Why Nobody Clicks Your AdSense Ads

I don't understand why Will Wheaton considers both Google AdSense and Federated Media as jokes for not being able to sell his ad space for more than a couple hundred a month. Consider his ads were

  • laregly irrelevant due to the nature of his site

  • tucked away in the right side bar
  • on a tech blog where nobody clicks

If you want to sell brand ads sell them yourself, or create your own product to sell. If you are selling anything else you have to integrate them into your site. I have seen a CTR in excess of 10% off a single Google AdLinks unit. Those ads were targeted, aggressively integrated, and commercially oriented. That ad unit suffered from none of the faults of Will's ad model.

You need to do more than get free subscribers to create a business model. There are always new things to talk about in the tech, gadgets, and my life categories, but most of them probably have little commercial value.

Published: May 31, 2007 by Aaron Wall in publishing & media


hem acharya
June 5, 2007 - 4:27am

People now know which are the ads and they know they have no use going to those ad site most of the time....

June 6, 2007 - 11:43pm

If I'm engaging customers on my site in a sales process why would I do anything like Ad Sense that gives them a distraction and reason to leave?

August 23, 2007 - 2:26pm

I'm having trouble with my adsense, it just seems like I always have low CPR on my topics. I'm thinking maybe better keywords in teh posts could help. Thanks for all you commentors and the blogger here!

May 31, 2007 - 9:24am

In my opinion, when you remain consumer facing and targetted adsense delivers value for publishers.

The problem with blogs is that, for example, an seo blog may pull up seo services ads when buying links and copywriting services may be more appropriate. Although the blog will inevitably get google traffic looking for services, it does not cater for the desired audience.

I feel that direct ad sales to brand advertisers are often the best way to go when you have untargetted traffic and a lack of focus - In that instance you become like traditional media.

Aoleon The Mart...
May 31, 2007 - 9:49am

Who is Will Wheaton? Just some blogger?

Aoleon The Mart...
May 31, 2007 - 9:51am

Ahhh he must be the dude from star trek! Ha!

Nick The Geek
May 31, 2007 - 11:13am

IMHO, it's not worth putting AdSense on most blogs, because it:

(1) hasn't been actively promoted, doesn't have any decent content and hence has little traffic, so no clicks or

(2) isn't focused on a "hot" subject and so CPC is extremely low

(3) People are getting wiser to AdSense and are ignoring the ads (a la banners)

Is AdSense dead? Hell, no - but I think you have to use a little more thought when and where you use it.


Nick :)

Left Brain
May 31, 2007 - 1:43pm

I have to agree with the post. It completely depends on the type of blog you are writing. We do a blog about beauty products and have been doing quite well with Adsense even though we haven't optimized the page.

It's just that the people who read our site are also interested in buying the products that Adsense promotes. If you want to make money with Adsense, you have to pick the right blog subject with a "clicking" audience.

May 31, 2007 - 4:29pm

The chances of someone clicking on your ads can be dramatically increased by correctly blending the ad unit in your blog posts. Using better keywords in your posts also increases the chances of receiving more relevant ads.

Recently I had blogged about MXPLAY player and right below the post, there was an ad unit which had the first ad showing up as 'Download MXPLAY Player'. Fortunately, I had URL channel for that post and I could see close to 80% CTR on that page alone.

If you are blogging about a product for which you may expect an Ad to show up in the Ad unit, bring the ad unit as close as possible to the content and it will work for you!

May 31, 2007 - 4:58pm

The only complete joke and colossal waste of time was reading this blog! and it is too bad he is taking up the space. - not trying to be demeaning but making money online is not a self portrait blog! nice pic :)

May 31, 2007 - 8:24pm

High CTR can occur when your Google Ads are treated as exits from the page. Entertaining, well-written blogs are less likely to have people hastily exit the site in this way. Poor blogs that feature keywords relating to highly paid clicks (web hosting, loans, estate agents etc) are more likely to have their first-time visitors exit on an advert - because there's nothing to keep them there. Sadly, this is why a lot of made-for-Adsense sites work - because they're no-content and full of exit-doors to the casual browser.

Justin Gehring
June 1, 2007 - 4:53pm

The fact that we are putting any regard on Will Wheaton (Wesley Crusher's) blog is funny... I didn't know Semi-Actor-Semi-Celeb's had any real idea on how online advertising works...

I'm surprised though that he even needs ads on his blog... I mean, a few extra bucks is nice, but isn't that what Star Trek Royalty Checks and Star Trek Convention Appearances are for.

Leo Dimilo
June 1, 2007 - 6:10pm

The problem lies in what niche you are in. If you are trying to drive traffic and use adsense as a means of monetization, you really need to choose a niche where the reader/surfer isn't as computer literate. For instance, a tech blog or marketing blog is not going to get near as many clicks (if any) as a site about fly-fishing.

June 1, 2007 - 7:33pm

Agreed if you are going to go into the business of selling advertising get creative and provide unique ad products, and let adsence be used as not the main media focus.

June 1, 2007 - 7:52pm

I think it all depends on what you are trying to do and what you call a blog. A site run on wordpress about a nich e like mortgages for people with bad credit that gets updated once a month could do very good moneywise. But indeed if you are bloging like a diary with all kinds of personal topics you shouldn't expect a moneytrain.

Adsense is tho one piece of the puzzle. If you look at the breakdown of the income of Yaro at http://www.entrepreneurs-journey.com/687/make-money-online-blogging-2/ you will see adsense is not even 15% of his total

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