Many individual bloggers make the majority of their income from Text Link Ads. But I want to talk about another virtue of Text Link Ads: they can generate the revenue that publishers need to hire better writers.
If you’re like me and you own a large number of blogs and websites, then you also know all about the economy of content creation. For those of you who don’t know, let me educate you.
The fact of the matter is that search engines have yet to create the algorithm that can distinguish keyword rich crap from literary greatness. Since AdSense has been the main driver of content monetization, and since traffic is the key AdSense monetization, website owners have often resorted to buying lots of keyword loaded crap in preference to a few high-quality articles written by professional writers.
For $100 you can buy 1 or 2 excellent 500-1000 word articles or for $100 you can buy about 30 pieces of just legible English written by not quite fluent non-English speakers (not to offend any of our not quite fluent non-English readers). That’s just a fact and the explosion of crap content on the web is directly attributable to the economy that Google AdSense has created. It is Google’s monster. There’s no doubt about it.
Enter Text Link Ads. The TLA economy doesn’t directly depend on traffic, and so doesn’t depend on squeezing pennies out of the long tail. There is far more pressure from AdSense to create lots of crap content then from TLA. In fact, I’d argue that TLA creates an environment in which owners of blog networks, or multiple sites are freed up to migrate from content churning to actually being proud of the content they commission.
In my own case this is certainly true. TLA has finally gotten me to a place where I have the luxury of paying a premium for the content I commission. Rather than pursuing bulk content, I’m pursuing quality content. Worshiping the long-tail, in the name of almighty AdSense is no longer a priority. Creating good literary content is.
Because of TLA I now feel like a legitimate publisher, whereas before I had to wash my hands of AdSense blood each night before I went to sleep (well, not really, but you get the point).