting range of people (including advertisers advertising directly now) and even did a short spot on radio recently.

All this thanks to AdSense and I wouldn't swap it for a nine to five if I could avoid it. That said, I still believe in the site and would carry on with it if AdSense disappeared tomorrow.

Incidentally, for me just a couple of ad units at appropriate places seems to work fine. I can't stand these pages that use the maximum number of ad units and little or no content.

1:11 pm on Nov 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I received a 'friendly' email from someone yesterday telling me that they loved my web directory but I was being 'stupid' because I didn't have adsense on it. He said he could tell from my Alexa number that I could make a few thousand dollars a month if I only put adsense on my directory like he did on his web site.

The fact is that I make several multiples more than that selling premium listings on my directory.

I visited his site and it was so ad-laden that it hurt my eyes. I wouldn't know it was a web directory if he hadn't told me. Seeing this reinforced my dislike of seeing AdSense plastered all over every web site I visit. Do you think his web site exists to serve others or to serve him and his bank account? A web site can serve both, but his certainly doesn't.

I have other sites which make a lot of money with AdSense, but I think it's important to recognize that AdSense is not appropriate everywhere.

1:51 pm on Nov 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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You know what's interesting. I started out with a site which didn't have any ads on it and, because I felt that people felt great hostility towards advertising, I had no intention of ever adding any. Ever.

When it started to grow I did a volte-face and added a single banner ad to the top of every page on the site. I thought it better to add them early on and get everyone used to the idea that there would always be a minimal amount of advertising on the site then to introduce the ads at a later stage and suddenly lose a significant proportion of my readership.

A while later AdSense came along, I discovered affiliate marketing, Empires rose and fell... I came to my senses and wondered what on earth I was doing with those stupid, annoying banner ads still on my site.

They brought in only a small amount of revenue - probably enough to pay my monthly utility bills - and every time I asked anyone for feedback on my site almost always the first thing they said was: "get rid of the banner ads."

Great, I thought, I'll finally ditch those annoying ads, everyone will be happier, more people will visit the site, people will stay longer, my income from CPC and CPA will grow as a result of ditching run-of-network CPM ads.

I ditched the banners.
Visitor growth stayed the same, site revenue growth stayed the same.

After three months I started putting the banners back up again.
Visitor growth stayed the same, site revenue growth stayed the same.

Occasionally some people complain about the banners.
The banner ad revenue continues to pay my utility bills.

Moral: People often say they don't like ads but that quite often does not translate into any action on their part.

Furthermore: I read a comment a while ago which I suspect has more than a grain of truth in it, which said: when people are looking for a product or service and they see an ad for it, they don't classify that ad as "another annoying ad" but rather "potentially useful information." Adsense ads are more likely to fall into this category, I think. But contextually relevant banner ads can too.

Moreover: <offtopic>Obviously this can't be applied to everything, but there is a good argument that advertising can enable certain goods and services to be free or considerably discounted at the point of access for people who otherwise couldn't afford those goods and services. Municipal bus tickets with (say) farmer's market advertising (vouchers?) on the back which cost $0.20 per trip as opposed to tickets with a blank back which cost $1.50... how much would that boost the economy by making transport more affordable (while encouraging people to try healthier food)?</offtopic>

7:11 pm on Nov 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Sites do not all have to be commercial. I run some non-commercial sites; and that's the way I want them to be.

Commercial sites do not all need to use the same model. WMW happily chugs along with no Google ads on it.

8:07 pm on Nov 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Yes, but WebmasterWorld has subscriptions and small banners (upper right hand corners)

That carries a lot of the freight...KF

12:52 am on Nov 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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We live in a grey world, not black and white.
- No ad sites backed by industry backed organizations providing their slant on topics but appearing neutral and authoritative
- Some non-profits who feel ads are a sell out and stick to the cause
- Some topics do not commercialize well so the site will not carry ads
The motivation for having or not having ads is not always so clear.

The idea that ads are evil comes from the idea that ads designate a site as commercial and therefore biased. This is obviously not a rule but the public trust has been abused many times and so the perception exists.

Seats of learning and authority should not have ads e.g. colleges and government. Again not a hard and fast rule but it is often the perception.

The freedom to publicly inform or misinform, engage in ethical or unethical business and run ads or not run ads is a major part of the attraction of the web. Not everyone wants to make a quick buck.

Vive la differance

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