Google Adsense Could Mean Death to Affiliate Programs!
by Mike Banks Valentine

The popular search engine, Google, has introduced a dramatic
new contextual advertising service called Adsense. This new
program could mean death to affiliate programs on those web
sites that qualify for the Adsense program. Why would Google
advertising affect affiliate programs? Because Google is
making Adsense ads available to smaller content rich sites.

Adsense dramatically simplifies the process of choosing
appropriate advertising for sections of sites. Since it's
all automatic with Adsense, I'm through with searching for
affiliate programs to fit my content. It just doesn't pay
enough to justify the effort in most cases. While I won't
dump existing producers, I'm dropping those affiliate
programs that don't produce like hot potatoes.

I've moved house often over the last few years and in that
process have struggled to keep affiliate programs abreast of
the latest contact and banking information. Several honest
affiliate program managers have emailed me after getting my
affiliate checks returned from previous snail mail addresses.

Adsense will resolve this issue for me as I needn't keep the
hundreds of affiliate programs up-to-date on my latest mailing
address and/or banking information - only Google Adsense. I'm
dropping smaller unproductive affiliate programs. 

Allan Gardyne of Associate Programs penned an interesting and
insightful article on Adsense this past week where he mentions 
this as an issue and predicts the death of smaller or weaker 
affiliate programs.

I agree.

Google Adsense simply requires the host site to paste in
a few lines of HTML code on their pages where they want
those ads to appear. Once Google has spidered your content
pages, they can assess what those pages are about. Adsense
serves a series of ads that match and compliment your page
topics automatically without site owner participation!

I've been impressed how Adsense has performed for me in just
the last week. I've actually enjoyed looking at my own sites
to see what ads are served to match my content. WebSite101
demonstrates very well how Adsense works. If you visit the
HTML tutorial, you see Adsense ads for web page editing
software or web hosting. If you visit my email tutorial,
you'll see Adsense ads for email broadcasting software and
targeted email list broadcasting services. If you visit the
Domain Name tutorial, you're served Adsense ads for Domain
Registrars and web hosting. If you visit the Anti-Spam
Tutorial, you get Adsense Ads for Spam Filtering Software.

You get the idea.

I like not having to mess with my own ad-serving software
and twiddle with the rates and I absolutely LOVE not having
to do any ad sales. I'm sold and wholeheartedly recommend
Adsense to anyone with sufficient content to support it.

Between my 3 main sites,

I've got over 1000 pages of good solid content that I've built
over the last 6 years. I've struggled in vain to get that
content to pay by carefully choosing affiliate programs to fit
neatly into dozens of topic areas. My two biggest producers
have been software sales and health insurance referrals for
small businesses. Those have been sporadic producers.

My biggest complaint is that I can't track what is producing
clickthroughs. Google simply tells me clickthrough percentage,
number of ad impressions per day and average earnings per
clickthrough across all of my sites. That makes it very
difficult to know where to concentrate my energy to produce
additional revenue generating content. But it does seem to
offer site owners incentive to maintain quality content and
spread the ads across all content pages.

My privacy site runs a variety of HIPAA compliance ads, GLB
compliance ads, and DoNotCall List Compliance ads. It seems
the money in privacy is in charging large corporations to keep
them within the letter of the law so they don't get sued for

It is interesting to see my own site ads to know where the
money is in PPC for each of the topic areas. Sometimes it's
just not what you expect. I've got an article about Google's
reverse phone lookup and how to get out of reverse phone
lookup databases that is on the Privacy site and it sometimes
shows ads about "low long distance rates". Clearly the
keyphrase "Phone number" is triggering ads that are quite off
target on this page.

While Adsense won't outperform my total affiliate income from
the many programs spread across my sites, it WILL, if current
trends continue, match my total affiliate income and therefore
double advertising income!

The biggest benefit was the incentive to rebuild WebSite101,
which got it's design in 1998.  I've needed
to do that, but man is it tedious adapting all that content
while maintaining page names and fitting it all back together
with existing affiliate links and updating outdated stuff.
Adsense gave me the incentive to do that by making my content
finally pay for itself. It also gives me incentive to keep
adding more relevant content.

I'm sold and wholeheartedly recommend Adsense to anyone with
sufficient content to support it. While I won't dump existing 
affiliate program producers, I'm dropping those that don't
produce clickthroughs and sales - fast - like hot potatoes.

Get Adsense if Google approves your site. You'll love it too.

Mike Banks Valentine