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Affiliate Alternatives; Google Adsense
Affiliate Alternative; Google Adsense
by Sharon Housley
The Rise and Fall of Affiliate Programs
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 or Supplement
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 it.
The website maintenance related to Adsense is very
easy and requires very little effort. Webmasters need
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
sample modified to match sites color scheme:
(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 visitors.
sample of poorly targeted ads:
Adwords can be a great addition to a website, and when
well matched to the content the revenue stream from
Google is consistent and effortless.
sample of effective Adsense program:
(scroll to the bottom)
(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 only recently implemented channels
as a way to track multiple sites that serve ads. The
general reporting simply shows 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.
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
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
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.
About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for NotePage, Inc.
a company specializing in alphanumeric paging, SMS and
wireless messaging software solutions. Other sites by
Sharon can be found at http://www.softwaremarketingresource.com
, and http://www.small-business-software.net
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