In early 2003, I started using Google AdSense. The first day, I made $5 and was ecstatic. Then, in less than 18 months, I was cashing $130,000 checks per month on the same site. Google AdSense is an amazing and innovative product. For those unfamiliar with the application, it simply displays ads on your site based on the text found on each page. When people click on one of these ads, you receive a percentage of the revenue, rumored to be somewhere around 80 percent. Overall, that’s a very low fee for the service provided. And, there are other positives to running AdSense — it relieves the pressure and headaches associated with trying to sell ad space, collect advertising revenue and manage your own in-house server and software. But most people stop there. Satisfied with the little taste of success that Google has given them, they never stop to consider the negatives associated with using AdSense. Editorial Control By far, the biggest downside to AdSense is the lack of editorial control. There are very few options to block advertisements and advertisers you might find inappropriate. For example, one of my wife’s friends in rural Nebraska sells a very rare and expensive breed of dog — Kerry Blue Terriers.
As soon as she began running Google AdSense on her website, she started receiving hate mail from her users. They accused her of making money from people who sell fighting dogs. She was very confused. The only ads she ever saw were for dog collars, leashes and typical pet products. Since AdSense allows for geographic and site targeting, some users located in certain cities encountered the offensive ads that she never even saw. Ultimately, this damaged the overall trust she had built with her readers over the course of many years. One Click and Gone With AdSense, the only way you make money is when people leave your website. In my opinion, this is not a smart plan. You have worked hard to get users to your website and to establish trust with them. Now you are willing to send them to your competition for a few pennies? Also, when a user clicks on an AdSense ad, a new window does not open. That means if a user finds this new advertising page offensive, useless or not what was expected, they’ll close the window. That’s it — they’re gone. WebSite Magazine