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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?
You have a reasonable theory. For example, you don't see AdSense major firms' websites (for example, JD Powers automotive consultancy).
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?
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.
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.
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.
incrediBILL, I believe those two are completely different issues.
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]
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]
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!
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.
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
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.
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.
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?
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.