Monday, August 08, 2005

Bloggers at Venetto: On Adsense

Given a chance during the small meeting of bloggers at Venetto, I would have had this to say:

Initially, the prospect of earning money through Google Adsense was one of those great ideas that would somehow change the blogsphere for years and years to come.

Suddenly, people who registered with free blog services like blogger-dot-com could, upon enrolling with Google Adsense, receive some money for blogging their brains out and sharing with the world glimpses of their lives -- their most honest thoughts and feelings about their inner and outer worlds. At last, in a way, these people could call themselves 'publishers' in the sense that they were churning out content people would read and earn some revenue whenever people reading their stuff clicked through the Google ads strategically posted on their page.

Under the Google Adsense program, bloggers and website masters could earn $100 or more from click throughs. In the Philippines where the exchange rate is Php 55.00 to $1.00, this presents a tantalizing proposition. A hundred dollars a month could pay for a DSL connection and monthly installments on a brand new computer or a digital camera. Or help pay the electric and phone bills.

But the reality of earning through Google Adsense comes as a bit of a let down for the following reasons:
  1. The blogger/website master/publisher has no control over what ads are displayed on his or her page. While the Google Adsense program says a lot good things about its contextual ads and the technology behind it, it is not as responsive as one would want it to be. Bloggers who blog about various topics will most definitely have ads that are not relevant to their most current entries. Moreover, it will increase their chances of getting ads that pay zilch for any click through and this creates some pressure for bloggers to limit their blogging to certain topics, if they want to earn money from the products of their intellect.
  2. The blogger/website master/publisher does not know how much each particular ad pays. It would be great if, under some arrangement, publishers could be given a choice among ads even if their choice of ads would bind them to certain conditions -- such as having the proper background to qualify as an authority of some sort, limits on the topics that one can blog about, etcetera.
  3. The hundred dollar quota is simply too high to be reachable in a months time for most bloggers who earn just a little above three cents a day if at all. For all practical purposes, most blogs are just one long page and under the Google Adsense program, your are only allowed to display three Google Ads per page. The law of averages are on the side of website masters who have more pages to put Google Ads on and therefore more chances of earning through click throughs -- not to mention the fact that the content of the webpage is static (remains unchanged for a period of time), immediately making it friendlier for contextual ads since the context for the ads doesn't change as often as blogs.

Despite these drawbacks, I still think Google Adsense is worth a try but don't quit your job yet.

There are a host of ads that promise enormous sums of money if you buy their secret strategy for earning Adsense Millions. But really, if you buy into this, you might as well buy a barrel of snake oil from me.

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