I find it interesting that as bloggers we try to create the best content, the most welcoming and usable designs and more reasons for visitors to return but the majority of us get the best adsense rewards by efficiently driving visitors away.
Nick has touched on the strange relationship bloggers have with adsense but it has started to really concern me.
In the past I created affiliate marketing sites and drove traffic to them with every SEO trick in the book (most of the “tricks” not worth the bits and bytes they were written with). While I made the sites initially to push affiliate products I soon started earning “easy” money from adsense. My whole goal changed to getting traffic in to the site and out through my adsense ads. I quickly learned that I was most successful when people saw my snippet in Google and thought my content would provide what they were looking for but really didn’t. Visitors arriving at the sites would make me most money if they quickly left. My efforts switched from good content to good advertising placement. From quality traffic to maximum traffic. At the point where I peaked in earnings was when I felt the worst about what I was doing.
Writing was what I had got into producing my own websites for. I enjoyed the creativity of it and the feedback I got from people enjoying what I wrote. It wasn’t all bad, I still wrote articles for magazines and online publications, but it still nagged at me that my websites were dangerously approaching spam.
We don’t want spammy blogs do we?
If you follow our advice on metrics you will have installed an adsense tracking script so you can see which pages get the most adsense clicks and where the traffic comes from that converts best. Look at your stats and you will probably see what I do. The majority of your adsense-clicking traffic will be from search engines. You are earning most from turning your site into a revolving door. I don’t know about you but I want to produce valuable blogs. I’m starting to think adsense might be bad for bloggers.
So what’s the answer?
I don’t want to be a profit of doom, it’s more in my nature to be positive so presumably I have an answer?
Actually I do but it’s not easy.
I think we as bloggers who care about quality need to wean ourselves off the GoogleCrack. OK, I don’t mean cold-turkey, and no need to remove it entirely. Just as we don’t agree with building your blog with search engines in mind I think building your blog with adsense in mind might be just as detrimental. Again though, I don’t advocate removing search engine traffic, I don’t advocate removing adsense completely.
The solution seems to me for you to find an income stream that goes against the turnstyle philosophy and fits more with the ideals of a content creator. What revenue can you produce from long term, loyal, motivated fans, rather than transient here today gone tomorrow search visitors?
Going back to my affiliate sites has the answer. The times I made most from affiliate schemes was when I posted good, useful content that customers used to make purchasing decisions. People would buy from newsletters and reviews. Often they would have to see these product mentions several times, they must have been repeat visitors.
I know I have mentioned it before but I think ebooks and other content products are a natural fit, and probably the best bet for writers. It’s a natural progression for a visitor to enjoy your content and then upsell to buying your premium content.
What do you think?
I might feel differently tomorrow, although I doubt it. You might have had similar thoughts already or you might disagree with me. I would be really interested in your thoughts on this, is adsense bad for blogs?