Google AdSense Challenge What is it?

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Google AdSense Challenge: What is it?

Google AdSense is still a favorite in the blogging community. It’s easy to get accepted to the program, easy to install on your blog, and if you know what you’re doing it’s easy to make money, too. But you’re not here to talk about the benefits of using AdSense to monetize your blog. You want to know about the challenges.

The Terms

Like most advertisers, Google has a strict set of rules. However, since this is often the monetization method of choice for new bloggers, they don’t have enough understanding and experience of web policies in general to understand what they’re reading. In fact, most don’t even bother reading. It’s important to read the Google’s terms of use. Breaking any of their rules can result in your site (s) being forever banned from using AdSense.

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The Application

While it’s not difficult to be accepted, it’s not automatically a done deal, as many new webmasters might assume. You have to have a blog first, and submit the URL on your application. Google then checks out your site to make sure it’s compliant, meaning you must have unique content, clear navigation, and a decent load time. If your site has malware or appears spammy, forget it.

The Real Challenge Is Choosing Your Niche

Advertisers have to pay Google every time someone clicks on their ad. In turn, Google pays you a percentage of that fee. To determine that fee, advertisers bid on keywords for each ad they place. Which means that each ad that shows up on your blog will have a different rate. In some niches those rates can be as low as a penny a click, and in others it might range as high as $50 or more.

There are two ways of looking at it. Some bloggers do extensive research to find the niches with the highest paying ads and the least amount of competition. When they find a niche they build a corresponding blog, using they keywords they discovered to attract those high-paying ads. While this might sound like the best way to go about it, you have to remember you’re going to be blogging about this topic for a very long time.

When you’re running an AdSense site organic traffic is crucial, it’s the most important type of traffic you can generate. So it’s also important that your site and each of your posts rank as high as possible on the Google index. And in order to rank well with Google you need to be consistently updating your blog with good quality content. Long gone are the days when you can build a simple 5-page AdSense mini-site and move on to the next project.

The other way to look at AdSense is to build your blog first, in a niche that’s going to hold your interest for the long-haul. You’ll be more likely to consistently maintain your blog with fresh content if you’re blogging about something you really enjoy.

On the downside, depending on your niche, you may have more competition and the advertising rates may be lower, which means you’ll make less money per click.

However, either way you look at it, you’re going to have to generate traffic to your blog before you can even start to get clicks. And while one ad may pay out at a much higher rate than the other, that also means there will be fewer clicks on that more expensive ad. So it’s essentially “Six of one and half a dozen of the other.” It just depends on how you prefer to run your business.

I think most AdSense users will tell you that once you get beyond these initial challenges, AdSense is really a piece of cake. It’s all about understanding keywords and how to generate traffic. And once you have that down, it’s just wash, rinse and repeat.

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  1. Howard Lee Harkness

    The biggest problem I have with AdSense is trusting Google not to cheat, as I mentioned in my blog article on the subject.

    Google has no incentive not to cheat you. In fact, they have a BIG incentive to cheat you, and there is essentially no way to catch them at it. Google’s motto “Do no evil” only applies if they think the might get caught.

    1. Steven

      Howard, I think the biggest incentive Google has to not cheat you is the lawsuit-storm that would fall on them if they were cheating anyone. I’m not credulous, but I’m not into conspiracy theories either, and I’m pretty sure there is very little chance Google would take such risks for so little return. They really don’t need to cheat anyone to stay on top of the web.

    2. Howard Lee Harkness

      “the biggest incentive Google has to not cheat you is the lawsuit-storm that would fall on them if they were cheating anyone.”

      Exactly how would anyone catch Google cheating on AdWords/AdSense? Google has rigged it so that it is essentially impossible, and any lawsuit would quickly devolve into “he said, she said.”

      Google will almost instantly detect any attempt to modify their scripts, and terminate your account(s), leaving you with no proof of anything. IMHO, this is the smoking gun.

      I believe that honesty is trumped by the bottom line in all but the rarest of cases, and *never* in the case of a corporation.

    3. Steven

      There are so many experts who are keeping their eyes on internet giants… Don’t you think some experts exist outside of Google, who are able to collect and analyze data?

      You are piling up unrelated things and considering them valid arguments. I guess you can never have a clear discussion with conspiracy theorists.

      In the end, don’t forget that Adsense is a service provided by Google. If you are not happy with their system or their terms of services, you are free to stop using them whenever you want and find some other ways to monetize your website(s).

    4. Howard Lee Harkness

      Hadn’t really thought of myself as a conspiracy theorist. Just observing that AdSense doesn’t smell right.

      I don’t know of any outfit capable of verifying Google’s veracity. If you do, I would appreciate a link.

  2. Liza Shaw

    Hi Steven Another great article. Google stopped my adsense acct a few weeks ago with no reason given, even after appealing. Having gone through the rules I’ve been unable to figure out why. However, they did me a favour…

    I went with adsense because well thats what everyone does, but after they dropped me I looked for other sources and found infolinks. My earnings have gone up ten fold, the ads are much more targeted and they’re easier to use.

    Oh before I forget, I quoted/linked you on my blog yesterday :)

    1. Steven

      Oh I’m sorry to hear about your Adsense account, but as you’re saying, it’s probably for the best since it forced you to look into other income sources. And most of these will probably be more profitable than Adsense!

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