Technology 101: Google Adsense sucks – A bitter truth for start-ups

Oluwatobi Soyombo

…Adsense may not take you as far as you have been imagining.

Adsense is Google’s way of paying site owners for allowing them display ads on their site. It works in a way whereby site owners are paid per ad clicked on their site.

A few days ago, a client discussed one of his ideas with me and sort for advice in mapping out his strategy. As great as this idea is, I noticed that he had based the success of the new business on Google Adsense. Hardly did he complete a sentence without talking about Adsense. “I don’t want us to rely heavily on adsense”, I frankly told him. Then I began to suggest other potential reliable sources of income.

Google Adsense may just be your problem. As it stands, Adsense may not take you as far as you have been imagining. A good start-up is one that clearly maps out her income streams and identifies more reliable and consistent income sources. There is more to monetization than Adsense! As a start-up founder or co-founder, you must ask yourself such question as “How else can we make money without adsense?” You can’t afford to base the success of your business on a weak model.

A few months ago, I read Loy Okezie’s rant about Google Adsense. His techloy adsense stopped displaying after few months of integration. One other bitter thing he complained about is the small money he made from it within those four months despite the heavy traffic techloy receives monthly. He then decided to ditch adsense and started a custom ad service for techloy charging clients at his own rates.

How about selling your own customized ad space to local businesses? The same 250X250 ad block that Google pays you less than $5 for can actually sell for $40+ if you go by this model. You may even want to take your eyes off advertising and consider some other sources. As a blogger, what if you begin to write paid reviews on your site? No matter the nature of your start-up, there are definitely other ways you can make money off adsense.

You can’t afford to build your empire on this lazy ad-clicking revenue stream. Think! Think! Think! Making money off adsense may not look easy, but it’s sure so long it’s well planned. The Start-up world is filled with numerous adsense based start-ups who have been shown the way out of business simply because adsense failed them. I suspect you don’t want to join them.

So, should adsense be completely ignored? May be and maybe not. That will be your choice. I have no problem with adsense in itself. What I do have a problem with is making it the primary and sole source of income of a start-up.


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Comments (3)

  1. Wow! This could be one particular of the most beneficial blogs We have ever arrive across on this subject. Basically Fantastic. I'm also an expert in this topic so I can understand your hard work.

  2. You are completely right. There are so many ways to monetize a website or blog apart from Adsense.

    Any business minded blogger would not depend on adsense alone build a business arounding his niche.Google can disable their adsense at any time and you can do anything about it.

    So be wise.I'm [email protected] Ideas and Business Opportunities In Nigeria

  3. Well said! There's no point calling this the bitter truth, its simply the truth!

    I remembered Google did block my account which I was also using for adsense (with the little change in it) without giving me an option to re-activate due to my country of origin.

    This is not to say that there aren't people who are big time earners via adsense, even Nigerians (e.g. @ogbongeblog), but it sure takes a long time and strategy.

    Of course, there are many other ways of earning incomes on a web-startup – but then, the success of a web-startup (in terms of traffic) determines whether brands will be willing to place ads or even associate. Google adsense can therefore be an initial source of income.

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