Market Depth & Profit Scalability

Does how much money you make matter? Some people keep score of their success in terms of dollars, but I still prefer to measure how I am doing in links over money because I think that having a large reach and fast feedback loop will lead to more learning, opportunity, and economic stability than just having a chunk of cash in hand.

The amount of cash you can make from a market is largely dependant on the size of a market and how scalable your business model is. Search works with just about everything and is pretty damn automated. And thus Google is worth about as much as Yahoo!, eBay,, Ford, and GM combined. I have a site about academic stuff that is comfortably over $100 eCPM. I have another site in a different niche in that vertical and the site makes next to nothing for the traffic it has, sporting a completely worthless $15 eCPM. SEO Book does decently well on the financial front (especially because it leads to a ton of indirect revenue streams), but most people do not want to learn SEO. Beginners to the market prefer a tool that provides some alleged secret advantage and established people think they know everything already. For as aggressively as I market this site, how much time I spend on it, and its level of market saturation the site makes nowhere near as much as some of my other projects. I partner in other ideas that have far more potential because they are far easier to scale and/or are in markets that are much larger in nature.

Some people looked at the $132,000 AdSense check that Shoemoney posted a picture of and asked how is that even possible. The thing is, for as well as he is doing there are still others that are even doing way better. In a few years he will probably be making way more than he is today. After you get beyond self sustaining it is all just an issue of scalability, market value, and market depth. And testing and tracking of course, if you are seriously scaling things out.

When I saw Shoemoney post that check I believed it was true because I have seen pieces of so many markets and kinda understand the whole scalability concept. I also have made thousands of dollars by accidentally misspelling a casino name. Some markets just have a boatload of money in them.

I chat with Jeremy from time to time, and one day he decided to show me how easy it was to make money from ringtones. I gave him my AdCenter login and $5,000 to play with. He let me pick a domain name out of a small list. I thought sounded the spammiest, and thus chose it. :)

He guaranteed that I would make money and said he would reimburse click cost and split the profits in half. In the month the test was active the spend was $1,500 and at the end of the month I got a check for $4,721.60.

Of course the value was not in the cheesy landing page, but in the ~ 200K keywords he uploaded to the account. It takes some serious resources to gather that much market data, but if you can create a way to gather relevant search queries and bid on them before the competition saturates your market you can make great profits. Having unique data sources is like having great link authority. It provides you a business advantage that is hard to replicate and highly profitable in high value verticals.

Published: August 17, 2006 by Aaron Wall in marketing


August 17, 2006 - 9:55pm

You might want to remove Jeremy's URL from the post. Anyone can reverse IP it and find some of his high money sites. I think he tries to be careful about letting those domains out.

August 17, 2006 - 10:01pm

Also, while that 132K was impressive, you have to realize that since he is heavy into ppc arbitrage, that amount was gross revenue. Who knows how much he spent on PPC to get there.

August 18, 2006 - 2:32am

I'm not really into search as a sport. Money can be an indicator of success but certainly not the only one or the most important. However, I along with 90% of the rest of the population probably wouldn't be too interested in search if it wasn't for the $$$.

August 18, 2006 - 2:28pm

I guess the ringtone people were really happy with the AOL data leak.

January 21, 2007 - 9:51pm

Thanks for the great information and the great article. 200K keywords would generate some significant traffic.

August 18, 2006 - 4:30pm

I'd really be interested to know how Jeremy generated that 200K keyword list. I've been investigating tools like Keywordelite for this very purpose.

Aaron, do you have any spies looking over Jeremy's shoulder? Maybe they can share some secrets :)

January 21, 2007 - 9:53pm

You say you had 200K keywords, but how many ads where created? One or many? Also how many campaigns?

Alex K
August 18, 2006 - 4:46pm

is there such a thing as a "dictionary attack" on PCC keyword lists? i.e. literally adding a huge, random list of words. If you find a revenue generator with a high enough conversion rate across a broad range, why not just throw in everything including the kitchen sink?

I just started getting into adsense to try and sell some pay-per-download stuff so I'm wondering whether using apparently unrelated keywords will do anything. Right now I'm only using a few very obvoius and targeted keywords, but the traffic is tiny so far. From this experience could you say that I might even be able to convert on left-field, apparently nonsensical keywords?

August 18, 2006 - 5:43pm

All you have to do is think about it logically. First, do a little bit of keyword research to find every variation of the keyword "ring tone" including misspellings, variations, multi-word variations etc.

After this point you should have something like 3000 keywords. Next, do a search on "music artists" and gather a list of every artist you can - pop, rap, country, everything. There's got to be at least 2000 artists out there. Next write a quick script to append each artist to each keyword.

Next do a search for every artists album and song. There you'll find another 15,000 sources of keywords to combine with your ringtones keywords.

Now lets do the math. (3000 x 2000 = 6 million keywords) + (3000 x 15000 = 45 million keywords) for a grand total of 51 million keywords.

Theres your long tail plain and simple.

August 18, 2006 - 6:51pm

Yes I agree with you, having fresh keywords can be very great for starting a website without any competitors.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me !

Alex K
August 20, 2006 - 12:55am

@ startlaunch- After making the above comment I thought about it for a little while and came to almost the same conclusion as you - run a little script or something to spit out a list of every combination and permutation of ringtone and popular artists. A pretty trivial task if you know basically any programming language. Well... I'll let you know whether I can duplicate aaron's results in about a month... ;)

August 20, 2006 - 11:04pm

Shawn: "just bought a mac and never installed AOL IM. Guess I should figure that out :-)"

You can use iChat with your AIM account.

October 24, 2006 - 11:26pm

Amazing, Jeremy knows his market so well. He knows what will work and what will not work. And this is even AdCenter, not YPN or Adwords. Now, I think I should starting thinking on how to manage PPC keyword list well.

August 17, 2006 - 5:27am

#1 - Long time no talk. I read your site every day, just bought a mac and never installed AOL IM. Guess I should figure that out :-)

#2 - $132k Adsense Check...that's amazing. But it does kind of scare me seeing that and how saturated the internet advertising/adsense world will become in the years to come.

August 17, 2006 - 6:22am


those ~200K keywords must have included the long tail of ring tones searches. i'm sure there's more from the recent AOL database search records :-)

care to share some of jeremy's keyword resources?


January 7, 2007 - 3:35am

Shoemoney is amazing..I'd love an opportunity like Neil Patel got...visit him at the Shoemoney bat cave!

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