Category Archives: Google AdSense

September Google AdSense Payments Delayed: Finally, An Answer . . .

I just got the following email from Google regarding the delay of payment that I and many others have been experiencing as it pertains to our September 2011 earnings. I’m glad to hear that there is a resolution to the matter and I’m sure that I’m not alone in looking forward to the one-time mid-month payment.

Thank you Google!

Hi,

We’re writing to follow up with some important updates about your AdSense account. A recent bug affected the earnings and payments of some publishers who have Affiliate Network and/or YouTube listed as an “Active product” under the “Account Settings” page in their account.

While your aggregate September and October earnings are correct, you’ve probably noticed that they aren’t displaying properly on your Payments page. Most accounts affected by this issue will display September and October earnings as a single “September earnings” line-item on the Payments page. For example, if you received $50.00 of earnings in September and $60.00 of earnings in October, you’ll see a single line item that reads: “Earnings (Sep 1 – Sep 30) – $110.00.” As a result, while it might appear that your October earnings are missing, they’re actually displayed as part of your September earnings. Unfortunately, your September and October 2011 earnings will permanently display in this way. This is a one-time discrepancy, and moving forward, all future monthly earnings should be displayed correctly.

You can verify the total amount of your unpaid balance and estimate your monthly earnings totals by customizing a report on the Performance Reports page of your account. Please keep in mind that as usual, estimated earnings may include earnings that were subsequently removed due to invalid activity. Therefore, your estimated earnings may not exactly match the sum that appears on your Payments page.

For all active accounts that experienced a payment delay and whose September and October earnings exceeded the payment threshold, we will send a special mid-November payment. This payment will include all of your unpaid earnings from September and October, replacing the November payment that would have typically gone out in late November. To ensure that you’re eligible to receive this payment, please log into your AdSense account as soon as possible and remove any holds.

Going forward, your earnings should be paid out according to our normal payment schedule. If your November 30th unpaid balance exceeds the payment threshold, your next payment will be issued in late December.

We take all issues affecting your earnings and payments very seriously and apologize for any inconvenience that this has caused. Thank you for your ongoing patience and understanding throughout this process.

Sincerely,
The Google AdSense Team

He’s Back . . .

Hey all. After a much needed vacation, I returned home to be bombarded by various headaches that popped out of nowhere. I have been dealing with these and am now ready to jump back in! I’m back!

Breaking News: Google Sued Over Sponsored Links

I must mention an article that I just came upon, titled Google faces landmark lawsuit over sponsored links. This article talks about a lawsuit facing Google, that could alter the way many of us make money online. If you use Google Adsense / Adwords, I suggest you read it and familiarize yourself with what is going on. Keeping up with news like that presented in this piece is essential for anyone who uses the internet as a tool to make money.

We’ll see you again very soon . . .

Fight Fire With Fire: Hitting Sploggers Back Where it Hurts

This week, another SPLOG popped up that included stolen copyrighted content from one of my other blogs. This time, I was pretty annoyed. Normally, when I discover that a splog has stolen content from one of my sites, I’ll request they remove the content with a CC to their host. I don’t really go after them in the pocketbook because most of these sites are clearly from people who don’t know any better. Their contact info is easily accessable, revealing that they are not trying to hide from anyone.

This guy not only had Google AdSense ads all over the site, but also Kontera’s In-Text links.

You’d Think Both Google and Kontera Would Screen Their Publishers!

As the thief had clearly hidden their identity both on the site, and through their registrar, I decided this one was worth nailing; he was clearly hiding from people like me and he needs to be busted! In addition to contacting his host, DreamHost, to let them know, I also emailed both Google and Kontera to inform them of of the violations to their respective TOS and demonstrated how and where this guy was stealing my content. Some people create SPLOGS without knowing that they are doing wrong. This guy clearly knew it and took all the proper steps to make sure no one could find him . . .

Now, I’m waiting to see who takes care of this thief:

  1. His host, DreamHost
  2. Google (AdSense)
  3. Kontera

Who do you think will nail this Jerk first?

Selected Useful Reads from the Problogger Group Writing Project (Filtered for your reading pleasure)

It is hard to go very far without running into a site with entries in Darren Rowse’s latest group writing project; it was a huge hit with close to 900 entries. While it is great that people are linking to one another from this thing, it seems that many involved in the project are simply linking to the entire list of submissions. While I did participate (on another blog) and don’t ever mind new backlinks, I’m a bit disappointed that people haven’t really broken this thing down a bit.

Why link to every post? While many were good, there were some really bad posts in that batch. Do you really want to link to (and give your support to) blogs that don’t make the cut? I went through the entire list a few times to pull out posts that I thought would be interesting or helpful for the readers of this blog.

Here are a few that I felt were actually useful and worth a read (yes, I actually read every internet related post on the list!):

What I thought was most impressive was that many of these great posts were written by fairly unknown bloggers. This is another sign that there will always be great new talents emerging in the blogging world and you must keep exploring to find them!

I make it a habit to support my fellow bloggers through both socializing their posts and visiting their advertisers when appropriate. Make sure you do the same! While linking is great, these things are just as important!

Finally, I’d like to mention that many of the blogs I went through were still using Blogger or some other hosted blog solution, and many others were making some of the most basic blogging mistakes. If you haven’t already, read the The Top 77 Mistakes New Bloggers Make so you’re not out there making some of these yourself!

Reasons Why You Should Explore Alternates to Adsense

While the king of internet publishing advertising networks remains Google’s AdSense, there are other ad networks that can make you more money. You should not only optimize the design of your ads, but also the network serving them.

You should test and retest different advertising networks (like AdBrite, Adsense, YPN, etc.) until you find that you have optimized your EPC (earnings per click). Once you’ve done that, test and retest again. Don’t just assume that you are going to make the most money using AdSense . . .

Use YPN if Your Audience is from the USA

YPN is still not paying publishers for clicks outside the US, so if your site concentrates on an international audience, it is probably not the network for you. If you do have a sizable concentration of viewers in the United States, I highly suggest trying it out.

Here’s one reason why:

This weekend I removed my AdSense ads from one of my blogs and replaced it with YPN ads. Although traffic was slow (happens on the holidays), my advertising revenue for the blog was over twice that of an average day while I served AdSense. I have many months of data to review, but the numbers speak for themselves. I’m going to obviously continue to watch the blog and see how things continue.

My Complaint with YPN

The only problem I’m having with YPN, and one of the reasons why I believe the network is not respected by the online world yet is that there still seems to be a lack of advertisers. I’ve noticed the same 5 ads running on site each time I’ve visited. This can certainly get old to our viewers. I hope that Yahoo can get their act together and start competing with Google; right now, they are not even in the same league. I think it is time for a radical restructuring; Yahoo needs to target publishers and give them a reason to switch over, or they should consider selling off their ad network to someone who can come up with some fresh ideas to compete with Google. At this rate, sadly, it looks like they are going nowhere and fast.

Why AdSense?

Like I mentioned earlier, while my Google ads are not paying as much as YPN ads, there is a much greater inventory. I have a feeling that the increase in revenue I’m seeing from YPN will be short-lived. As my readers find that the ads have grown stale, they will stop visiting them. The benefits of greater inventory, in my mind, will prevail over the long term for this reason.

Giant List of Website Advertising Networks – Make Money Online

Making money with your website is easy, provided you’ve got good content and some traffic. I wanted to create a list of the various advertising networks you can use to generate some cash from your site or blog.

Top-Tier Pay Per Click – PPC

Blog Advertising Networks

Broad Networks

  • Blue Lithium – CPM, CPC, CPA – Top Rated Network

Advertising Inventory Management Platforms

Interactive Product Merchandising Networks

Text Link Ad Networks

Top Tier Cost Per Mille Networks – CPM

In-Text Advertising Networks

Affiliate Advertising Programs – Cost Per Action (CPA)

Secondary PPC Networks

Additional Ad Networks – Untested and Unknown

  • BidVertiser – bidding based ad marketplace

  • BlueFN – CPA Network for Finance-Related sites
  • Clicksor – contextual CPC network
  • Directa Network – ads for Latin & Hispanic Marketplace
  • eType USA – “premium” ad network
  • ExpoActive – ad management network – CPC, CPM
  • FluxAds – CPA (cost per action) a.k.a. affiliate network
  • HyperBidder – Advertising trading marketplace
  • – PPC contextual & trargeted
  • InterClick – CPM ad model
  • Mirago – PPC contextual – Based in Britain
  • Oxado – Contextual ads – based in Paris
  • Quigo – Seems to work with large publishers only
  • Real Tech Network – CPM & PPC
  • RevenuePilot – PPC & PFP (pay per performance)
  • RightMedia – “transparent ad exchange” network
  • SearchFeed.com – PPC
  • TargetPoint – PPC – contextual ads
  • TMP Express

If you’ve got any more, let me know. I’ll try and keep the list updated as new ones come around.

The Four Phases of Web Success

internet growth

Internet people use measures of success that are somewhat different then those of common-folk. We’re not concerned about having the biggest house or the fanciest car in the neighborhood. We think about things like bandwidth, unique users, page views, reach, AdSense revenues, and other mundane things like number of servers we’ve got.

I’ve broken down web success into four phases. Where do you stand?

Phase One: Shared Hosting – ROOKIE PUNK

Most webmasters start out by using a shared hosting plan. They have the joy of worrying if one of the other several hundred sites will have a traffic spike, causing their own sites to go down. You are probably asking other webmasters to link to you with some generic form email, and you want to know when you’re going to get out of that damn Google Sandbox. Most respectable webmasters don’t really take you too seriously, and don’t consider you a threat.

If you’re actually serious about building a money making website and are committed, you will likely feel the pain that shared-hosting plans cause. Good luck! If you can make it to the next phase, things get a lot easier.

Chances of Failure – Extremely High

Consider that there are millions of websites out there and most of them are useless failures. These sites for the most part, reside on shared servers. The person starting the site probably thought it would be a cinch to make some cash online, and is now realizing that retirement will not come as quickly as they thought. On the other hand, a select few will rise above the rest and will get past the shared hosting doldrums.

Phase Two: Dedicated Server – YOU’RE COOLER THEN YOUR NEIGHBOR NOW!

Once you’ve been told by your host that you are causing too many problems, or that your site is a drain on their servers, it is time to move on. Congrats! Not only have you pissed off your host, but you are now emerging as a serious webmaster. I’m guessing that you are now in the top 10th percentile of all websites.

This is always a big move, and usually marks the beginning of “web-success.” Doing so means that you’re operating a popular website or sites, and that you’re probably starting to make some decent money with that/those sites. You’ve probably started to gain some respect from others online, and webmasters in your niche will certainly take notice of you.

For the average guy, moving to a dedicated server can be very scary. You need to worry about things outside the scope of your site itself, like maintaining your server. You’ll quickly learn that it is not that big a deal. There is a certain freedom that comes with having your own box, and it should make you feel pretty good that you are officially cooler then your neighbor now!

Chances of Failure – Nominal

If you’ve made it this far, odds are that you will continue on your path to the top. Website mis-management, loss of focus/interest, or random acts of violence are your biggest threats. You can now officially show up at that high-school reunion and hold your head up high!

Phase Three: Upgraded Server – HARDCORE WEB GENIUS!

The next phase of web success is typically moving up to a better box with faster drives and more memory. Sites that are resource intensive will drain a slower machine and will start to drag when the load gets to be too great. You are now running a power box – you’re kicking ass and are taking names! Money is no longer an issue, and you’ve probably quit your job to run your web business full time. Other webmasters have begun to notice your prowess and regularly email you for advice. It is a rough ride getting to phase three, but the trials and tribulations you’ve gone through have shaped you into the hardcore web genius that you are today. There is only one direction you’re going, and that is to the very top!

Chances of Failure – If You Fail Now, Move to Siberia, Dummy!

Failure? There is no failure! You are as close to being a web-god as there is. Keep up the good work and you will soon find yourself among the internet elite.

Final Phase: Multiple Servers – WEB GURU!

The final phase in the lifespan of a website is the move to multiple servers. Your site is now a monster! Your traffic is likely as high as that of sites run by the top corporations. You are probably making a small or huge fortune with your website, and you now rank with the web elite. You are a god to the rest of the internet world and are now often called a visionary. Go back to your reunion now and laugh at that teacher who said you wouldn’t amount to anything! Offer him a job as your secretary’s secretary!

Chances of Failure – Only if an Asteroid Hits Earth or Nuclear War Breaks Out!

You are featured in magazines and have appeared for TV interviews. You are a regular panelist at web conferences, and can do no wrong.

Want to start a new site? There will be no four phases for you this time . . . Venture Capital people and Angel Investors are lined at your doorstep. Congrats. Yoda would be proud! Tell your friends like Mark Cuban, Jerry Yang, Darren Rouse, Sergei & Larry, Kevin Rose, Craig Newmark, or Bill & Melinda about the rough times over beers on their private islands.

If you’re a Phase 4 Success and are reading this, please drop me an email . . . I’d love to shoot the breeze!

Increasing AdSense Revenues by Eliminating MFA and Low Paying Sites

There are quite a few ways to increase your revenues using Google Adsense ads, and we’re going to focus on one in particular. First, I wanted to mention two articles by Darren at Problogger, How to Position AdSense Ads and How to Design Your AdSense Ads. Both articles look at place and layout of your site in relation to your ads. They cover past and present trends, and should be helpful to anyone who is just learning about positioning.

Eliminate MFA Advertisers

In addition to where and how you place your ads, your advertisers themselves will have a large effect on your total revenues. Many people make money today by creating MFA (made for adsense) websites, advertising them, and hope for enough clicks from those visitors to make this “arbitrage” profitable. These sites typically have low-paying ads, and by removing them as potential advertisers, you can increase your revenues. In addition, you also build your site’s credibility because your readers won’t get sent to crappy sites when they click on your ads.

How to Find the MFA Sites and Other Low Paying Advertisers

There is a great website called Ads BlackList that will let you plug in your site’s URL and keywords, and will return to you a list of MFA sites and other low-paying advertisers. They have a database of these sites that continues to grow and you can also subscribe for updates. While the blacklist will not get all of these sites, it is a great start!

In addition, by using an adsense preview tool, of which there are many, you can preview what ads may show up for a certain page on your site. DO NOT CLICK ON YOUR OWN ADS TO CHECK OUT YOUR ADVERTISERS! Doing so can get you banned from the AdSense program, and is fraud. If you’re using a preview tool, or are simply looking at the ads on your site, you want to remember the advertiser’s URL and manually type it into your browser. If the site is a MFA, you can bet it is not worth having around.

How Do I Eliminate These Sites Now That I Know How to Find Them?

This is the easy part. Now that you know how to find these low paying advertisers and MFAs, you want to be sure their ads don’t show on your site. Here’s what you do:

  1. Log into your AdSense account
  2. Click on the AdSense Setup tab at the top of the page
  3. Click on the Competitive Ad Filter link in the blue toolbar
  4. Start listing your unwanted advertisers in the box

You might also want to include some of your competitors sites here.

By properly designing your site, positioning your ads, and removing low-paying advertisers and MFA sites, you will be on your way to making even more money online! I have definitely seen results by removing these sites from my queue of potential adversers. I no longer see adclicks resulting in .01 revenues on a regular basis.

Remember that these sites are constantly signing up and you should always be on the prowl for new, unwanted advertisers.

Disclosure
I read a great post yesterday about increasing your AdSense revenues, but unfortunately, I made the mistake of forgetting to save/write down the source of the story. This article is where I found out about the Ads BlackList website, and was the inspiration for this piece.

The simple mistake of forgetting to quote your sources is something that I rarely do now that I’ve been blogging for some time, but it still happens to the best of us. That said, I just wanted to throw in here that it is really important to save your sources when considering writing an article.

Just a Few Internet Entrepreneurs Who Are Making Tons of Money Online

One of my new favorite bloggers, John Chow, author of the internet’s biggest google whores, recently inspired a take off, the internet’s biggest affiliate marketing whores over at StrayGeek.

What’s so special about all of these “whores” that people need to make lists of them?

They are some of the leaders in making money online with web publishing – they are entrepreneurs who should inspire you – they are getting really RICH!

The list of affiliate marketing guys:

1. Jon – Wickedfire.com
2. Darren Rowse – Problogger.net
3. Kieron Donoghue – UKoffer.com
4. Jeremy Schoemaker – Shoemoney.com
5. John Chow – TheTechZone.com
6. Neil Durrant & Paul Knapp – Submission Technology
7. Andrew Salmon – uSwitch.com
8. Simon Nixon – MoneySupermarket.com

The Google Adsense dudes:

1. Markus Frind: PlentyOfFish.com – $300,000 per month
2. Kevin Rose: Digg.com – $250,000 per month
3. Jeremy Shoemaker – $140,000 per month
4. Jason Calacanis: Weblogs, Inc. – $120,000 per month
5. David Miles Jr. & Kato Leonard – $100,000 per month
6. Tim Carter: AskTheBuilder.com – $30,000 per month
7. Joel Comm – $24,000 per month
8. Shawn Hogan – DigitalPoint.com $10,000 per month

This list is now several months old, and is likely many thousand dollars off, but it is inspiring! For all the details, read the full articles!

I went through some of the comments on these articles and added 2 more of these super marketers:

1. David Miles Jr. and Kato Leonard – Freeweblayouts.net $100,000 per month
2. Andrew Leyden – PodcastDirectory.com $30,000 to $40,000 per year.

I’m sure there are many others out there making just as much money. Lets all pay homage to these folks at the forefront of internet publishing, and maybe learn something from them!

Easily Track Your AdSense Revenue

While many of the experienced webmasters out there probably know about this, I wanted to share this with the newbies. There is a great plug-in for the Firefox browser that allows you to easily track your Google AdSense revenue without a lot of effort.

The Adsense Notifier simply shows your adsense stats on the status bar and will automatically update itself several times per hour. You get to see page impressions, number of clicks, click through rate (CTR), total revenue generated for the day and other information anytime you want, right in your browser. In addition, if you place the mouse over the Notifier stats, the tool will even show you when the next update will occur. If you’ve got several accounts with AdSense, the Notifier will show you the stats for the account which you logged into last.

I’ve found that this simple extension helps to keep me on task and stay a bit more productive, as I’m not out there logging in to Google every 20 minutes to see how well I’m doing for the day.

Charting Your Long Tail With HitTail

Looks like the National League is almost set and my Mets at least know who they won’t be facing in the playoffs this week (too bad Pedro is done for!). After a week close to death – I had a really bad reaction to Demerol after a basic medical procedure and am still suffering – I figured it was get back online and share my hell with the world.

While roiling in my own personal Hades, I jumped online and found a really cool tool called HitTail.com, which helps you to discover your underused keywords (the long tail). It is really sweet and updates live! After a day and a half, I’ve already started to find some keywords I could optimize for a little better on my sites.

My other majorly cool find earlier today was a little inspirational read about the Internet’s biggest Google whores from SlyRay. The article talks about 8 internet entrepreneurs who have made serious cash with adsense; minimum to be in the club $10,000/month! Not bad.