Adsense: $500 Per Year?

A VC: $500 Per Year Venture Capitalist Fred Wilson has a post out explaining how he’s made $500 in the last year with Google’s Adsense (which is being donated to charity). While I thought that Google didn’t allow people to talk about how much they made with Adsense this hardly seems compelling.

From the graphs on his site it would appear that if your traffic is about 1,700 hits per day that you’d end up with about $2 per day. His click through rate is about 1% so I’d assume that would translate to about 17 a day.

I’m curious as to 1. Why Google thinks it’s so important to keep all this adsense stuff top secret. I’ve always felt more transparency is better than less and 2. Is Google giving bloggers a fair shake? If they are paying out less than 20 cents a click to Fred, what are they getting for the click and how does this compare to other advertisers? I’m all for Google making money, but is the split 10%/90% is it 50%/50% is it 80%/20%?

I’ve always been surprised at how easily the blogosphere has just let Google go top secret on this one. I’d hope even some “anonymous” comments could better clarify the situation.

Oh and one more thing. I do have to say that I like the adsense approach. It seems unobtrusive and a really acceptable way in my opinion to advertise. On the other hand, recently I’ve begun seeing Vibrant Technology’s IntelliTXT annoyance and I really really hate it. If you haven’t noticed it yet, these are where ads are actually tied to words in articles as annoying green links and push pop ups out at you as your mouse goes over the text word. Ugh, it’s really ugly, distracting and creates a pretty negative impression.

I can’t believe that The Green Button has begun using these. Can’t someone at Microsoft just write TGB a check to help subsidize their program — the whole TGB concept while very helpful to the Media Center user is still one big ad for Media Center really.

I understand that bloggers and website operators have to make a living somehow but I really hope that the horrible IntellitTXT approach is not the way they do it. Honestly it turns people off and if anything will drive away traffic.

4 Replies to “Adsense: $500 Per Year?”

  1. You can’t take Fred Wilson’s traffic to earning ratio as the norm for Google AdSense payouts on all blogs. The most important factor next to traffic is content. If you’re not talking about what Google AdWords advertisers are paying for, you’re not going to make money no matter how big your readership is. The key on being successful with AdSense is to have a site that talks about popular subject matter related to goods and services, and place your ads in strategic/optimal locations. For example, place ads underneath content your readers will receive relevant ads to. This ups your chances of getting more click-throughs and helps the Google ad engine select targeted ads.

  2. I agree that content is king. There are lots of 2-cents-a-click ads out there. If you’re talking about the right topics, you can be earning $5+ per click. SDo trying to calculate ROI based on averages is a mostly pointless exercise.

    What I find most frustrating about AsSense is all the ads for fake and fraudulent products and services, especially in categories that I write about a lot: computer security, music downloads, and so on. I can exclude 200 URLs, but that’s not nearly enough to block the mighty morphin’ spyware fraudsters, who register a dozen new domains a day, it seems like.

  3. I’d be interested in what kinds of words generate $5+ payouts.

    Also I think the bigger issue is that Google shouldn’t prohibit people from talking about their numbers and I think they should come out with a public payout schedule for bloggers. I think the split between Google and their bloggers is relevant and should be fair. What is fair? I’m not sure — but it’s probably not 90% Google, 10% Blogger. I think that transparency is generally a good thing and that the right (i.e. not evil) thing for Google to do is to just share with everyone how they calculate the split. Obviously larger referrers would probably receive higher payouts just as larger producing stock brokers are paid higher payouts than rookies.

    I’d love to see more come out on the adsense program and was glad to see John Battelle provide the issue a little visibility today.

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