Does Google Adsense make any sense?

Recently, I attended a networking event that tackles different issues pertaining to startups. The topic for this month's session was Google Adsense. Corporate America is all about monetizing, especially these days, so I wanted to see what I could learn.

In a nutshell, here's what I walked away with: the Training and Development folks at Google really need to give their people some guidance on how to give good presentations. Lots of talking, but not one visual. They described drop-down boxes, points on webpages, services forms, layout violations, but not one lousy slide. The two reps also frequently had a "deer in the headlights" look when asked a pointed question. It was almost like a presidential debate where candidates skirt the issue. Frankly, it was a bit strange.

Now, I understand there are variables in most every situation. And, yes, sometimes answers might not always be black or white. However, I can't really say I know any more about Google Adsense now than before I attended the session.

So, as with most things, you almost always learn more from actual users. And, that makes you the expert (if you use Google Adsense, that is). What do you think about Google's text ads? Do you find them to be a worthwhile way to earn significant money? What do you like? What do you dislike?

Not a Google Adsense client? Well then, I'd be curious to know if you've ever clicked on a Google text ad. I haven't. Am I in the minority?

Let's hear it!


  1. WOW~!!! That's just SHOCKING~!!! Not one slide??? That gives me the confidence to apply for a job at Google in Ann Arbor which is not terribly far from here.

    I am so sorry they wasted your time that way and greatly appreciate you researching for this article. My own experience with AdSense has not been very fulfilling with under $20 in a year which cannot be withdrawn. I shifted my attention to my own products and sponsored tweets. I am very happy I did. I was looking forward to the info you would have passed on.
    Anita @ModelSupplies

  2. Anita:

    Yes, by all means, apply! We tend to put these big companies up on pedestals, but sometimes they don't have their acts together any more than "lesser" companies. The ironic part was these people even flew in for this presentation, so it's not like they just popped in from down the street and were unprepared.

    Thanks for sharing your compensation from Google Adsense with us. Your site has heavy traffic, so if you weren't earning much, that says a lot.

    The moderator did an informal survey of the audience to determine who was currently earning money from Adsense. About 10 out of 150+ raised their hands. Only two of those made $1,000 a month.

    Fortunately, I didn't consider it a complete waste of time. You always learn something from everything---even if it's only a small nugget of insight.

  3. Hey, just meandered over from twitter, where I think I got it mixed up as to who was doing the advertising: there's pay-per-click adwords and then adsense.

    anyways, if you're going to do ads, as long as they're blended into the site color-wise and are non-intrusive - please, no pop-ups- it should be okay.

    i do affiliate marketing on my blog- i really benefited from Chris Guillebeau & Zoe Westhof's Art and Money, so I have an article and an affiliate link to it, becuase it's been so valuable for me. So that kind of advertising, which hopefully will be valuable for my readers as well, where I have control over what's being advertised, that, to me, is just good word of mouth advertising with no icky feelings.

    John Chow is also a great person to check out if you're interested in marketing. His site is a little overboard, but he knows what he's doing inside and out. He's very google-able. :)

  4. Katana: Thanks so much for visiting and for leaving a comment. Ironically, the Adsense people did say ads that blend in to your site do get more clicks.

    I think your thought process of controlling the ads is smart. Recommending what you can personally vouch for and have used. I'm with you on curbing the "icky feelings"!

    I'll check out John Chow. Don't we all want to be uber Google-able? ;->

  5. My blog does not have a lot of traffic which would probably explain why I have not made any money on it. But really? That's ok. The purpose of my blog has not been to make money. If it does, that's awesome and really just a bonus.

    Good post!

  6. Tom: I need to create an award for you, my most consistent commenter. THANK YOU!

    I'm actually looking into other forms of monetization. If I find anything good, I'll share it with you.

    And, readers, check out Tom's blog and let's earn him some money!

  7. Our company experimented with being an AdSense publisher several years ago to see how the system worked from the publisher's perspective. The earnings were minimal compared to programs where we did affiliate marketing or sold ads on our site without a broker, like Google.

    I also advertise some of my onsite writing training seminars with AdSense ads. They work well but not as well as they once did because of increased competition and high bid prices.

  8. Catherine: Thank you so much for your comment and insight. You sound as though you really know your stuff! Interestingly, so far no one I've spoken with has come out gung ho about Adsense. I'm sure it works well for some people, but I suspect those people aren't Average Joes. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts on the matter. I appreciate hearing from an actual Adsense user!

  9. If you are looking for an excellent contextual advertising network, I suggest you check out ExoClick.


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