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Why I Don’t Use AdSense on ProBlogger Anymore

Posted By Darren Rowse 3rd of October 2007 Adsense, Video Posts 0 Comments

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One question that I’ve been asked regularly since launching of the redesign of ProBlogger is ‘why don’t you use AdSense any more?’

AdSense has been used by bloggers almost religiously to monetize their blogs over the last few years. It’s for good reason too – many bloggers make a lot of money from AdSense – however it doesn’t work well on every blog and bloggers should consider their options and experiment with a variety of other income streams to see which works best for them.

Without this experimentation you could be limiting your earning potential.

While AdSense remains my equal highest income earner from blogging on my other blogs (here’s how I make money from blogs) – I decided to remove it here on ProBlogger for a number of reasons – this video explains more of why.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
  • Thanks for video. I never before thought about AdSense in way that it is not well performing in blogs about monetizing, web development etc. Now I will consider other monetizing options when I will start monetize my blog.

  • Pamela

    Thank you for both the video and the post. I just started blogging because of a passion for writing I had long ago which is starting to brew up again, and of course, the possibility of a second source of revenue (first one being graphic and web design). I think what it comes down to when making the decision of using Adsense, is identifying your target market, as you said, and what is of interest to them. I rarely click on Google ads, if I would have seen them here I would have ignored them (as usual) but the Widget Bucks ad did catch my attention.

    I know some people don’t care for video posts, but I do think they are a wonderful medium, especially for people with dislexia or other reading/writing disability. I have a very close friend who for years has wanted to fully enjoy the “online experience” but has not been able to because it was such a struggle for him to read and write for that matter. He has been so eager to share his knowledge (plants and exotic birds) but unable to do so. I showed him your post and though your content was not an interest to him, he was very excited about the concept of video and seeing the possibility of sharing his knowledge through a blog using this medium.

  • I am glad that I read your post. I think I would have wasted time and not gotten positive results for the blog I was thinking about using it on.

  • I’ve only been using AdSense for three days on my blog Writing for Writers so I’m still in the early stages of experimentation. I do like the fact that I can customize the content ads to blend in with my site. In the coming months I will be looking at other monetization solutions, for this and another blog that I’m developing, such as Amazon and Chikita. Hopefully in the next six months I’ll be able to provide more solid feedback for a question like this.

  • The jury is still out on videoblogging… keep in mind there are still MILLIONS of dial-up users worldwide. If your page slow-loads due to embedded video(s) or – worse case scenario – freezes or crashes their computer – they’ll NEVER be back. NEVER!

    I agree with some that the information in the video would be much better in text. Perhaps you could wear a funny hat next time… ;)

  • Hi Darren,

    Another great video.

    I have been testing AdSense on my two blogs. One blog is what I would classify as “off beat”, and the other is a “blogging 101”, teaching/sharing blogging information blog.

    The off beat blog, gets some clicks, and generates a very small AdSense income, however, my blog, on blogging, gets little to no clicks. (time to remove it)

    Like you said, bloggers know why these ads are on our sites, so they are less apt to click on the ads.

    Also, too may ads take away from the content. And isn’t that why we blog? To share? To inspire? To teach? To help others?

    Blogging for dollars is fine, but content remains “queen” :)

  • Darren – this is so true. Adsense works really well on a travel site I have, but it just does not work on my business blog at all. It just really depends on what type of blog you have.

  • I’ve Only started using Adsense now. I’ve done quite a bit of research on it, So I “think” I know whats going on.

    I hate it when I do a search for something in google, and all I find is a page LOADED with adsense and absolutely nothing to do with my original search.

  • “The jury is still out on videoblogging… keep in mind there are still MILLIONS of dial-up users worldwide. If your page slow-loads due to embedded video(s) or – worse case scenario – freezes or crashes their computer – they’ll NEVER be back. NEVER!”

    Aren’t you forgetting that Darren’s blog caters for a niche market – bloggers! Generally bloggers are going to be pretty into blogging and have the technology to handle video posts. The jury might be out in some niches, but not the blogging niche.

    Nice comments everyone. Although I think Adsense is quite good I just get the feeling that it cheapens a blog. Whether that is represented by income or not is one thing, but if you stick at things for long enough then affiliates and other advertising is bound to be more profitable.

    Thoughts?

  • Video PLAYER sucks. Doesn’t buffer, can’t download, so I get to listen to a bunch of s s st st sta stam stammering. Can’t you put it on google or youtube so I can download it and listen coherently?

    thanks.

  • Bling Finger

    Could you please provide transcripts for your videos. I’d love to read what you have to say. Sometimes it’s just not convenient to listen to audio.

  • Well I’m glad that I read your complete post because I thought that you were “coming down” on Adsense – but I’m glad to see that you are not.

    I’m sorry to see that there are so many people that are disappointed with adsense and/or their earnings from adsense.

    I started making adsense money the 2nd month that I joined and I have managed to earn at least the $100 minimum each month so far.

    Unfortunately I believe that any blog can be worked with to help optimize it for adsense and there’s no better proof of that than my own (and my clients’) adsense earnings.

  • Using Adsense or not on a website depends on both the content and audience one has on his site or blog.
    While adsense may be really good for some sites it is not worth a penny in another.
    I have tried affiliate ads to a couple of my popular sites where it failed terribly and adsense did not dissapoint me with the earning on that site.
    However on another site it was reversal.. Inspite of heavy traffic i was getting very low adsense payout which changed on applying several affiliate ads there…
    So it really depends on Both the content and Audience..

    Best of luck with your experimenting.

  • A very candid video, I must say. I tried Chitika after learning about it from you, but it flopped. Adsense still works for my site. You’re right to say that testing is important. With different Adsense formats, the results vary significantly (more than 100% in my case). Also if one things works for someone, it might not work for you. The only sure thing is to test it out.

  • exactly content writer. That’s why my adsense is doing good because most of my readers or visitors are new. The Adsense serves as a portal for related information on the content of my blog.

  • Phill Ill

    We’re a healthy mid size blog and we’ve seen direct advertisers stop and buy huge campaigins directly through Google. But you can’t exactly tell them not to. Then they figure out about all the bonusing they can get and they buy smaller campaign. When Google can’t sell it, they just bonus it rather than pass it through to another network for you. No other ad network does that. It clearly shows how little they think of publishers — even having no problem telling it to you on the days you’re a buyer and then sticking it to you the days you’re a seller. Not even lip service to working together to maximize anything but their profits. Crumbs off the table.
    Adsense mustn’t be allowed to go on without giving publishers control over the minimum price to sell at, and control of unsold inventory.

    The readers just think there is something wrong whent he same advertisers are over represented day after day.

    Whoever programmed in the monthly advice on optimizing that they send was clearly incapable of thinking any such thoughts. We get the same messages every month: give google more impressions and are you sure you want to block the few competitive sites you do. There’s not any nuance or understanding that we might have moved a great number of impressions to places we have more control and earn more. They might even get them back if they competed and sold the advertisers harder rather than give our ads away. I could do that well without.

    And the few times i’ve corresponded with a real person they have been rude, told me to go to the spam pit that is supposed to be the forum for help, have ignored any tough question completely, are frequently rude, and never use their names. This is a company that makes thousands a year off us, not a tollbooth operator. This aspect of the business can’t last. hopefully others are rising to the opportunity that they get a ton of credit for creating.

  • these tips & advices can be applied when you have a really big blog, otherwise you better stick to AdSense…

    anyway – any kind of advertising is disturbing for your readers :(

  • Nice video, Darren!

    I’m experimenting with AdSense right this moment on my blog, but it’s not that effective. Think I leave it this way, untill there is another alternative for me! :)

  • Yes, but will you be trying the new video blocks with Adsense?

  • Who is gonna read this site :(

    But truth is truth Darren

  • I thought about having adsense but for my own blog, it is horrible to say the least. My niche is so used to fake information only new people to the niche click on them.
    The rest are only interested in the information.
    So I removed my blocks and only have them in the topic and the results are the same but now I get more from reviews and affiliates.
    so I agree adsense is not for every blog

  • Adsense just doesn’t work on sites that have anything to do with web development… I’m almost certain that any clicks I got when I used adsense on my blog were completely accidental, and that’s not good for anyone. I do have other sites that do well with Adsense, especially referral ads. It seems that people in this line of work avoid Adsense ads like the plague.

  • I removed Adsense because I never got past $50.00 in earnings and their supposed “relivant” ads were awful. I’d have stories of sweet conversations with my son and their take on my blog words (or however they decide what ad links to post becuase it wasn’t the tags I entered there) would be “Want to meet Hot Lesbians?” Now mind you, my 12 year old son MIGHT wonder about that, but the ad was inappropriate to my site… like the Viagra ad they ran when I wrote about my step-fathers death. I hated most of the ad links and spent more time removing the html than running the ad and finally decided it was not worth the low pay out of their ads. Thanks for letting the redhead rant about this one.
    Catherine, the redhead

  • Hi Darren,

    Adsense works on blogs where there are keywords that directly match up with user’s interests, but doesn’t work well with blogs that deal with current events or other subjects that aren’t narrowly focused and consumer oriented.

    Plus, I’ve noticed a lot of tech savvy people use ABP or block javascript to avoid ads. I always try to run ABP myself so I don’t unnecessarily display ads on my own sites.

    I’ve found that I can have success monetizing a blog focused on local stories and news with content from TheNewsRoom. I saw an advert for the service on this very blog. I’ve found it useful to be able to add video from a local television station, in addition to all of the other video sources available.

    By the way, I couldn’t watch the video because I keep getting an error message “error loading file.” I have a relatively new computer, so I’m sure I need to download a driver or two to get it working properly.

    A text recap would be helpful for those situations when a new computer needs a driver or some other tweak to be able to properly run video.

    I’ve noticed that a lot of television news stations publish the video script on same page as their video content so that Google picks up the video news story’s keywords.

  • km

    Nice video, Darren!

    i have experimenting with other affiliate program or other ads network . but both of thems doesn’t work very well. Seem like Adsense is better than them.. Any recommendation like us.

  • Darren,

    First off love the new design.

    Now onto your video about adsense… a year ago I registered adsenseidiot.com with the intention of documenting my attempt to earn a living online with adsense. After a year of twiddling my thumbs and chasing after other ideas I’ve come back to the site and decided to actually do something with it.

    I’ll be reading your blog more frequently for idea and motivation, thanks keep up the great work.

  • You’re right, Darren!

    I have taken out Adsense in some of my blogs since they have a lot of rules that hinders the publishers ability to make money from other programs. However, such a move will probably not be suitable for everyone. A publisher should be in constant lookout for multiple income sources and determine which combination will work best for them based on their strengths.

    Thanks for the tips!

  • Interesting that Spanish Fry responded to my comment –

    ““The jury is still out on videoblogging… keep in mind there are still MILLIONS of dial-up users worldwide. If your page slow-loads due to embedded video(s) or – worse case scenario – freezes or crashes their computer – they’ll NEVER be back. NEVER!”

    Fry wrote:
    Aren’t you forgetting that Darren’s blog caters for a niche market – bloggers! Generally bloggers are going to be pretty into blogging and have the technology to handle video posts. The jury might be out in some niches, but not the blogging niche.

    One who followed with comment pretty much supported my assessment:

    Will Scott: Video PLAYER sucks. Doesn’t buffer, can’t download, so I get to listen to a bunch of s s st st sta stam stammering.

    So, Will and others like him (diehard bloggers) will come back another time, but ONLY as long as the embedded video doesn’t crash his computer…

    MY POINT? There are (I repeat) professional bloggers who are dead serious and love problogger.net, but have dial-up and should be given a CHOICE to open and start (or download) video files. The self-starting videos are anathema to dial-up users!

  • Great video post. I have recently starting using adsense on my site….I thought it was a must do to monetize your blog. It’s interesting to hear your views and the other comments. i also heard that Google prefers blogs that use adsense and that all other factors being equal, gives better search results for those sites.

  • kay

    Interesting that tech savvy visitors click less on ads. It occurred to me a while ago that I hadn’t been clicking through your ads and that it wasn’t really fair, considering the amount of information and entertainment I get from your efforts. I now make sure to click through an ad on every visit and also do the same with other sites that I view regularly.

    Thanks
    Kay

  • I’ve done poorly with Adsense as well. I think you’ve inspired me to drop it from my blog. I’ve been considering it – thanks for the nudge.

  • novice

    Hey I just made the Adsens account and then pasted the code to my blogspot page.Though i get only ublic Ads displayed,When will the Google Ads get displayed so i can monetize.
    It may sound funny but i’m novice to this,Please can anyone help me?

  • Hey Darren.
    I’ve been following your professional advice for a few months now, and doing my research before deciding to invest time and money into blogging.

    I just launched my first blog, http://www.driverslife.com eight days ago. Currently, the only advertisements on the site are Google adsense. So far, I have to be honest, the results have been somewhat impressive! Based on some of the research I have done in regards to adsense earnings, it would appear that my blog seems to be monetizing much quicker than I initially imagined. Of course much to my surprise and happines. I think at some point, I will reach the same conclusion you have in that adsense simply can’t provide me with the kind of advertisements that my target audience can relate to. But until that time, I have to say that I am quite impressed with Adsense and will continue to use it until I can find some better alternatives.

    Keep up the great work! Cheers,
    -Alain

  • Darren,

    I had a few affiliates reject my application because of the presence of those ad blocks. So when you said advertisers stated their presence cheapened your blog, I can understand that position.

    Has anyone here used Yahoo ads? I notice very few blogs have them posted.

    Roy

  • Hi,
    I make a lot of money selling Diamonds and gemstones on-line and started a blog to share info about. I have added Adsense to my blog and started making some $. It’s just on bggining but seens to be a good way to improve incomes. feel free to visit my page and share your experience.
    gemstonebox.blogspot.com

  • Gator

    While I completely disagree with Gillian (I think you’re cute and enjoy your voice), it would be good to have a text link too for dial up users.

    My questions: How do you filter out ads that are inappropriate? And now that you are directly selling ad space instead of using Adsense, do you feel more responsibility to ensure that the ads give you credibility?

  • I totally agree with you about using adsense and related niche about web development. I wrote something about it some days ago:
    http://www.googlelady.com/440/google-adsense-tips-blogs/

  • Some months ago I wrote a piece called:

    7 Compelling Reasons Google AdSense Will Ruin Your Real Estate Blog.

    Something your readers might find valuable in support of your decision.

    http://realestatetomato.typepad.com/the_real_estate_tomato/2007/04/7_compelling_re.html

  • A very interesting video. Thanks!

    I personally use Adsense on my decently popular site (but no where near as popular as yours!). I mostly do it because my site manages to usually get spot on ads (either due to targeting or keywords) and frankly, it’s easy and reliable. I don’t have to deal with price picking, etc. etc.

    And since my site isn’t in the tier of yours, I can’t rely on having willing advertisers each month (I’ve had some interested, but not on a consistent basis).

    Still though, a very worthwhile watch. Thanks again.

  • I just started using Adsense. My daily 0.20 generator.

  • I really appreciate what you guys are doing. I also marvel at the amount you guys are making from blogs.

    Can anyone help or mentor me on how to make good money from my blog.

    My blog address is http://www.freelancez.blogspot.com

    Email is [email protected]

    I would appreciate your useful ideas and comments.

    Thanks all for your anticipated quick response.

    Cheers!

  • Very interesting. Whilst new to blogging I decided to launch without AdSense on my blog for one of the reasons you mentioned – it looks cheap and doesn’t lend itself to a professional looking website.

    It was also interesting to hear the views of your potential advertisers.

  • This is quite a step you have taken. I will be looking for other income sources too.

  • Honestly, I’ve never been a big fan of Adsense at all.

    You seriously have to control the content of your blog, and write so that you PLEASE your blog readers…point blank.

    Screw adsense, I like the clickbank checks better. lol

  • Hmm… Something to think about as a new blogger…

  • My experience with adsense??? Hmmm…. let me see… $3 a day! Hehehehehe.

  • Leo

    Google adsense is my major income on my blogs right now, I couldn’t find any other contextual ads that comes close. So I guess I’ll stick to it for while, until maybe when my blog visits reaches at least 10K daily.

  • good video. Thanks!

  • Thats a really good vid. It makes sense to experiment with all sorts of ways of moneising your blog to see what works best.

  • I can imagine it doesn’t work when you run a blog with specific (non-product) content. Simply because most visitors read information at your blog and most of the times feel no need to ‘go to step 2’ in the proces…clicking the adds…

    Too bad however that there are many affiliate-programs around, but all have their small share of merchants. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was some sort of overal site that let’s you choose from every merchant, no matter through which program they work with adds..

    If I registerer at affiliate-program 1 I have 3 merchants that I like to have on the site, the same goes with the other programs..in that way google is easy, they (think) they place adds based on content…