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Why AdSense is Alive and Well

And How Some Publishers Seemingly Make a Career Out of Losing

     
5:23 pm on Jul 1, 2016 (gmt 0)

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People have been experiencing difficulty with Google for ages. Even when Google was "easy to rank" there were always a group who blamed Google for their inability to rank. Some said that Google prefers brands. Others said that Google only ranked spam. It's always Google and never them.

Throw away your crutches and walk
Let's be honest. There are always a certain segment that struggles. But is it Google's fault? There's always a segment that succeeds, is that Google's fault too? Blaming your inability to make money online on Google's preference for brands is worse than an excuse, it's a crutch. Stop leaning on your crutches and entertain the idea that maybe you don't know everything about SEO and marketing. Entertain the idea that maybe there's something more. Maybe times have changed and your site has not. Drop the crutches and start walking.

2006 [webmasterworld.com]
Google is not your friend. Its a front. They are capitalists. Dont be evil?
A better motto would be "dont die broke".


2009 [webmasterworld.com]
As others have said, Google is not your friend and they don't give a darn about your business.


Some people get it and some people will never understand
I've done my best to share but not everybody has the aptitude. I privately shared a hot money making tip with someone on Facebook. He asked me to spell it out for him. I mean, really? You want me to write a step by step manual, would that help? Sorry, but some people do not have the aptitude and no amount of spoon feeding will help them.

The business has changed. This isn't 2008 anymore. The problem with some folks is that they are failing because they're still optimizing like it's 2008.

Just last year or so I was telling you people to let go of your keywords and some of you were scoffing and insisted that keywords in the title still worked etc. even though the proof was in the goddam SERPs. It is self-defeating behavior to cling to outdated SEO practices even though the proof that your knowledge is dated is in the SERPs.

Willful refusal to change is a self-defeating behavior
A few years in the AdSense Forum I talked about social media sharing and how it was helping drive traffic. The same people who complain about low earnings openly scoffed and encouraged the idea that it's a waste of time. Not a waste of time. Social media is part of the changed landscape. Go out and make friends with millenials and others outside of the industry.

Change. Adapt. Keep up the momentum!
Feel the change. Then use that knowledge to build something new or improve what you have. Do not resist change. Do not resist the new. Embrace it.
7:31 pm on July 6, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Share your hot money making tips with me, no need to spell them out, I will figure it out. :)
10:21 pm on July 6, 2016 (gmt 0)

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As others have said, AdSense isn't a great fit for every site. Ditto for affiliate sales.

You'll probably have a better chance of success if your site's content is useful to people who are researching how to spend their money, or who are attractive to advertisers because of their interests or demographics (e.g., golfers or Harvard alumni).

If you're publishing a site for 12-year-olds, or that people use to keep up with politics, it's going to be tougher.

That doesn't mean that you should shut down a great site for 12-year-olds, or that political journalism isn't worth doing. Just don't Google or its advertisers to underwrite your business.
8:27 pm on July 8, 2016 (gmt 0)

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popcorn.
4:55 am on July 11, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Share your hot money making tips with me


Happily. I will tell anyone who asks all my "secrets".

1. Great content - Yep, I know. That is hard. It sucks that it is hard but if you want to get ahead, you have to be better than the competition and content is how you do that. Find writers who are passionate. Find great sources that are buried. People don't realize this, but there is a dark web out there in almost every niche. Figure out how to access it and bring it to the light.

2. Design, design, design - The old idea that ugly sites sell is now false. Panda has a definite taste for pretty sites. Well, maybe not Panda. People have a taste for pretty sites and Panda follows their lead. The age of crappy looking sites is past. Make your site pretty. Unfortunately, no matter how informative your site is, if it comes down to your informative, old, ugly site versus an informative, pretty, new site - your site will lose. And the pretty new site will come to your space eventually. Age no longer matters much to Google. Being informative does, being pretty does, but not age. Oh, and pictures matter. People like picture, so Google likes pictures.

3. Social matters - Nope, probably won't help your SEO one whit (well, maybe it will a little but that is a discussion for another day). It will help you survive a Google downturn. You don't turn to social because you expect it to increase your Google traffic. You turn to social because it will insulate you when (not if, WHEN) you lose your Google traffic.

4. Do not put ads above all else - No one wants to see your ads. No one. Not Google (who supplies them), not your visitors who come to your site - heck, even your advertisers don't want you to put your ads above all else. They want you to qualify your visitors for the ads. They want you to prove that you know how to attract the eyeballs they want. Get a visitor to your site for your content (see #1) and they will convert better. If your content is so great that they have to tear themselves away from it to look at ads, AdSense will notice. People who click on ads just to get away from bad content DON'T buy. People who click on ads after great content DO buy. AdSense pays attention to that.

5. Content SEO is very different from "traditional" SEO - Most AdSense users run content sites. Just a fact. But many content site owners don't realize that traditional SEO does not quite apply to content sites. Content SEO is very different from the SEO advice you see on all the typical SEO sites. Unless the person is specifically referring to content SEO, take the advice with a large amount of consideration. And I won't be cryptic. Content SEO is very much based in latent semantics, in teaching search engines about how your articles work together through intelligent internal linking and user engagement statistics - like how far down on the page a user gets before they leave a page. Don't take SEO advice from people trying to get ecom sites to rank. 2 different animals.

I am in the lifestyle space. I cater to a mostly older audience with a healthy dose of younger audience. It is mostly an affluent audience but a fickle one. 60% of my traffic now comes to the site through mobile devices. There you go, my whole secret formula laid out.
6:29 am on July 12, 2016 (gmt 0)

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>>Content SEO is very different from "traditional" SEO

This. A thousand times this.

The amount of time I have spent explaining that there are two if not three different types of SEO techniques to my peers, clients and friends is just mind-boggling. For some very odd reason, most people who have heard the term SEO believe its this mysterious animal that is half technical front-end optimization spiced with some back-end server knowledge and half spam-bot spicing the internet with links.

The fact of the matter is that it's neither for the most part.

Good SEO is all about the nuance of making people stay longer on your site, make a full scroll before they hit that CTA button or leave or move to another page, about user experience. It's much more managing user expectations than managing keywords. Yes you need the back-bones like good visual design, good content and good code and good hosting etc. but this is not SEO. This is a *Must have or not try at all* stuff in 2016.
7:45 pm on July 12, 2016 (gmt 0)

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@hannamyluv, great listing of must do. I'll add that "pretty" does not necessarily mean pastels, animations, etc ... pretty can be simple, neat, clean, and accurate to the content being presented. Content that can be engaged, and actually BE engaging to the user is where a publisher wants to be, and advertisers smile happily.
9:04 pm on July 12, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Good SEO is all about the nuance of making people stay longer on your site, make a full scroll before they hit that CTA button or leave or move to another page, about user experience.

While I understand that the boundaries are increasingly blurred, I'm not in favor of using SEO as an umbrella term for things like the user experience. Doing so would suggest you're only focusing on those aspects to improve your search positions, and then you've still got it all backwards.
5:38 am on July 13, 2016 (gmt 0)

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@robzilla - what I am saying is that in 2016 things like proper content and keyword research are no-brainer-must-haves. Sure an SEO guy can help you out with those, but the real SEO that will get you results is much more nuanced nowadays.
6:30 am on July 13, 2016 (gmt 0)

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SEO these days means "don't screw up!", not optimize for the search engine. Websites, in general, are mom and pop ... just spread world wide much like bookstores maintained by individuals or even families for several hundred years. Advertising kept those alive for some time, as well as local reputation, etc, but what we now have is the Internet wherein a dog's life (seven years) is now seven seconds .... so keep that in mind regarding life span of web SITES. The shelf life is very short for the big bucks when there is no BACKUP to continue growth and expansion. This is the HARD part for the small publisher: growth and expansion, new territory, new audience and SEO has nothing to do with that. HOWEVER, if a site CAN do all that, then Adsense will continue to be an asset --- if for no other reason than the TRAFFIC is there.

Evergreen sites will slog through, particularly those based on info. The returns will be less as others compete for the same info. There will be a saturation point among the competitors and those who are closer to the edge on, as hannamyluv noted, "pretty" will pull away.

Ecom, however, is only as good as the last "best deal" offered in a field of competing "best deals" .. and sadly each are using the same content from mfgs as their presentation.

In all cases Adsense will perform, but nothing like the mid Oughts and never again in the Teens. Adsense is a tool in the box. Open the box again and look to see if there are other tools, too.

Then there are the BRANDS, and they, too, have their problems---and usually the dollars and programmers/designers to throw at it as well. When talking millions that's a whole different kettle of fish.
8:04 am on July 13, 2016 (gmt 0)

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What I think about AdSense is the convoluted nature of the DNPs, how they are auctioned and how the audiance categories are defined within these DNPs. The problem is that the advertisers themselves are having issues, converting well enough from their ad display efforts. So their marketing teams had to sort of lie to the C-suits that its not about conversions with AdSense, its about reach and impressions that will help the real advertising on Google and Social Media outperform the averages. Everyone who worked in a medium or big-sized agency knows this dirty secret. However this bubble will burst sooner or later as more and more people will start to question the validity of the heavenly preaching of their marketing teams.

That is not to say AdSense is dead or will die. What that means is that there is a "trust bubble" backed by hundreds of millions of advertisement budgets that will burst and only the quality websites that really do drive quality traffic to the advertiser's website that will remain alive and prosper.
3:00 pm on July 13, 2016 (gmt 0)

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pretty can be simple, neat, clean, and accurate to the content being presented

I would change that to be "pretty IS be simple, neat, clean, and accurate to the content being presented".

Pretty is what users make of it. NOt what you make of it. And right now, simple, neat and clean rules the pretty web. At least in the US. Go to Asia and "pretty" is a whole other beast. Heck, even from niche to niche "pretty" changes. I guess really you should change pretty to trendy. Google is now rewarding trendy design on the web and you have to keep up with that in your space.
4:07 pm on July 13, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Google is now rewarding trendy design on the web and you have to keep up with that in your space.


Is Google rewarding trendy design because Google is deciding what is pretty or is Google rewarding trendy design because users prefer that particular shade of pretty?

There's more to this line of thinking because where it leads says something about the SERPs you see but I'll save that for another discussion.
5:49 pm on July 13, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Like usability, visual appeal is a part of what makes users enjoy, trust, interact with, and return to a website. If that ties back into the SERPs, I don't know if that means Google is itself judging the attractiveness of websites or picking up related signals of user satisfaction some other way, but, while interesting, it may not actually be relevant. The bottom line is they'll keep working to reward sites that are in line with one of their core philosophies: "focus on the user and all else will follow".
5:49 pm on July 13, 2016 (gmt 0)

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There is also an aspect of user trust to consider.

The average user will be left with a very poor impression if he lands on a pages that is poorly designed, broken or obsolete. That user is less likely to trust what the information that the website is displaying.

In many cases users will arrive at a website looking for specific information with limited knowledge on the topic, or without any knowledge. They will be unable to judge the veracity of the content by the content itself. Therefore they will look for cues from other aspects of the site chiefly design and presentation.

I learned this the hard way.
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