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Website Credibility and Adsense

My Adsense ads may have been costing me money.

   
3:15 pm on Aug 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member beedeedubbleu is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I removed Adsense from my widgeting consultancy website a couple of weeks ago. I was only earning about 200 per month from it but enquiries through the website had dwindled over the last couple of years. I think it may have been a loss of credibility caused by carrying the ads so I decided to remove them.

In the two and a half weeks since I did so I have noticed a rise in enquiries but it is too early to say for sure that it is down to the site now being ad free.

Thoughts on this?

3:37 pm on Aug 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



I agree that 2 weeks is too soon to know. It could be a coincidence. However, it's worth noting. If the trend continues for a couple of months, then you're probably right.

You have a reasonable theory. For example, you don't see AdSense major firms' websites (for example, JD Powers automotive consultancy).

2:29 pm on Aug 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I am always amazed by companies selling stuff also carry AdSense. I wouldn't mind those on Amazon but when I see an unknown website carrying ads I start to wonder that this company is simply not interested in selling its widgets or is selling so few that it needs to driver visitors to competitors.

The rule of thumb is that if you have a business website, ads are a no-no. Ads are ideal for content website. I mean would you ever go to a Macy's and see ads for Lord & Taylor?

2:56 pm on Aug 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I use adsense on a business website, but I am very careful about what pages it appears on - and where.

I too have wondered about how it effects credibility.

5:15 pm on Aug 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



Internet users who don't know Google ads aren't chosen by the website?!

I usually put up a disclaimer beside the ads: "I didn't choose the ads. If they suck please contact Google."

p/g

7:33 pm on Aug 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member beedeedubbleu is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I am always amazed by companies selling stuff also carry AdSense.

I have to admit that I feel that way myself. That's why I removed them, but it was source of residual income. I now have to wait and see what happens with regard to the number of enquiries coming in.

I run a small consultancy where a successful conversion of a basic enquiry could earn me an amount close to one months Adsense earnings. A really good sale, which does not happen often, could earn me up to one year's Adsense income. That's why I decided to try this.

8:12 pm on Aug 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member bigdave is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



There is no way in hell that I would put ads on a website offering professional services or e-commerce. Even if the ads make more money than the consulting or direct sales, those ads just might be the thing that keeps the site from earning more from its primary purpose.

I know that there will always be people that defend what they are doing, and that's fine with me. That's their choice. But when I get to a site like that, I'm a lot less likely to use their services, so I simply won't put ads on my own "professional" sites.

Then again, it doesn't really matter for me. I swore off e-commerce sites 3 years ago, and after this last contract, I've sworn off consulting (again). Both require dealing with customers, which is WAY too much work.

8:37 pm on Aug 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

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There is no way in hell that I would put ads on a website offering professional services or e-commerce.

Agreed. In my opinion, having Adsense on those sort of sites makes them look less financially secure (needing ads just to get by) and less focused on their core business model.

11:06 pm on Aug 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I wouldn't pay for services from a business with adsense ads on their site. You're already supposed to be making money with your business, adding ads is over the top, tacky and just greedy. Business sites should use adwords to bring traffic, not try to monetize their traffic with adsense.
11:28 pm on Aug 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

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It's like Obama put Hillary poster in his campaigns.
4:07 am on Aug 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator incredibill is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



I think it may have been a loss of credibility caused by carrying the ads so I decided to remove them.

There's a time and place for adsense and a consultancy site isn't it.

[edited by: martinibuster at 7:14 pm (utc) on Aug. 4, 2008]
[edit reason] Removed off topic comments. [/edit]

4:28 am on Aug 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



incrediBILL, I believe those two are completely different issues.

One thing I do regularly while visiting a site with the intent of making a business, is look for signs if they are trustworthy or not. Adsense or any commercial ad on an ecom site or a professional portal is one bad sign for me.

If the site has a contact address, that is another positive sign for me.

I believe not a single factor will make a site less trust worthy, but with a combination of small factors it is easier to decide if you want to proceed or shop somewhere else.

8:55 am on Aug 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member beedeedubbleu is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



incrediBILL, I believe those two are completely different issues.

Thank you Habtom.

I amused that the same person worrying about people without an address on their web site would shoot himself and his own credibility in the foot with adsense.

Why are you amused? All I was doing was asking for opinions. If this is shooting myself in the foot or damaging my credibility then the very essence of this forum is at risk.

[edited by: martinibuster at 7:09 pm (utc) on Aug. 4, 2008]
[edit reason] See TOS. [/edit]

9:24 am on Aug 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

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i haven't placed ads on business website.
have made many other content websites which are with adsense.
7:12 pm on Aug 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Please, let's try to stay focused on the topic of this discussion, thank you, thank you, thank you. ;). Bill seems to be agreeing with BeeDee's observation of running ads on a consultancy site:

There's a time and place for adsense and a consultancy site isn't it.

I'm not convinced it's about website credibility. I see it more as a conversion issue. Adding things to a site layout can create dramatic differences to conversion. Even elements designed to increase conversions can decrease them. That's why we A/B test. Unless you poll the site visitors not requesting information, you'll never know if it's a credibility issue. But it appears to be clear there was a conversion issue possibly caused by adding ads to the consultancy site.

[edited by: martinibuster at 7:27 pm (utc) on Aug. 4, 2008]

7:23 pm on Aug 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



The rule of thumb is that if you have a business website, ads are a no-no. Ads are ideal for content website. I mean would you ever go to a Macy's and see ads for Lord & Taylor?

OTOH, Amazon does it, and they're quite successful.

7:29 pm on Aug 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



The difference between Amazon and BDW's site is that one's an ecommerce site (generally/mostly) and the other is a consultancy site. But tim222 makes a good point about the broader topic of Business Site, and how it might be successful for Amazon.
7:54 pm on Aug 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

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BeeDee.. I think you made the right choice in removing the ads. For alot of us need to go through trial and error to find out what works for us. Someone on here can be giving advise from their perspective and it is incorrect from another.

I agree, a consultancy site is offering a service, but by adding adsense you are saying, "I may not be the best thing for you, try these guys".

Best to you on the new conversions!

8:01 pm on Aug 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



...and how it might be successful for Amazon

"might" is correct. Just because they're doing it that doesn't mean it's profitable for them, and that they'll continue to do that in the future. Amazon can afford lose money on an experiment.

8:27 pm on Aug 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



It's probably best to try to minimize distractions from the main goals of your site. We've become a nation (actually, a planet) full of short attention spans.
10:10 pm on Aug 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member beedeedubbleu is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Bill seems to be agreeing with BeeDee's observation of running ads on a consultancy site

Oh yes, I see it now.

10:12 pm on Aug 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member beedeedubbleu is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Actually the early indicators still suggest that I have made the right decision but I will need more time to confirm this.
11:02 pm on Aug 4, 2008 (gmt 0)



OTOH, Amazon does it, and they're quite successful.

Amazon was a hugely successful e-commerce company long before anyone heard of AdSense ads. It doesn't have to worry about first impressions in the same way that a small business does.

11:22 pm on Aug 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

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OTOH, Amazon does it, and they're quite successful.

Well for one thing thing it's making me reconsider my affiliate links to them. Not only the percentage of commission is tiny (5%?), but they're now monetizing my traffic for free. I don't like it.

7:04 am on Aug 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Agreed. In my opinion, having Adsense on those sort of sites makes them look less financially secure (needing ads just to get by) and less focused on their core business model.

I thought many popular e-commerce sites show ads, maybe not all of them show Adsense, but ads are ads. One example may be hotels.co.uk

8:31 am on Aug 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member beedeedubbleu is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



As has already been mentioned, some commercial sites may be able to get away with this but it is probably not appropriate for a consultant.
8:49 am on Aug 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I feel that Adsense is always associated with credibility, on a e-commerce or consultancy site why put ads,

and guys the person who is buying online or looking for services online knows about adsence and when you see a Adsense running the credibility hampers, the reason being people using sites to earn revenue through Adsense and nothing else.

2:20 pm on Aug 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member hobbs is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



> many popular e-commerce sites show ads

eCommerce sites ARE ads, advertising within ads is just an overdose not an abnormality.

As for business site, it all depends on the taste in which the ads are presented, a well blended link unit at the bottom of a page offering helpful alternative related navigation on a business site is one thing, 3 Leaderboard ads per page is another.

If you business is already a brand, ads on your pages are bad taste.
If you're a mortal, ads can be understandable and forgiven.
Are ads impeding your attempt to become a brand? Sure, but I'd rather be a well fed person than a starving brand.

12:01 am on Aug 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



martinibuster, this is an interesting thought:

Adding things to a site layout can create dramatic differences to conversion. Even elements designed to increase conversions can decrease them.

Can you please share more insights about this. I was wondering, for example, if someone could run too many ads on a content site. What type of design elements can decrease conversions?

Thanks.

1:09 am on Aug 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member wheel is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Adsense ads on a business or service site to me looks mickey mouse. I know I'm dealing with a one person operator probably working part time, or someone who's not web savvy.

I strongly suspect they make hardly anything doing it, so why would they run ads? 'residual income' means not very much. And if 'residual income' is enough for someone to keep running it, they're telling me they don't run a serious business.

In addition since Google's pretty good at targetting ads, they've just decided to run ads for their competition.

And the neighbourhood thing - generally the only time you'd see this would be on small p/t shops or extremely large general sites. Most regular businesses would decline to run adsense in exchange for $20 a month.

Hey, I earn 'residual' income from adsense too. Luuuuv the cheques, they go to pay for my reading material :). But they don't get run on any site of mine that is remotely about my business. It only goes on old test sites or sites I've got parked for some reason. Incredibill is right in calling adsense 'webmaster welfare', and that's my attitude towards any business site running it.

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