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Are You Actually Losing Money by Using Adsense?

Everyone knows there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of different methods that can be utilized to monetize a website. Everything from providing a service to asking for donations has been shown to boost revenue significantly. 

Today, we’re going to talk about Adsense and how it may actually be costing you money in the end, despite how much money it is actually generating. 

If you’re new to internet marketing and have never heard of Adsense, I will explain. Google offers a service that allows site owners the ability to place ads on their sites. The site owner has no control over exactly which ads are displayed, but Google usually does a fine job of ensuring it is relevant to the topic of the site in question or matches the recent search queries of the audience. Site owners are either paid per 1,000 ad views or each time someone clicks on one of the ads. Typically, it is much more lucrative when your audience members click on the links. Needless to say, if your site generates a lot of traffic, or the traffic that is generated is laser-targeted to fit the ads that are being placed, then Adsense can be outstanding. 

Unfortunately, from a marketing standpoint, it may not be the best option. For starters, unless you own a news site like CNN.com or offer a free app like Pandora Radio, then there are far more profitable routes than Adsense. 

Reason # 1 – Adsense detracts from your products. This is probably the biggest reason as to why Adsense is literally costing you money instead of making you money. For instance, say you operate a fitness website and you have a weight loss product that you are selling for $49.  Adsense knows that you are a fitness site so begins to bombard potential prospects with various offers; many of which will be your competitors.  Some ads only pay $0.20 per click. Instead of that prospect potentially purchasing your $49 product, they clicked on the ad and chose your competitor’s product instead, which gave you only $0.20. You may have gained some money, but you potentially lost a lot more. 

Reason #2 – Ads clutter up pages. Oftentimes an ad can detract from your page, making it less likely for readers to receive your message properly and even less likely that they will return. A lack of returning visitors is notoriously bad for business since it is those return visitors that grow to trust your opinion and are far more likely to purchase products/services from you. 

Ok, so what should you do instead?

Option # 1 – Create a product and focus on marketing it. There is no need to get greedy and slam ads onto your site if you already have a product. In the end, if your product is as good as you believe it to be, it will be far more bankable than ads. 

Options #2 – If you absolutely must have ads, then sell individual ad space instead of automating it with Adsense. This will allow you to have full control over which ads are placed on your site and ensure that the ads compliment your product or service, instead of having competitor’s ads that detract from your product or service. 

In the end, there is no right or wrong way to monetize a site.  However, there are ways to monetize a site that will significantly increase revenue. Who wouldn’t want that?

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About Sean Donahoe

Sean is one of the most recognized industry leaders in business and marketing. As a popular speaker, author, consultant he has helped over 50,000 students world wide find success in their businesses and has consulted with Fortune 500 companies and businesses of every size grow and thrive...


  1. Yeah, I really can’t stand that sites use adsense. This may seem wrong to some, but since I know that those crummy ads are placed there to try to “trick” me into clicking it, I completely ignore them and don’t return. You may feel otherwise, but I think a lot of people share my mutual disgust of ads that are completely useless most of the time (they take you to pages completely opposite of what you were looking for).

  2. Great… now I don’t have to think how to get approve by adsende

  3. I have to agree, I been saying this for years and still today on one page alone sometimes 5-6 different ads… I just leave…

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