For many publishers, traditional, or mobile, the idea of making money with Adsense sounds like a dream come true. There are several reasons behind this thinking, first, it is extremely easy to sign up for the Adsense program and start serving ads alongside your content… like, a matter of minutes! Second, there’s a build in network of trusted advertisers. Millions of legitimate businesses want more visibility and traffic and serving ads on related third party sites makes sense for them. Third, you know you will get paid the same time, every month (as long as you reach $100). I mean, it’s Google, they aren’t going to stiff their publishers.The problem is, when you make the decision to only leverage Google Adsense as a website or blog monetization strategy, you are selling yourself short… big time. Let’s talk about a few of the reasons why and maybe, just maybe, we can convince you to branch out and consider other monetization strategies.
Massive Payout Fluctuations
When I first started to make money with Adsense, everything was on the up and up. Making money with Adsense (MFA) sites were very popular and you could make a lot of money. This was ten years ago. As time went on and as more content publishers became savvy to Google Adsense, you began to see massive payout fluctuations with every click delivered from your site.One of my most popular sites was a dentistry site and the clicks started off around $3-4 per click… that’s right… PER CLICK!!! Who wouldn’t want that kind of cash rolling in! One day, I started noticing clicks coming in around $0.10 and began to wonder what was going on. Some came in at a few bucks, others would come in much lower. Revenue was cut almost in half. It was very frustrating.Come to find out, it was not only publishers who became savvy to Adsense, but advertisers as well. They became more obsessed with attribution and ROI on their marketing spend. Advertisers would start blacklisting MFA sites that delivered low ROI, when this happens, you start getting advertisers who pay far less for the clicks you send them. To me, this was the first step towards the dying Adsense monetization model.
About a year after I started noticing the massive payout fluctuations and not making nearly as much money with Adsense, I started hearing about publishers getting “smart priced”. Apparently, after being blacklisted by several advertisers, or your MFA sites being discovered by a Google engineer, you became smart priced. This meant, your clicks became worth $0.01 to $0.03 per click. Publishers were up in arms! In their minds, they can send traffic and it’s up to the advertiser to have a compelling message and a good enough site to convert them. If they didn’t convert, it didn’t mean the traffic was bad. But, it didn’t matter, for many publishers, the making money with Adsense dream was over.
Low Engagement / Low Clicks
Let’s snap forward to today. Internet users are far more savvy than they were even five years ago. They know how to spot sites that won’t help them fulfill a their wants or needs. They know when a site is created solely for the purpose of generating advertising revenue. This is a problem… a big problem, especially for those trying to make money with Adsense.Because users have become more savvy, publishers are noticing that not only is site engagement on the decline, but so are their clicks and revenue. Users want to engage with content, they don’t want to feel like they are being sold to, they don’t want to feel like they are being used. Because of this, native advertising has started to get big and it will only get bigger as time goes on. Not sure what native advertising is, here’s a post we wrote up on the topic.
Always On The Go
Let’s face the cold, hard facts. We are always on the go. Most of us are constantly on our phones, either reading mobile blogs or consuming content from mobile apps. This too is a problem for those wanting to make money with Adsense because mobile users don’t click on blatant ads. They just don’t! They want to get in, get out, and on with their day. This has created a problem for publishers because Adsense just doesn’t work that well when you have a mobile audience.So what’s a publisher to do? Roll over and die? Throw up their arms and turn off their server? No, the solution to this problem is to not even go down the road of making money with Adsense. Instead, monetize your website in such a way that it promotes engagement, like with our app recommendation program.App recommendation, or app discovery is one of the greatest forms of native advertising, because your readers honestly can’t tell it is even an advertisement. Through our technology and robust algorithm, apps recommendations are customized to the interests of each user and you get paid for each install. It doesn’t get any easier than this!Obviously, app recommendation only works if your site is mobile responsive or you have a mobile app, however, this shouldn’t be a problem because mobile traffic is growing across the board at an extremely steady rate and your site should be responsive… or you’re not going to make it anyway.If app recommendation doesn’t interest you, no biggie! The most important thing to remember is that your content and site need to promote engagement. If you can figure this out and a way to monetize it (there aren’t many ways these days), then you will be a successful web publisher.