Affiliate Alternative; Google Adsense
Copyright © 2004, Sharon Housley
NotePage, Inc. http://www.notepage.net
Affiliate programs were once a great source of online revenue,
a savvy webmaster with an eye for marketing could easily parley
a site into a money making machine with a little luck and effort.
However, the evolution and growth of the Internet has hampered
the growth of fortune making affiliate programs. Constant search
engine algorithm changes, along with the search engine's clear
distaste for sites participating in affiliate programs; have made
it a little more difficult to earn a healthy affiliate revenue.
An influx in the use of software programs that terminate cookie
tracking and privacy programs that prevent webmasters from tracking
referrers, have also hindered the affiliate sales channel. While
it is still possible to make money through affiliate marketing,
other alternatives ought to be considered.
A Healthy Alternative
Google's Adsense program allows approved websites to dynamically
serve Google's pay-per-click Adword results. This has become a
popular alternative and an effective revenue sharing program for
webmasters. Google's spider parses the adserving website and serves
ads that relate to the website's content. While the Google's Adsense
program still has some issues, they are making efforts to improve
The website maintenance related to Adsense is very easy and
ad from Google and will ensure that ads are served each time a
visitor goes to the webpage. If the visitor clicks one of the
Adsense ads served to the website, the website owner is credited
for the referral.
The implementation, while simple, has its drawbacks. Google dictates
the format of the ads. Webmasters can select from a handful of
preformatted text boxes that lack creativity. A recent improvement
allows webmasters to modify the ad boxes to resemble the website's
color scheme. Still, a far cry from some of the creative ads webmasters
are accustom to.
The example below reflects how the color scheme can be modified
to match the look of the website, but the ads physically don't
fit well into the overall website design.
sample modified to match sites color scheme: http://www.hospital-software.com
(scroll to the bottom)
Google determines the content of the ads that are shown/ Sometimes
the ads are poorly targeted, and of no interest to the website
sample of poorly targeted ads: http://www.real-estate-supply.com
Adwords can be a great addition to a website, and when well
matched to the content the revenue stream from Google is consistent
sample of effective Adsense program: http://www.police-supplies.com
(scroll to the bottom) http://www.small-business-software.net
(scroll to the bottom)
Not that the Google Adsense program is not without its problems.as
the reporting provided by Google is lacking. Google has not implemented
any way to track multiple sites that serve ads; they simply show
the number of ads served, the percentage of clicks received, and
the revenue earned each day. Google does not disclose the amount
of the revenue they share, what percentage of the revenue they
earn and what someone can expect to receive for each click. Webmasters
with multiple sites will have difficulty determining which websites
are producing the money in the Adsense program.
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With affiliate programs many webmasters implement a new browser
launch with each click off the site, Adsense removes the visitor
from the website and there is not currently an option to launch
the visitor into another browser.
Early on Google implemented a filtering system that allowed
webmasters to prevent a specific domain's ads from being served
on the website. Ad blocking meant that webmasters could prevent
their competitors ads from being dynamically served on their website.
Overall, adwords are great supplements to websites where affiliate
programs are either not performing or when affiliate programs
don't exist that target the sites content.
Give it a Try
Implementing and maintaing Google Adsense program on a content
site requires very little effort and can often bring a steady
stream of additional revenue for webmasters. Consider supplementing
content and see what happens.
Sharon Housley manages marketing for NotePage, Inc. http://www.notepage.net
a company specializing in alphanumeric paging, SMS and wireless
messaging software solutions. Other sites by Sharon can be found
, and http://www.small-business-software.net
Google AdSense Sandbox Tool
This is a handy little utility if you would like to see what sort
of Google AdSense ads based on content or keywords. Simply enter
the URL or keywords in the box below, and you will see up to 20
sample AdSense ads for the URL or keywords.
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