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What is wrong with monetizing your site using Google Adsense

If you are wrestling with the dilemma of whether to monetize your blog or website, do note that many well-known sites have put up Google Adsense as one of their primary advertising means.

Most readers would understand- that a website runs on continous costs… hosting, hiring writers, programmers and designers. In order to continue to provide the kind of service or articles, the output must be able to cover back the costs and reap profits for the owners.

Years ago, there was a site that had decided to run based on donations by readers alone- I knew the site owner. The site was providing top quality news in a niche and have many visitors from all over the world. Initially, donations poured in from all around the world. And then, the contributions starts to dwindle.  There is only so much that limited number of people could give.

Of course, due to large number of viewers sucking up the site’s bandwidth, the donations were not enough to cover the cost of the site. Even if it does, there was no compensation for the owner, who is not a rich guy but had dedicated a great deal of his time towards the site.

Today, when I visit the site, I’ve noted that the site has finally put up some ads from Google Adsense. Rather than getting visitors to physically fork out money, running the ads would be a better long term solutions. If the readers see something they like, they can just click on the ad and see if they want to buy the service. By the reader clicking on the ad (at no cost to the reader except of the reader chooses to buy something), the owner could earn income back based on his contribution and dedication. The earnings also give some sort of motivation for the owner to keep going.

It is better than trying to be involved in the moral dilemma of whether to have ads or not in the site. My experience is most readers would understand- because they would want you to continue providing them the stuff that you are providing.

Even the online portals of two of the most popular newspapers: The Star and New Strait Times are monetized with Adsense. From the recent shot, The Star online portal have 3 slots of Adsense ads- one on the top next to their banner, another on the left navigation banner (below Ad Choices) and another at the end of the article (a 360x 280 ad unit).

Why Adsense is selected is probably because it is

  • relatively easy to set up
  • have huge database of advertisers as Google also runs incentive programs to encourage people to advertise with them
  • constant in payment- Google is a good and punctual paymaster- so long as you meet the minimum earning of USD100

Below is a snapshot taken from Straits Times online:

There’s one Adsense at the top banner, followed by on the right and in the article itself. There’s also another ad by an external advertisers.

Both the online portals keep a huge archive of past newspaper articles. When I need to search for something, I can almost always find it online especially in The Star Online. Therefore, as a reader, I would want the site to be around for a long time.

And since their online articles would always be plagiarised by other sites and blogs, might as well earn something back. I like YouTube’s approach- because one cannot stop people from uploading copyright materials. The moment they take down a copyright song, another one would come up almost immediately. So since you cannot beat them, why not join them. The copyright owners get to put ads at the plagiarised content page.

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