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How do large websites make money with AMP?

     
1:52 am on Aug 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I was looking through google's tutorial on how to make amazing mobile version of sites and a few AMP examples came up. One of them is The Guardian, so I went to it with my phone. Here is what I see...

1 square ad about 3 full screens down then around 1 ad per 10-15 articles

On an article page, I see the first ad (square) 5 paragraphs down then 12 more paragraphs then one ad at the bottom of the page (3 ads)

Another article: first ad 2 para down, then 7 para, then 6 down, then 5, then bottom of page (5 ads)

Another article: 7 para, then bottom of page (2 ads)

So, is it really that simple with Adsense? Just place an ad every 5-7 paragraphs and money will flow? I understand Guardian has subscription as well, but should I just do something like this? No top banner (to avoid any mobile mouseover accidental click) and just a square banner every so often?

Less is more? Sorry if the question sounds basic but is it really just that simple? I see some sites flooded with ads, but the biggest sites (Deadspin) just have very few. Can you maintain similar RPM with fewer ads because there are fewer ads and less competition per ad?

I am strongly thinking of stripping my page to AMP and just having 2-3 ads per page max with maybe a taboola thing at the bottom.
3:07 am on Aug 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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How? By throwing money at the problem. (Or being a legacy biz with a brand who also happens to throw money at the problem)

As for how many ads in search of a living wage from adsense, try it and see what happens ... Irritate enough users and you will find out even faster. (That's a joke!)

Reality is, less often is more. Users are your way to make coin. Play to them and what makes them happy and most times that will produce the best results.

BTW, there are two sides to g ... and often they do not talk to each other, so keep that in mind when following "tutorials".
3:15 am on Aug 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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My issue right now is I have the "visit site" thing on my mobile ads. My ctryhas dropped significantly and revenue down a solid 50%. I'm trying to decide if I should add more ads to cover the loss or reduce ads in hopes Google becomes generous and removes that penalty and I start getting decent cpm per ad.

I don't have much more space for banner ads but I can put those annoying "auto ads" back which have sliding things come from top and bottom. I personally hate them and think they may have contributed to accidental clicks but now that I'm in the dog house with G, I'm not sure the route to go.

I'd rather they have warned me about accidental clicks before screwing me but that would be too considerate
7:51 am on Aug 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Sites as popular and authoritative as The Guardian are likely to attract lots of interest from direct advertisers, and will often have a mix of ad providers competing for slots, not just AdSense. Apart from that, less isn't necessarily more, but less is certainly a better user experience, and each site strikes a different balance; generally speaking, you'll find the number of ads increase as the quality of content decreases.
9:08 am on Aug 6, 2018 (gmt 0)

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you'll find the number of ads increase as the quality of content decreases.


Probably didn't intend to speak a core truth, but you did. And thanks!
1:13 am on Aug 15, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Back around 2008-2013 a lot of those big websites were making a killing off Adsense

They would only have 3 ads, I read the website huffpost was making like $30million dollars a year off adsense back in the day but they get hundreds thousands of visitors a day, they had one big banner ad at the top next to the website logo, and one right before the content and then one on the right side

In a magazine I read back in 2011 this one blogger who averaging 50 thousand visits a day and was making six figures he put up 3 image ad blocks and 3 text ad links, which was the limit he was making $200 thousand a year

Now these stories are rare, its super difficult to make that type of money off adsense on websites, the only way is to have a youtube channel as well, youtube puts up video ads before your video that people are more likely to click and say you get 50 thousand visitors a day watching that one video and you have 4 ads on it you could make a couple hundred dollars a day off that, plus those videos you put up all add up so if you have 100 videos each video that has ads will generate money this is how a lot of youtubers make money off adsense.

Its really though now to make money off a website with just adsense now, unless you do the direct ad selling by selling ad space on your website to advertisers and charging them a monthly fee and earn your money off that, I seen someone put a rotating ad one spot has 5 ads ad that rotate between ads.
7:57 pm on Aug 15, 2018 (gmt 0)

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That charging a monthly fee is difficult to direct advertisers. I still believe a lot of advertisers prefer a network between them and the publisher. But in my case I can add them at my DFP account and they can see all the stats.
2:57 am on Aug 17, 2018 (gmt 0)

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runfun

how do you do that? So you have to send them a stat sheet of month visitors?

Years ago I had two people advertise on my blog I never showed them month stats just gave them a price and they accepted it was like 75 dollars a month.

Im thinking when you start demanding big money for a ad spot you will need to show the monthly visitors sheets?

is there some thing you download for that because I dont want to give them my analytics account access
9:41 pm on Aug 18, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I can share access to my Google DFP but of course restricted.
6:49 pm on Aug 19, 2018 (gmt 0)

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How do you restrict it?
7:09 pm on Aug 19, 2018 (gmt 0)

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How do large websites make money?

It's a good question, but The Guardian is probably not a good example to use.

Guardian News & Media (GNM) reported a 19m loss in the year to the end of March, half the 38m loss recorded in the previous financial year.

Source.... [theguardian.com ]

...
4:26 am on Aug 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Samizdata

Is that from ad blocker?

I noticed several prominent newspapers are now requesting you please remove Ad blocker before visiting their sites, and have said they took significant loss in earnings from ad blockers

They need to find a way to allow adsense to show ads, adsense ads are okay, its those weird pop up ads that people dislike, the ones that will pop up multiple times and then a virus appears.
6:17 am on Aug 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Advertisers became abusive ...

Publishers became abusive ...

Any wonder the users are now "abusive" right back?

Reliance on third parties (cut and paste ad servicing) for income is subject to change without notice. One participates at the ad serving company's pleasure, not the other way around. The webmaster has no control over things off their site, such as ad quality or forcing users to act against their own best interest. Webmasters who DO rely on third party ad servicing have become part of the problem in that they are unwilling (or unable) to monetize their sites by any other means.

Direct sales is completely within the control of the publisher, but it is hard work, can be time consuming to generate new advertisers, and does require some reporting to be successful. Much of the latter part can be automated and reports generated for whatever time frame(s) is desired, but the up front (selling space and generating new clients) is the part that requires dedication.

There is a reason why "work" is not called "play". :)
9:29 am on Aug 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I noticed several prominent newspapers are now requesting you please remove Ad blocker before visiting their sites, and have said they took significant loss in earnings from ad blockers

Since one year, I noticed a huge increase of sites, asking users to disable their ad blocker, ... for some its just a message without consequence, for others it's blocking the access to the site, until the ad blocker is disabled. So I think that large sites are beginning to seriously feel the pain of ad blocker on their finances.
2:04 pm on Aug 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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So I think that large sites are beginning to seriously feel the pain of ad blocker on their finances.


True. Sadly, much of this is because the little guys have consistently believed if "I get $x for 1 ad I should be $10x for 10x ads", a pollution factor one can't walk back. Worse, advertisers tried the all-dancing all singing ads beating up bandwidth. Before that was the gotta click the ext to make the popup disappear, etc. THESE days it is all the above AND the tracking/personalization data mining of user identity ... and it is this last part that the servicing companies can't give up...

Hence ad blockers.

For those sites that demand I shut mine off the solution is "bye bye!" Reality is they are not that unique or valued and the web is a wonderfully wild and wide place where I can find what they won't serve (speaking as a users. As a webmaster I get the point ... then again, I don't RELY on third party cut and past ad servicing, though I do use it for some sites). It is what it is.

A site has to be pretty special for me to whitelist ... and even then my white list is LIMITED to site service (first party). After 20+ years on the web I don't trust ANY third party.
8:18 pm on Aug 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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The sad truth of print newspapers (and to a lesser extent magazines) is that they 'saw the future' twice, first in the 80's and later in the 90's but, as with Xerox Parc in the 70's totally dropped the ball.

The final nails in the coffin, the deadly one two punch sequence (yes, I'm on a metaphor kick) of their business model was (1) when Craigslist ate their lunch on classifieds and (2) when they decided they could outsource their on page ads to third party networks.

Where once they had large ad departments that went out and got and upsold local and regional businesses and worked with agencies for national ads they fired their revenue makers for ads worth a fractional percentage on their web properties. After which they began downsizing their content producers.

I have absolutely no sympathy for 99.99% of media/news sites bemoaning their self dug graves.

There are direct options but too many of the enterprise sites would have to rebuild their ad side from scratch, which would not be cheap and if there is one common denominator its that they have become extremely cheap.

There are a few minting money but they are usually very very quiet about not just the fact but the how. Although we've (here at WebmasterWorld) discussed the how before; usually to dead silence because it doesn't include G or cut-n-paste. As tangor said: it takes work.
8:26 pm on Aug 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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^^^This..
8:41 pm on Aug 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@Tangor, with my experience the bigger sites ruining it for other websites. I know one popular website that asks to turn off the adblocker and they say they don't use intrusive ads... but they do the most of the sites I visit, like take overs and popunders. It's one of the biggest news websites in The Netherlands and I keep blocking their ads.
9:02 pm on Aug 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I know one popular website that asks to turn off the adblocker and they say they don't use intrusive ads... but they do the most of the sites I visit, like take overs and popunders.

If that kind of thing happens to you ( although I don't know what you mean by "take overs" ? )You should perhaps change your browser fro one that blocks "pop ups" and "pop unders"..and get your news from somewhere else, if enough people do this..the sites that do that, will see their traffic fall off, their revenue fall off, and perhaps, ( as all those who track, or allow 3rd parties to their visitors ) ...these sites will die..
....One can hope
9:26 pm on Aug 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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As far as I know a take-over is advertisement of one brand surrounding the content. It's very intrusive and I had companies who proposed it to run it on my website but I can't do that for the audience of my website.
10:01 pm on Aug 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Ah..you mean "wraps" ..
10:40 pm on Aug 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Dimitri

yeah a lot of big newspaper website who get millions of visitors are requesting you remove ad block for them or you cant see the content.

I personally do that if its a trustworthy website, I think the big issue what caused people to put adblocker is the made for ads spam blogging scumbags, the ones who stole content and then would put intrusive pop up ads that had virus

most people are okay with the basic adsense advert, but those ones that blow up the screen and the pop ups that you try to click off and another appears are the scary ones that made people mad
5:34 am on Aug 21, 2018 (gmt 0)

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What is needed is an advertising reformation much like the print industry had to do back in the 1930s-1950s. PUBLISHERS were held accountable for the advertising offered by external forces (think government, FTC primarily for USA) to avoid fraud, etc. Things simmered down, and the biz worked.

But it CAN'T work that way again because the cut'n'paste Publishers have no real control over ad content, it is just a broadcast feed and they have no input into the the business (ie. they are billboards and farm barns along the highway).

The boat sailed a long time ago for "advertising" on the web. One can buck that trend and go back to the old ways of beating the bush and getting your own advertisers, but for the vast majority that will not work as they have no concept of what it takes to develop that kind of business AS IT IS NOT PAGE CODING OR CONTENT.

The tech giants have refashioned advertising to their dream of advertisers seeking them out, bidding, and publishers pasting code (no contract, no guarantees) and taking a sizeable slice out of the middle.

NEWS FLASH: the big websites aren't making money either! Best that can be said is perhaps break even, if they fire off half their content creators this year, and maybe half again 2 years from now.

G and YT, and FB have a problem looming, one they will not address while milking the current cow: What happens when the "web" goes dry? At some point content creators, data researchers and news organizations, etc will be bled dry and unable to function. All that will be left is die-hards and mega corps (think Netflix) who are out to rule the world and would then be in direct competition with the ad servers.
5:35 am on Aug 21, 2018 (gmt 0)

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IN THE MEANTIME, webmasters can mitigate some of the coming damage to the bottom line by investigating all avenues of generating income. For some that will be Direct Sales, others, new product lines, others, consolidations and cutbacks to what is most important, and a general slowdown of content creation because the ROI is not there for the full-bore approach. Specialization above and beyond what is current--we already have too many copycats trying to make money the easy way by stealing. Those folks will not survive as their business model is seriously flawed from the get go.
5:40 am on Aug 21, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Yet, it has to be said that fresh content, timely, and topical is still king. Those sites that can keep that going will survive and some will prosper.

And as long as all of it is on their site I, as a NoScript and Ad Blocker (belt and suspenders) user, will visit their pages. Sadly, my setup means that even if allowed (whitelisted) I still won't click their ads.

But I might pick up a phone and order something! Been known to do that, quite a bit!
5:47 am on Aug 21, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I guess more than anything one has to decide what is their desired revenue stream. If advertising by ad servicing third parties is all you got, then all you got is a wishful hope ... I have yet to see a contract between those companies and a publisher.

Ecom has it's own problems, but are generally more controllable ... if only one can get listed in the serps!

The very unique will have a combination of all above AND direct sales (ads), too.

Must be unique enough to be found and that can be writing style, actual uniqueness (sp) of content/product, or viral interest that may or may not last for the long term.

As my daddy used to say: Life is a crap shoot ... You throw the dice and see what you get.