Selling Site on Flippa

A couple of weeks ago I decided to sell one of my “orphan” Blogs on Flippa.

Was a Blog I started a few years ago that I quickly got too busy to update.

It was a highly targeted niche site that I built prior to my realization that it is generally better to start one large Blog, than a whole bunch of targeted small ones that you run out of content ideas for after a few weeks.

Posting it For Sale

For a while now I have thought about selling some of my Blog sites that I have, but I always had this belief that nobody would be interested in buying a dead Blog so I never bothered listing any of my sites up.

I figured it was better to first “resurrect” them, build them up a bit and then post them for sale.

However, that never seems to happen for any of my sites.

If I have a site that I’m passionate about, then I’ll create content for it easily.

If I am no longer passionate about it, it’s so hard to create any content or to try to “resurrect” it even for just a few months to try to sell it for a higher price.

So basically what ends up happening is I’ll have all these sites that aren’t doing too much except sitting there and costing me domain fees each year.

I know each of them has some good potential *IF* I had time to work on them, but I never do, so finally a few weeks ago I decided to try selling my first site on Flippa.

I figured that even if I make $50 from it, I’d be happy.

I didn’t really put in that much effort into the site, and it wasn’t earning me any income.

However, it was a domain that’s a couple years old and it was getting a few thousand visitors a month from free SEO traffic, so I figured it could be worth something to someone else.

Watching the Bids Come In

The site ended up selling for $110, and I have to admit that watching the bids come in was really exciting.

As I said, I would have been OK getting $50 for the site, and was hoping for $100, so $110 put a smile on my face.

Now I know $110 is not a lot of money, but really my only monetary cost on the site was about $20 for the domain fees for a couple of years.

Hosting on the domain didn’t cost me anything since I share the hosting with this site and all my others.

Also, I didn’t really put any real effort into sprucing up the listing at all.

I was totally honest with everything, and I didn’t try to make the site sound any better than it was.

The site did previously make about $3-$5/month in AdSense earnings, but in the last few months it was making $0/m because I wasn’t devoting any time or energy towards it.

If I wanted to sell it for more I could have put some effort into it and got my AdSense earnings back up first.

But for me this was more just an experiment more than anything.

I wanted to see how much I could sell a site like that for.

Honestly, I was pleasantly surprised to see it sell for $110.

I can actually see selling sites of Flippa as a legitimate business opportunity if you know how to build Blogs.

Do you have any “dead” sites just lying around doing nothing?


Launching an e-commerce store

The first thing I worked on is implementing an inventory management system to keep track of my inventory, costing, pricing etc.

For inventory management, I am using a software called AmberPOS.

AmberPOS is a point of sale / inventory management software which integrates with the Interspire Shopping Cart software I’m using on my website.

I’m still working on getting all the inventory sorted out and put up on the website. For now I have about 15-20 items online.

Building Traffic

Besides getting more inventory up online, the next most important aspect of building up the site is to start getting some traffic to it.

There are a number of different things that I have done so far to help with that.
Getting the Site Indexed in Google

Interspire has some pretty cool features for marketing your Ecommerce website online.

The first thing I setup was a Google sitemap feed to let Google know whenever I add or update content to the site.

Luckily, Interspire makes this really simple. You simply click on Marketing > Google XML Sitemap and it shows you the link to your sitemap. If you don’t know how to take it from there, there are step-by-step instructions on how to setup your sitemap in Google Webmaster Tools.

Secondly I also setup a Google Base Product feed. Once again, Interspire makes this really easy. You go to Marketing > Google Base Product Feed and follow the instructions for setting up a Google Product Feed.

This gives Google a live feed of all the products in your store for indexing in their Google Product Search engine.

With a Google sitemap feed and a product feed setup, Google should have no problems indexing my site. Google Product search is still in beta, and I don’t know if it gets any real volume of searches but since it only took a few minutes to setup, any exposure I get from it is better than nothing.

Looking Into Free SEO Traffic

Next I wanted to do some preliminary SEO keyword research to check how competitive the market is for magic stores.

My initial research shows that the more common keywords in this niche are fairly competitive. The major players have fairly highly ranked websites with high Page Rank and domain authority.

To get some traction I will have to go beyond the obvious keywords like and try to optimize for more long-tail keywords.

In the meantime though, I want to start getting some kind of traffic to the site since SEO can often take months before getting any real results.

Luckily, SEO is not the only way to get traffic to a site.

Pay-Per-Click traffic such as AdWords is one way to go, but for now I decided to start with a different source of traffic.

Connecting to the Community

A great, but often overlooked source of traffic is to purchase banner ads on highly targeted Forums and Blogs.

There are a LOT of magicians around the world who hang out on that forum.

So as a starting point, I purchased a small 110×80 banner ad on the forum as a test to see if I can get some traffic to the site.

It’s nothing huge, but since the website gets a fair amount of highly targeted traffic I don’t need a lot of traffic to potentially start generating sales.

Also, since I’m liquidating my inventory at 30-50% off retail prices, I’m hoping the word will spread once a few people check out the site.

I designed the banner to be simple, direct and to more or less fit in with the colors of the forum, while at the same time hopefully grabbing people’s attention.

Before purchasing the banner I took a quick look at the stats to see just how much traffic they get.

They’re averaging around 22,500 unique visitors per month, with just over 136,000 visits per month.

They also offer bigger banner placements as well as other promotional opportunities, but for now I wanted to just start with a small banner and track how much traffic I get from it before committing to something bigger.

Starting small will also give me a chance to get a lot more inventory up on my site.

That’s pretty much all I’ve had time to do on the site for now.

I’ll write more update posts as I make more progress.


How to Boost your Adsense Earnings in Minutes

The other day I was looking through my AdSense account, and found a nifty little trick for boosting earnings.

By default, whenever you install AdSense on a site the ads shown are typically based on the content of your post as well as the browsing history of the person visiting your site.

Google does it’s best to match the best performing ads to your site since Google, just like you as a publisher, only makes money when people click on the ads.

So it is always in Google’s best interest to show only the best performing ads on your site.

However, as good as Google’s algorithms are, they are not perfect and there is a way to squeeze some more value out of your AdSense earnings.

Here’s what you need to do:

(1) Login to your AdSense account.

(2) Click on the “Allow & Block Ads” tab.

(3) Under “Blocking Options” you’ll see a section called “General Categories”. Click the edit button to the right of that.

(4) You will then see a screen like this:

What this screen will show you is the category of ads that Google AdSense displays on your site, and the earnings that each category has earned you in the last 30 days.

For example, in my account I can see that “Arts & Entertainment” ads were displayed 3.6% of the time on my site, but they only contributed to 0.5% of my earnings.

If I look at the “Beauty & Personal Care” category of ads, I can see that it was only shown 2% of the time, but earned 7% of my total earnings in the last 30 days.

If we look at “Home & Garden” we can see that those types of ads were shown 4.9% of the time on my site, but they earned 0% of my 30 day income.

When you study your categories and the earnings they create for you, you can then get a better picture as to what type of ads your specific audience responds to most. Your category stats are going to be different from mine, so you need to make sure you study your own numbers and don’t just guess.

In my case, since I saw that the “Home & Garden” category took up 5% of my impressions, but generated 0% revenue for me, I decided to block those types of ads on my site. Obviously my audience doesn’t respond to “Home & Garden” type ads.

By disabling that category, it frees up 4.9% more page impressions for the other categories that are actually making me money. If for example those 4.9% of impressions were applied to the “Beauty & Personal Care” category, that could result in about 15% increase in earnings for me.

Of course Google will distribute the extra impressions amongst all of the categories that are not blocked, but it can still be a pretty decent sized boost to your earnings for just a few minutes of work.


Is Adsense right for you?

In the previous four posts I shared some of my reasons for giving AdSense another chance to make money for my bog.

I know a lot of Bloggers out there are still very skeptical about AdSense as the results they got from it in the past have been dismal. A lot of Bloggers would rather take their chances by trying to sell their ad inventory manually instead of going through Google and AdSense.

If you’re one of those Bloggers who has given up on Adsense, I’m going to cover a few things in this post which many change your mind.

Before I do that though, I want to recap some of the reasons I’m giving AdSense another chance which I already covered in my previous articles (in case you missed them):

AdWords Advertiser CPC Costs Going Up Means Better AdSense Earnings for Publishers
Google Announced that They Pay Out 68% of AdSense Revenue to Publishers
Improved AdSense Ad Targeting for Advertisers Means More Relevant Ads
Browsing History Tracking Levels Playing Field for All Blog Niches
Any AdSense Testing You Did Over 12 Months Ago is Obsolete
Filter Out Low Performing AdSense Categories
Google Certified Ad Networks Means More AdSense Money
AdSense and Analytics Integration is Awesome
New AdSense Interface is Much Improved

Ok, so that’s what I’ve covered so far.

But what if you’re the Blogger who wants to sell your own inventory on your Blog because you believe you can make more money that way compared to using AdSense.

Well, if that’s you, here are some things to consider…

Google Doubleclick Ad Planner

Google AdPlanner allows you to create a publisher profile which will let advertisers know more detailed information about your site.

The intended benefit of this is to increase your visibility to AdWords publishers who are using the placement targeting options in AdWords to specifically target your site.

When AdWords advertisers specifically target your site, it has the potential of increasing your click through rates and earnings per click. The reason for this is because the advertisers can actually create ads specifically targeting your audience based on the demographics that they see in your profile.

Your AdPlanner Profile

Chances are that your site already has an AdPlanner profile, which is what AdWords advertisers see when they try to target your site. Check out your AdPlanner profile here:

Why You Should Update Your AdPlanner Profile

By updating your AdPlanner profile, you’ll be able to provide advertisers with much more accurate information about your site. For example, you can select the type of categories which best describe your site instead of leaving the default ones that Google guesstimated for you.

Also, you are able to put a link on your profile to your Advertising page where you give information to advertisers on how to buy ads on your site. This “targeting” of your site gives you the best of both worlds – being able to always have “sold” inventory on your site earning you at least some kind of income at any given time, plus the possibility of attracting direct advertisers who want to specifically buy ads on your site.

DoubleClick AdPlanner Benefits for AdSense Publishers Video

This video explains the benefits of updating your AdPlanner profile, straight from Google:
Professional Bloggers and AdSense

One other criticism I’ve heard about putting AdSense on a Blog is that it supposedly “cheapens” the Blog or makes it look less professional, compared to other forms of advertising.

With the new AdSense category filters and the improvements in ad targeting and just generally the improvement in quality of AdSense advertisers I don’t think that’s true at all anymore.

But putting all that aside, the biggest question is whether there are any “professional” bloggers out there still making money with AdSense today, or are the “glory” days of AdSense long gone?

This next video from the “original” professional Blogger might surprise you. Some of you know that Darren ditched AdSense off his main Blog years ago but a very recent video from shows that across his entire network of Blogs, his’s biggest income earner in the month of April was none other than Google AdSense.


I know I was.

Take a look for yourself:

How I Earn Money Blogging on Vimeo.

Here are some things Darren shares in the video:

Even though he no longer shares specific dollar figures for his income, he admits that he is still making more than 6-figures a year and in fact says that it’s closer to 7-figures.
Out of his top 9 income streams, AdSense is #1 bringing in 23% of his income (in April 2010).
Most of his AdSense income comes from his digital photography Blog.
He states that the income is very high through AdSense because advertisers directly target his site. (You might want to get your AdPlanner profile updated. 🙂 )
AdSense beat out affiliate income, e-book sales, continuity programs, direct ad sales, Chitika, Amazon, job boards, and speaking.
Darren states that April was an “average” month, so it’s not like AdSense just had a spike that month.
Darren also mentions that AdSense works on some of his Blogs, but not others and that you’ll need to experiment to see if works on yours.

So what do you think?


More Data about Adsense on a Blog

In this fourth article in this series, I’m going to cover some new features and improvements that are now available to AdSense publishers that weren’t available a few years ago.

Some of these new features could give you enough reason to try AdSense out again on your Blog, so you may want to pay attention.
Ad Review Center – Category Filters

In the past, one of the challenges that Bloggers had as AdSense publishers was that it was difficult to control what type of ads were shown on their site.

This was especially true for Bloggers who like to cover multiple topics on their Blog.

Google AdSense now allows us to instantly see which category of ads is earning us the most money, and which types of categories of ads are being shown the most on our site.

Here’s a screenshot from my account to show you what I mean:

AdSense Categories

As you can see, each type of category that has appeared on my website is shown in this list. The categories vary from Cosmetic Procedures to Weight Loss. For each category I can see what percentage of my recent ad impressions were served to that category.

What’s even more cool though is that I can see what percentage of my recent earnings comes from each category. I’ve only been testing AdSense on my site for the last few weeks so far, so I’m not going to be making any changes yet, but this kind of data is invaluable.

If for example a large chunk of my ad impressions are going to a category that isn’t earning me any kind of money, I can easily filter out that category and AdSense will no longer serve any ads on my site from that category.

This is an awesome way to maximize the value you get out of each ad impression. It is also a great way to improve the quality of your site to your visitors. For example, if your visitors are not clicking on any ads related to politics or dating sites, then just filter those categories out. Instead, focus your ad impressions on the types of ads your visitors are interested in.

I don’t know when Google added this feature into AdSense, but I didn’t see it available until I re-installed AdSense on my Blog a few weeks ago.

To see what kind of categories are performing best for you, and to see where your ad impressions are going, login to your AdSense account and go to “AdSense Setup > Ad Review Center > Category Filters”.

Google Certified Ad Networks

Yet another somewhat hidden feature to AdSense is that Google has now partnered with a whole bunch of ad networks to display ads on your Blog. What this means is that AdWords advertisers now have to compete with other ad networks for your advertising spots.

This is a huge benefit to AdSense publishers, and from what I’ve seen in my account, it’s something that is automatically turned on.

There is a way to filter out ad networks if you wish to do that. You can go in and see a listing of all the ad networks that Google has partnered up with right inside your AdSense account and block any or all of these networks from having access to show ads on your Blog.

Here is a screenshot of what that looks like:

AdSense Ad Networks

Here’s a video that Google released talking about AdSense Ad Networks:

With Google partnering up with all these ad networks, I think it’s going to become more and more profitable to show AdSense ads on your Blog.

Google AdSense and Google Analytics Integration

This is probably my favorite new feature of AdSense. Integrating my AdSense statistics with Google Analytics allows me to see things such as:

Top AdSense content that’s me money
Percentage of AdSense revenues from each piece of content
Top AdSense referrers showing me what are my most profitable AdSense traffic sources
Trends graphs showing me daily revenue trends

This video does a much better job explaining what you can see in AdSense now:

And here’s a video that Google released on how to link your AdSense and Google Analytics:

New Google AdSense Interface

Google AdSense is now also beta testing a new AdSense interface. If you’ve ever used the old AdSense interface, I’m sure you’ll agree that it was clunky and annoying.

The new interface looks a lot sleeker and seems to be working fine for me even though it’s still in beta testing.

Here’s a screen-shot of the new interface I got from Google’s Blog:

New AdSense Interface

As you can see it’s much sleeker and more useful than the old AdSense interface. Although the integration with Analytics will take care of some of these stats already, having a quick glance overview of your earnings just by logging into your AdSense account is really useful.


Adsense As a Revenue Source

In the first two articles I covered the first two reasons why I have reinstalled AdSense on my Blog. If you haven’t had a chance to check those out yet, you can find them here and here.

Now, moving onto the third reason why I decided to give AdSense another shot on my Blog…
Internet Experience Has a Short Shelf Life

As an Internet entrepreneur, one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is to test quickly, test often, and to test everything.

A lot of Internet entrepreneurs have learned this lesson and are doing this. Whenever they launch a new product or website, or whenever some kind of new tool comes out they’ll give it a test to see if it works out for them. Once they run some tests they make some judgments and make some decisions based on those judgments.

However, what a lot of Internet entrepreneurs fail to do is to go back and re-test things that they previously tested. For example, I’ve spoken to some Bloggers who have tried AdSense back in 2007 or 2008 and had no luck with it, so they don’t want to bother with it right now.

The flaw in their thinking is that the Internet today is the same Internet that was around in 2008. However, that just isn’t true. The Internet is changing so quickly that you have to be willing to go back and re-test things that you previously already tested.

Essentially, we have to accept the fact that any “data” that we’re using to make our decisions which is more than 12 months old is most likely only 50% accurate, and any data that is more than 24 months old is probably only 20% accurate etc. The shelf life on Internet based “experience” is so short that you can’t afford to be constantly making decisions based on “old data”.

How to Tell if You’re Relying on Outdated Data / Experience

As a Blogger, if you look at the major decisions that went into designing your Blog, how many of them were made more than 12 months ago? How about more than 24 months ago?

Look at those decisions and ask yourself – “How do I know this is STILL the best decision for my Blog today?”

For example, how many of the plugins that you are using on your Blog right now were decided upon more than 24 months ago? How do you know if there aren’t any better plugins right now?

When was the last time you ran some split tests on your home page?

When was the last time you looked at your design?

If you decided to ignore Facebook or Twitter two years ago, have you reconsidered them?

If you decided to implement Facebook and Twitter into your business strategy, have they performed as well as you expected? Are they still worth spending your energy on?

These are just a few examples of the types of questions we must ask ourselves, otherwise we end up getting left behind.

My decision to test AdSense again on my blog was based on the fact that when someone asked me why I didn’t have AdSense on my Blog, I was giving them my opinion on why I think AdSense sucks based on old outdated data. Halfway through my conversation with them I realized that what I was sharing with them was “old experience”, and it could be totally wrong. So instead I told them to test and see, instead of making judgments based on my “old experience”.

It’s not easy to question your own experience because as human beings we are always so defensive about our beliefs and what we believe to be true. However, in the fast-paced world we live in today we can’t afford to be stubborn and unwilling to change. We have to always question our old beliefs and adapt to the new world.

One of the most known sayings of self-help guru Tony Robbins is “The Future Does NOT Equal the Past” and there is a lot of truth associated with it. This especially rings true for the distant past, and especially when we are referring to Internet technologies.

If we are to thrive online, we must embrace change and always be willing to test things again and again and again.

So, that’s it in a nutshell. Besides the first two reasons I already mentioned in the first post and second post in this series, the third reason I re-installed AdSense on my Blog to test it out is so that I had new data from to decide from.

If AdSense ends up being ineffective for me, that’s fine but at least I can rest assured knowing that I tried it out in 2010. It doesn’t take too long to do a test and really I have nothing to lose. If the improvements in AdSense don’t help much, then that’s fine but at least I will not be guessing about that using antiquated data. I’ll be making decisions based on current data.

This is a good discipline to have about every aspect of your online business, not just AdSense.


Adding Adsense to a Blog

I talked about the first reason for doing so being that while CPC costs going up means bad news for affiliate marketers, it also means good news for AdSense content producers.

This isn’t a short-term trend either. I believe that the way it was before, where PPC affiliates were making a huge spread on buying and selling traffic, was rather skewed. The direction that things are moving in right now makes more sense, since the real value for consumers on the Internet comes from two places:

The content producers who produce great quality content – whether that be blog posts, reviews, videos, podcasts or anything else. (information)
The products or services being sold to the consumer. (products & services)

Everyone else in between are just “middle-men” that don’t really produce content, or offer products or services. There is nothing wrong with being a “middle-man”, as I earn part of my income being an affiliate marketer, so I have a lot of respect for the affiliate marketing industry, but I’m just trying to point out that the trend is going to continue in the direction of “squeezing” the middle-man margins down.

For more information on this, please read my first Adsense article which talks about this first reason why I re-installed Adsense on my Blog

In this article I want to talk about the second reason, which is…
Significant Improvements in AdSense Ads Audience Targetting

Ask any Blogger who used to run AdSense and then ditched it and they will tell you the same thing:

“AdSense sucks. It showed the same crappy ads on my site and nobody ever clicked on them.” – Typical Blogger

Everything has now changed.

I have recently learned that Google has been making some significant improvements in the AdSense ads targeting algorithms.

Some of these improvements I saw as an AdWords advertiser which allowed me to accurately target all kinds of cool demographics for my ads.

For example, did you know that you can create campaigns on AdWords which will only show your ads to 40-49 year old males with an income greater than $50k and only from the hours of 2am and 3am?

This is just one example, but there have been some huge improvements to the way that AdWords advertisers can target specific niche markets and very specific demographics. What that means is more relevant ad targeting for your audience.

For example, if your site is visited by a predominantly male audience, ads that target males will probably produce more clicks right? There is no sense showing ads that target 14 year old teenage girls, on a Blog that is primarily visited by 40 year old males right?

So, the trend towards more finely tuned ad placement by Google will result in more money in the pockets of the AdSense publisher.

Remember, Google gets 32% of the earnings (source) on your AdSense earnings from your Blog content (you get 68%), so they have a vested interest in improving your AdSense earning! They are this silent partner of yours who has an interest in making your income go up. I think that’s a good deal. 🙂

By displaying the most relevant ads possible to a visitor, Google is going to continue to increase the value that an AdWords advertiser gets, which in turn will increase the CPC costs on each click. See, in the past an AdWords advertiser might only be willing to pay $0.25/click on mostly “untargeted” traffic, but today they might be willing to pay $10/click or even $50/click or higher if they know that the click is coming from the demographic they are targeting.

Why Accurate Targeting Matters

Accurate targeting of advertising ads is hugely important for everyone. The more accurate we can be with advertising, the more everyone wins.

Consumers win with targeted adverting because we are presented with ads that are relevant to us. As a man, think about how much time you’ve spent in your life watching feminine hygiene product commercials on TV. I mean, do we really need to see those commercials? We’re totally clueless about those things even if we watch the commercials anyways, so what’s the point? As a woman, how many times have you seen ads for stuff that really means nothing to you?

And those two examples are just related to male/female demographic data. Add in age demographics and things get more relevant. As a male in his 30’s do I really need to be seeing denture cream ads?

Add in demographic information such as whether or not I’m married and/or have kids and now the ads targeting me can be even more relevant. I don’t need to see diaper commercials – I don’t have kids. I’d be much more interested in some kind of dog related product for my dog Zoe or some cool tech gadget.

With TV advertising, there are limitations as to how targeted the ads can get, but on the Internet things can get very accurate.

I know some people might object to the fact that by targeting ads more closely to who you are, advertisers will be able to more easily “manipulate” us into buying their products, so accurate targeting is not a good thing – but I for one would love to live in a world where I never see another feminine hygiene commercial again. If I must watch commercials, at least make them about something I am interested in.

As an AdSense publisher, the more accurate that the advertising gets, the more clicks it will produce. That’s a win for us as content publishers.

Even More Cool Ninja Stuff Google is Doing With AdWords

As cool as demographical targeting is, there are much cooler things that Google is doing in terms of ad targeting.

Did you know that Google is now able to target ads based on people’s browsing history?

Yes, it’s true. Google is watching you. 🙂

Google is now tracking what you’re browsing and basing the ads you see on the types of sites you visited in the last few hours. Google announced this change to AdSense in February (source).

Two reasons why browsing history targeting is cool for AdSense users:

(1) You Can Focus on Content That You’re Passionate About

A long time ago, way back in like 2005, a lot of people started producing “made for AdSense” websites which targeted keywords with high CPC’s – instead of building real websites with real value about things they were really passionate about.

Meaning, if you wanted to make money with AdSense, and you were passionate about energy healing for example, you could start a Blog about energy healing but your Blog might not make a lot of money with AdSense. Why?

Well, the reason your energy healing Blog might not make a lot of money on Adsense is because that “niche” market might not have a lot of AdWords advertisers paying high CPC’s for related keywords. So when Google indexed your pages and saw that your site was about energy healing, it would show ads related to energy healing and your Adsense earnings could stink. (this is just an example)

Contrast that with starting a Blog in a much more “profitable” AdSense niche such as “divorce attorneys” for example. If you started a Blog that talked about divorce attorney related information, you could make way more money in that niche with the same amount of traffic compared to your energy healing niche.

This kind of thing led to a whole crapload of “spammy” websites being created with “content” (if you can really call it that) on high profit keyword topics, written by people who have zero passion for the topic itself.

In fact, at one point a few years back if you went to a website and saw Adsense advertising, it was almost a sure indicator of “crappy” content. At least it was to me. There were exceptions of course, but for the most part a lot of the highest AdSense earning sites weren’t the best sites with the best content – they were just sites in highly profitable niches.

Today, as content publishers we can focus on providing real, valuable content in whatever niche we are passionate about knowing that the “niche” we are in, is no longer the sole indicator that Google uses for determining which ads to display.

Meaning, using browsing history, Google can target people with ads based on their browsing history and not your site. This is such an important point, and it my opinion it’s a game changer. I don’t think many people really realized this in February when Google announced it (I know I didn’t), but this is going to be a huge benefit to “real value” content producers.

Read the following sentence and really try to grasp the implications of it as an AdSense publisher.

AdSense is now about what interests your visitor, and not what your site is about.

That means that it is possible for Google to show divorce attorney ads on an energy healing site, if Google deems them to be relevant to that specific visitor, even if your site is about something totally unrelated to divorce attorneys.

In my opinion, that’s frick’n brilliant!

We no longer have to try to write content that’s “profitable”. We can simply write about what we’re passionate about and just focus on attracting a large audience. Then, Google will determine the best ads to show each specific person! Instead of one type of ad for each of your visitors, they can show a thousand different ads to a thousand different visitors.

(2) Repeat Traffic Is Now a Good Thing!

If the first reason why browsing history is cool got you excited – this will really get you pumped – especially if you’re a Blogger.

Bloggers build sites that target repeat visitors. Previously, repeat visitors weren’t very profitable for Adsense because they quickly became blind to your ads.

When Google AdSense targeted ads purely based on the content of your pages, your visitors always saw the same types of ads. A repeat visitor that came to your site 100 times in a month used to see the same or similar ads 100 times.

Meaning, if I went to a “Make Money Online” type Blog, I always seemed to see the same ten ads I saw on every other “Make Money Online” Blog. If I visited that Blog 100 times in a month I would see the same ads 100 times.

That pretty much led to “banner blindness” or “AdSense blindness”, because even if I clicked on those ads once on one Blog to check them out, I probably wouldn’t be interested in clicking on them again and again.

Now with browser history targeting, Google will not only show different ads to different people – they will also show different ads to different people at different times!

If one of your visitors visits a bunch of car dealership sites for example, because they are looking to purchase a new vehicle, they might be shown an ad from Honda or Mazda when they arrive at your Blog. A few days later, if they are looking at baby cribs before visiting your site, they might actually be shown baby-related ads when they visit your Blog.

Different ads, for different people, at different times.

Isnt’ that cool?

Regardless whether or not we go with AdSense for such amazing advancements, or whether other players pop up in the marketplace to compete with Google on this, I think the days of manually selling advertising on your Blog are numbered.

I mean, honestly, why would anyone want to buy an ad on your Blog for a month, showing the same banner to every visitor of yours regardless how relevant that ad is, when they can get laser-precision targeted spots on other Blogs (like this one) running AdSense with accurate reports, demographic targeting, web history targeting, and the works.

Manually selling ads on your Blog is so 2007, it’s not even funny.

I still do it if anyone’s interested, but honestly you’re probably better off targeting my site on AdSense.


Giving Adsense a Try

I’m giving Adsense another try on my Blog.

I gave Adsense a chance on my Blog a few years back, and ended up giving up on it after finding other monetization strategies more useful for my Blog audience.

However, the online landscape is always evolving and I’m giving Adsense another chance based on some recent research I’ve done on the subject.

Here is reason #1 why I’m giving AdSense another chance:
Secret Ninja Learnings From My PPC Affiliate Marketing Days

In 2009 I spent tens of thousands of dollars with Google AdWords, targeting the content network – in other words Adsense publishers. While I was learning the ins and outs of the AdWords platform as a way to buy and drive traffic for affiliate sites, I made a couple very important observations.

First of all, I realized that the AdWords landscape is very competitive and things are just getting more and more competitive. Affiliate margins are shrinking and CPC costs are going up. As CPC costs go up, margins for affiliates are shrinking while margins for AdSense publishers (and Google) are increasing.

Let’s use this example.

Imagine if I was paying $1.50/click on a PPC campaign running on the AdSense network.

Let’s say that this $1.50/click put me at the 2nd position in an AdSense box. If I tried to lower my CPC down to $1.45/click for example, I might fall to the 3rd position or the 4th position and may not even be seen at all. That’s how competitive things are on AdWords right now. You can’t just go out there and buy $0.10/clicks anymore.

Of course, there are exceptions to this, but for the majority of the campaigns I ran as an affiliate, there was a lot of competition.

Now, on that $1.50/click CPC I may have only been earning about $1.65/click. Meaning, I may only be making a margin of $0.15/click on that as an affiliate.

On a few occasions, I remember thinking… “Man, I’m working so hard to make a $0.15/click spread on this and taking all the risk of trying to convert this traffic and make it work. However, the AdSense publisher is getting free traffic from SEO optimization efforts and look at their margins!”

Meaning, in the example above, with my margin of $0.15 I would be making $15 in profit for every 100 clicks.

However, how much is Google and the AdSense publisher making on those same clicks?

Well, here’s what we know.

We know that the clicks are costing $1.50/click so that means that Google and the AdSense publisher are splitting $150 from 100 clicks.

Last month, Google announced that they pay AdSense publishers 68% of the revenue share, so out of $150 that the AdWords affiliate spent to get 100 clicks the AdSense publisher makes $102.

That’s a lot more than the $15 I was making on the spread as an affiliate.

Once again, I want to stress that these numbers are just examples and each niche market and each campaign is different. I understand that some affiliates are making 100% ROI or even higher on their AdWords costs, but that wasn’t me and most of the people I talk to in the industry have reported the same thing – shrinking of the profit margin for affiliates.

Of course this makes sense in the grand scheme of things because PPC affiliates are really just brokering traffic. They are buying traffic from one place and selling it to another, while trying to make a profit in the middle.

There is nothing wrong with that, but it makes sense that those kinds of margins will always erode as more competition shows up to play the affiliate game.

Anyway, while I was bidding on these keywords on the Content Network, I remember having the distinct feeling that I was on the wrong side of the fence. Google values and wants to reward content producers (like Bloggers), and not traffic brokers (ie. Affiliates).

Years ago, on that same $1.65 earning per click, the distribution might look like this:

Affiliate Earnings Per Click: $1.65/click
Affiliate Profit Per Click: $1.40/click
AdWords Cost Per Click : $0.25/click
AdSense Publisher Keeps: $0.17/click
Google Keeps: $0.08/click

Today that same campaign might look more like this:

Affiliate Earnings Per Click: $1.65/click
Affiliate Profit Per Click: $0.15/click
AdWords Cost Per Click : $1.50/click
AdSense Publisher Keeps: $1.02/click
Google Keeps: $0.48/click

These are not super accurate numbers from all across the board in all niche markets.

These are simply some observations I made from some of my previous campaigns. I could be totally off on the specific numbers but I do believe I am right about the trend – being that it is becoming way more lucrative being an Adsense Publisher / Content Producer than an AdWords affiliate.

Once again, I will re-iterate that to me this move to reward the content producers makes total sense.

The content publisher, (ie. Blogger) has to spend a lot of time producing good quality content so he should make a big chunk of that pie in my opinion.

It’s important to note here that the $1.65/click earnings I’m talking about here in the example is what the affiliate might get paid out from an affiliate network. Of course the affiliate network makes some money on top of that as well, and of course the original advertiser must be making more than $1.65/click if they are paying out that much as well.