One of the biggest mistakes I ever made with blogging was thinking that Google Adsense would change my life. I thought that I was actually going to make money with blog ads.
You've probably seen ads on some of your favorite websites. These appear as text ads, display ads, popups, videos, and banners. As a consumer you HATE seeing ads, but for some reason as publishers we LOVE the idea of putting ads on our blogs.
Ads will do more harm than good for 99% of bloggers.
Don't quote me on that exact percentage… but if there are over 150 Million blogs on the internet I'd be willing to bet 149 Million of those aren't making a full time income from Adsense.
So why do we fall in love with the idea of Google Adsense?!
We fall in love with ads because of how easy it is.
All you do is sign up for Google Adsense, download a simple plugin for WordPress, and have your ads automatically inserted into all your blog articles.
Then we have this idea that people will come flooding in to our site, click on those ads, and we'll make hundreds of dollars.
I'm going to explain to you why Google Adsense is a bad idea (for most of you) and why you should remove blog ads immediately!
The real revenue from Google Adsense
Let's look at actual numbers from Google Adsense.
Let's say your average CPC (Cost Per Click) for an ad on your blog earns you $0.25.
To earn $100,000 a year from Google Adsense you would need to earn $274 per day.
That equals 400,000 clicks per year on ads, or approximately 1,000 clicks per day.
If your page CTR (Click Thru Rate) or the rate at which people who see an ad actually click on it is 1% (average) you would need 100,000 page views PER DAY!!!
Now you are probably not getting 100,000 page views per day as a new blogger, so let's look at 1,000 page views per month.
If you were getting 1,000 page views per month on your new blog (and you had Adsense on your site) you'd earn approximately $2.50 per month from ads.
Do NOT put ads on your new blog
You actually won't even qualify for Google's Adsense program unless your blog has been online for 6 months (or you're getting a certain amount of traffic).
But for some reason as SOON as we qualify for Adsense, we start plugging ads into our articles wherever we can!
This has to stop.
The $2.50 or even $10 a month you're making from Adsense IS NOT WORTH IT!!!
Your #1 goal as a new blogger with limited traffic is to provide a great experience to your readers!
You hate seeing ads on websites you visit, and people hate seeing them on your site too!
You will do far more damage than good by including ads too early. They aren't making you enough money to justify the bad user experience you're providing to your readers.
When you're The Huffington Post or Mashable, feel free to start using Adsense in your articles. But for now – keep it clean.
But money is money…right?
Money is only as good as it's worth.
I have a friend who lived in Zimbabwe for 2 years and he once mailed me a $1,000,000,000 bill for fun. It was worth like $0.005 USD.
The tiny amount of money you're making from Adsense isn't worth what you could be making by providing a better experience to your readers and increasing your traffic.
When I see a new blog with a lot of Google ads I know they're desperate to monetize. They don't have a good strategy for monetizing their blog other than putting ads in their content and hoping people click on them.
Blog ads can and WILL be a nice little addition to your income, but now is not the time.
Doesn't Google reward sites using Adsense with SEO?
I get why people think that Google might reward their site with higher rankings. Logically it makes sense…
Google wants to make money. They make money from advertisers. I have ads on my site. If they boost my site's ranking my ads will get shown more and it will make them more money!
It makes sense… But it's not true.
In fact having too many Google Ads on your website can actually HURT your SEO!
User experience, time on page, exit rate, page load speed, and many other factors are much more important for SEO. Negative effects from ads can hurt all these ranking factors and hurt your SEO.
Don't take my word for it though. From Google themselves:
“Google does not, not, repeat NOT give a higher ranking to websites which run AdSense. They’re completely independent. It’s not the case that if you run AdSense you get any kind of boost in a ranking or anything like that.” — Matt Cutts (former Google Engineer)
What to do instead of Google Adsense
A better strategy to make money from your blog early on is through affiliate marketing.
Look for businesses that align with your blog niche and find creative ways to implement their products in your blog. You can write product reviews, tutorials, or just simply mention that you use the product.
Affiliate links look much more natural, fit with the theme and topic of your blog, and won't get in the way of your content. Not to mention that you'll make a lot more money!
You'll make more money writing a review for one of your favorite products (which pays you a $10 affiliate commission) than you would by writing a similar article and just including Google ads.
If you're not getting a lot of traffic to your blog, stay away from Google Adsense until you've increased your traffic to a significant amount. Ads from Google usually don't fit well with your content, they look spammy, and create a poor user experience on your website.