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Blogging Again After A Year Hiatus…

April 9, 2010 by · 101 Comments 

It’s funny that my last post was written exactly a year ago on 9 April 2009 and here I am again.

I am still alive and kicking, just doing things in the background while I took the time out from blogging. As some of you know, this is what I do for a living, i.e. work online (not so much of a full time blogger by the way) so I’ll always be around.

For sure there are lots of new developments in the blogosphere for me to catch up to but let’s do this one thing at a time shall we 😉

While I was away, people kept coming to this blog. Nothing changes much in term of number of visitors although it’s not as busy as when I was active writing obviously. 

One thing I would like to mention is the passive income generated by this blog. There have been several purchases made for the products I promoted in my posts and advertising income from direct ad order as well as AdSense. While the amount is nothing to shout about, neither I am complaining since I don’t even have to lift a finger to earn them.

If you would like to sell advertising directly from your blog, check out the script that I use to sell banner ads from Oio Publisher. It’s not free but I think it’s one of the best investments you could ever make for your blog if you want to take control of your ads inventory.

During the time the blog was dormant, AdSense has generated USD621 from Sabahan.com alone. Yes it’s not much I know but that’s roughly the amount I am making from AdSense monthly from all my websites combined including Sabahan.com. It’s a passive income and that’s what makes it interesting to me.

I am currently concentrating on my software development side of my online business and will be releasing two new versions of my software soon.

Anyway as you may now I am an affiliate marketer and always try to find a way to do affiliate marketing more effectively. Recently I was contacted by Richard Adams, the owner of WPSplitTester.com who came up with a product to help people like us to make more money from our websites… without getting any more visitors.

I am going to do my own review of his product soon but for now if you are interested to learn more just read on the following article by Richard.

 

Affiliate Marketers: Are You Leaving Money On The Table?

If you wanted to boil affiliate marketing down to it’s simplest, you are essentially trying to attract traffic to your website and then send them through to an affiliate program where if they buy anything, you make money.

It sounds simple enough. Set up a niche site or blog about mp3 players for example, plaster it with adverts from Commission Junction or Amazon and cross your fingers that you’ll make money.

Some sites work, others don’t but over time if you keep on building your profits slowly rise.

But the problem with this process is best described as "missed opportunity".

You see, you will often find that one affiliate program converts better than another, even for the same product. Send 100 visitors to each one and it’s very likely that you will make considerably more money from one than the other. Strange but true.

Taking it another step, if you do some testing you will also normally find that some of the adverts on your website get far more clicks than others. And that adverts in certain places on your website get more clicks than adverts in other areas of your website.

So if you could find which affiliate program converts best, which advert converts best and where to place that advert on your website for best results, then got rid of everything that *didn’t* work so well, as I’m sure you can imagine you’re likely to significantly increase your affiliate marketing profits.

And remember that you don’t have to write any more content, build loads more links or spend your life trying to build up visitor numbers.

All this extra money is simply as a result of some smart testing to reveal how best to monetize your affiliate sites. Surely this is leverage at it’s best.

By now I’m sure you can see the potential of this method and are wondering how best to actually go about the testing phase.

There are two ways to go about it. The first way is to simply make manual changes to your websites and see how the results change. However not only is this not exactly scientific, but it also takes quite a bit of time and effort to constantly move adverts around, keep an eye on clickthrough rates of adverts, affiliate profits and so on.

However there is also a tool which you can use which will do most of this for you. It will make all the necessary changes to your website and track the results. Let the script do all the "heavy lifting" and you can just pull out the top-performers from the statistics area of the tool and make the necessary changes to maximize your profits.

If you’d like to learn more about the tool that I mentioned that automates 95% of the process for you, saving you time and hassle, while helping you to increase your income, click here and get a free report.

How to Monetize Your Blog & Make Money

November 5, 2008 by · 55 Comments 

I planned to write a series of articles based on a formula that in my humble opinion sums up the “secret” of success for any blog. The formula is

Blog Success = Truckloads of Traffic + Good Monetization Technique + Good User Experience

Now when it comes to blogging, I must say that I am not a full time blogger and admittedly, there are other full timers who might have put the formula into practice, whether intentionally or not, and make tons of money out of it.

JohnChow.com comes to mind when we talk about this, the guy who made USD34,350.93 from his blog in October alone.
Well, it goes to show the sky is the limit when it comes to making money from your blog.

In general, this formula works regardless of whether you are trying to make money from blogging, affiliate programs, AdSense, eBay or whatever.

Some of you may recall that a couple of month back I wrote the first article of the series titled “Traffic to your Blog – A Recipe For Success.” A follow up to the first article is long overdue and I think it’s about time for the next one in the series. The second factor that I’d like to talk about is “Good Monetization Technique”.

If you have been blogging for sometime, you may already know that there are many ways to monetize your blog. From AdSense to promoting affiliate programs, and from writing paid reviews to selling direct advertising on your blog, the choices are endless.

Rather than listing all the monetization options available under the sun, I’ll try to discuss how to best monetize your blog in general.
The first question you need to ask yourself is that do you really want to make money from your blog? Perhaps you just want to share you opinion and making money is just a secondary goal.
Or perhaps commercializing your blog will compromise your integrity as an independent blog writer and if that’s the case, then this article is not for you.

The reason I ask is that there has to be a compromise between the quality of your content and how far you are willing to sacrifice user’s experience by having advertising in your blog.

The best way to make money from your own blog would depend on your blog’s niche and the type of visitors it attracts. If I can make money from AdSense, it doesn’t mean that you too will make lots of money from AdSense, although the chances are, you probably will because it’s the most popular way to make money from blogging.

Similarly, if you can make money from paid reviews, I don’t think I can make as much from this blog because I doubt I can churn out paid reviews as fast to generate as much income as you. Not to mention the Google penalty I’m trying to avoid for writing paid reviews in my blog.

 

So What Works Best For You?

The trick is to test to see what works best for you in your situation. If you run a finance blog, an ad that offers tax software might appeal to your readers.
Similarly, if you blog about making money on the Internet, your readers might response to ads related to how to make money online.

Now let’s look into several monetizing options in more detail.

 

Contextual Advertising

Content sites are best monetized with contextual advertising programs such as Google AdSense which is easily the most popular ways for bloggers to monetize they blog.
The ads are targeted and easily integrated with your content.

That said; do not assume right away that AdSense is the best monetization option for you. If your blogs belong in a popular niche such as entertainment or technology it would work great but if you blog about some obscure topics such as Qubit Field Theory, you would probably end up getting lots of Public Service Ads which doesn’t pay you anything when clicked.

In addition, you may want to try other ad network such as Chitika, Yahoo Publisher Network and others.

Like everything else, you need the traffic in order to make money from contextual advertising. It won’t make you rich overnight but it’s a good option to start with.

 

CPM Advertising

CPM advertising is ad programs which pay you for the each ad displayed on your blog. This option is best for blogs or sites that aren’t attracting enough targeted advertisers or the readers are less likely to click on your ads.

CPM (cost per thousands impressions) may pay you around $2 for 1000 impressions for instance but typically the pay out is rather low these days.

The downside of this is advertising option is that you really need a lot of traffic to generate a reasonable amount of income. Once you past the minimum traffic threshold, everything should be rather straight forward.

 

Direct Ad Sales

Direct ad sales is a great way to monetize your blog since there’s no middleman to take some of your profits. You can set you own ad rates and have more control over the advertising and payment options as it increases the amount and type of ads you can sell and let you specify when and how you get paid.

The main disadvantage is that since it’s up to you to find advertisers, you could end up with many unsold inventory especially when you are just starting out.

In addition, you’ll also open yourself to potential disputes as some buyers might ask for a refund. It’s therefore important to make your terms clear to potential advertisers before they sign up so that any future dispute can be resolved amicably.

If you are planning to offer direct ad sales from your blog, I suggest you check out the advertising script from OIOpublisher that help you manage and control your own ad sales easily. I am currently using this script to manage the direct ad sales in this blog.

 

Promoting Affiliate Programs

Once you get to know your readers closer, you might want to move into promoting affiliate programs. Unlike, AdSense, promoting an affiliate program require more than just plastering banner ads in your blog.

You can potentially make more money from affiliate program but since it requires some action from the readers in addition to a simple click, the conversion rate could be a lower.

I’ve written several articles regarding affiliate program in this blog which you may want to check out

 

Conclusion

It takes time and some effort to make money from your blog. The most important thing is to never give up and continue to focus on the areas of your strength.

Do not put all your eggs in one basket, diversify your income stream as much as possible.
When one method fails to work, at least you have five other sources that are making you money.

How’s Your AdSense Income So Far This Month?

October 27, 2008 by · 72 Comments 

In October last year I reported about a 30 percent drop in my AdSense income from the previous month.

I figured that might had to do with Google pushing out yet another PageRank update where most websites reported downgrades to their PageRank scores including Sabahan.com.

Interestingly though, the opposite has been true for me this time around where my AdSense income has been higher than the previous months.

The usual suspect for this trend is the increase in advertisers demand which improve the quality of the ad inventory, which in turn affect the cost per click and cost per thousands impressions of the ads that appear on my websites.

This is my AdSense income from 1st to 26th September.

 

This is my AdSense income so far for the month of October. About $82 higher than the previous month so far.

In addition, as my websites attract more visitors, my ad impressions increase. As the number of good quality advertiser increases, their ads attract more click through which resulted in a higher AdSense income.

All in all it’s important to create a good quality content which will not only attract readers but good quality advertisers in the long run.

True, everyone is talking about the impending recession; but I guess the Internet is one place where the effect won’t hit you as hard if you know which variables to play with.

One of the biggest things that affect my Internet income is the exchange rate between the Malaysian Ringgit to the US dollars. Since I get paid in US dollars, I favour a weaker Ringgit over the US dollars. It’s a pretty exciting times for people who get paid in US dollars.

The drops in Malaysian Ringgits coupled with the increase in my AdSense income means I’ll be earning more in the coming months.

On the other hand, it hurts if some of your expenses are conducted in US Dollars. For instance, my AdWords expenses have been increasing but luckily for everything else – particularly my offline expenses – I pay in Malaysian Ringgit because I live in Malaysia.

How’s your AdSense income for the month of October?

Do You See an Upward Trend in Your January’s AdSense Earnings?

January 26, 2008 by · 21 Comments 

I guess this is a follow-up to my post regarding the downtrend in AdSense earnings I first noticed in October last year after Sabahan.com’s PageRank was dropped from PR5 to a PR3.

This time around, at least at the time of this writing, my AdSense earnings appear to bounce back up a bit. It’s still early to conclude that the end to the downtrend that I’ve been experiencing for the past couple of months is near.

Let’s see how the trend looks like. To avoid violating AdSense’s TOS, I have to erase some of the x-axis values in the graphs below.

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Note that the data for January does not include the last 5 days of the month. As it turns out, all but the eCPM value shows an upward trend. I believe the final eCPM value will follow this trend once the data for the entire month is taken into account.

The reason why I think so is because the increase in the average impressions appears to be complemented by a similar increase in the CTRs. At the moment the rate at which the average impressions is increasing is higher than that of the CTRs which explains the lower eCPM. Make sense?

I know I am making a lot of assumption here but let’s just wait what will happen at the end of this month 🙂 What’s more important to me is my average daily earnings increases.

While I am aware that my own personal experience may not necessarily represent that of the rest of AdSense publishers, it’s still interesting to know that some other publishers close to home are noticing the same trend. One of them is Mr Rajawang or Rajawang.com.

In his latest post, Rajawang reveals that his daily AdSense earning has set a new personal record when it reaches US90.64/day recently. He adds that if this trend continues, his goal of reaching US1000 a month may just become a reality this month.

His eCPM (effective cpost per thousand impressions) was higher than usually while CTRs appear to remain about the same where it hovers near the 1 percent mark.

While the possible explanations to this seemingly positive development are endless, it probably has more to do with the end and beginning of the year. And while it’s normal that AdSense earnings may fluctuate over time, the fluctuations can become significant when the following factors come into effect.

Many advertisers and CPC managers return to work and begin their advertising campaigns. This affects the AdSense ad inventory and increase advertisers demand which in turn is reflected in the higher eCPM as more ads compete for a spot in your blog. In addition, good advertisers may have started spending money on the AdSense network again and the chance for low quality ads to appear in your blog is lower.

Another important factor that can affect your AdSense earning is a phenomenon called smart pricing. When you are hit by one, one poorly (or nicely in this case) converting site can “smart price” your entire AdSense account.

The main motivation behind this phenomenon is to lower the advertisers cost in order to provide a strong ROI for them. And supposedly, this should lead to higher payouts for publishers by drawing a larger pool of advertisers and reward publishers who create high quality sites.

Also, it’s possible that after the recent Google’s PageRank smack, many bloggers have decided to call it quits. They put their blogs on sale leaving a bigger advertising pie for those who decide to stay put. Perhaps we are just starting to see something positive coming out of the PageRank debacle?

Of course this is just one of my theories, and let’s leave it at that.

On the other hand, while there may be many people who are experiencing an increase in their earnings, there will also be people who experience the opposite. The niche you are in may play a role too.

How’s your January’s AdSense earning so far? It would be interesting to see whether your own experience confirm this upward trend or not.

Follow-Up To The Recent Changes AdSense Referral Program

January 25, 2008 by · 7 Comments 

You may have received an email from the AdSense team giving a follow up to the recent changes in regard to the referrals to AdSense program. In case you haven’t read it this post is for you.

In the recent changes, Google announced that if you are not from the US or Canada, Latin America, and Japan, they will no longer pay you for referring new publishers to Google AdSense.

As you can imagine, many affected publishers weren’t too happy about this as they felt that it’s unfair for Google to exclude them based on where they are located physically, regardless of where the majority of their traffic comes from.

After considering feedbacks from publishers, Google appropriately decided to backtrack and will now allow those from outside of the above regions to refer new publishers as long as the referrals are based in Japan and/or any countries in North America and Latin America. To ensure payment for valid conversions, you’ll need to check the targeting settings on your current AdSense referral units.

In addition to the above, Google will also change the referrals programs for Google Pack and Firefox. Unfortunately both will involve a reduction in commissions paid.

Google Pack: Currently, you can earn up to $2 when a user downloads and runs Google Pack for the first time after being referred through your link or button. Starting the third week of February, each successful Pack referral will earn up to $1. This change will apply to all referrals for Google Pack and is independent of user location or publisher location.

Firefox: We will also be reducing payments for Firefox referrals from China during the third week of February. This specific referral payment change will only affect installations from users in China. As with referrals to AdSense, this is independent of your location as a publisher.

At least, Google is willing to listen…

Google AdSense Referral Changes and How It Affects You

January 14, 2008 by · 12 Comments 

If you are promoting Google AdSense referrals, you may no longer able to enjoy the fruits of your labor. The change will affect publishers from certain location regardless of where their users are located.

Specifically, if you are NOT from the US or Canada, Latin America, and Japan, Google will no longer pay you for referring new publishers to Google AdSense and that would include Malaysian publishers and those from other big countries like the UK and Australia.

The reason given was Google have found that AdSense referral has not performed well in these regions. The option to create a referral button for AdSense in you account will be removed soon and this change will come into effect during the last week of January. So, yes, you can stop promoting Google AdSense from your blog now.

Now for those who come from North America, Latin America and Japan, you’ll still get paid but there will be some changes to the system.

While the average publishers won’t be affected much by the change, I imagine those who have been actively referring others to the program won’t be too happy it, to put it mildly. Here’s how the current referral system pays you when you refer new a publisher

  • If you refer someone to AdSense who makes $5 within 180 days you get a payment of $5.
  • If you refer someone to AdSense who makes $100 within 180 days you get $250
  • If you refer 25 people who make $100 within a 180 day period you get a bonus payment of $2000

Now, by the end of January you’ll only get paid $100 (not $250 as above) if you refer someone to AdSense who makes $100 within a 180 day period (about 6 months). The $5 and $2000 bonus will be retired too.

Another moved by Google which seems like a bad decision is that this change is going to affect all those referrals made even before the last week of January, i.e. during which the change is officially come into affect. So if you refer someone in December and that publisher earns $100 in February, Google will pay you $100 instead of $250.

In order for you to qualify for the $250 bonus, the referred publisher must earn $100 before the last week of January, but that’s quite unlikely considering that most people will take sometime to make their first $100 from AdSense.

If this sounds a little complicated to you, just keep in mind that if you are NOT from North America, Latin America and Japan, you can stop promoting AdSense referral now.

Discover the Top Keywords People Use to Search Your Websites or Blogs

December 4, 2007 by · 8 Comments 

If you are using AdSense for Search in any of your blogs, you can find out what keywords people are using to search your sites. This information will help you understand users’ behavior better and help you create content that best serve their interest.

Additionally, you can use the data to better monetize pages that are searched frequently by your users. To see your sites queries data, log into your AdSense account. Then click on the Advance Reports under the Reports tab. Next Choose a date range and select the Top queries data option.

Below are my top 15 queries from December 2 2005 until December 2 2007 derived from across multiple websites and blogs. Currently AdSense doesn’t offer an option to view data from a particular site or channel.

 

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Not surprisingly “swisscash” tops the chart with 1028 queries. So far my article about Swiss Cash has been viewed over 60,000 times, possible more before I installed the view count plugin. In addition it has generated 1483 “enthusiastic” comments and counting.

Other popular search terms include “sex”, “kellie pickler” and “fruitcake lady”. If you are curious know what these queries are all about, check out my funny video blog at OffbeatEnough.com which is maintained by my assistant.

In a related development, AdSense has announced in their blog that an update on December 10th will affect your top queries reports. To prepare for a few upcoming reporting enhancements, top queries data older than a year old will no longer be available. So if queries data which are older than a year old are important to you, you may want to run any appropriate reports and save them before December 10th.

 

ShoeMoney Reveals How He Made $132,994.97 From AdSense In a Month

November 8, 2007 by · 44 Comments 

I couldn’t help but felt totally in awe while reading a post over at ShoeMoney.com where he answers several frequently asked questions about the AdSense Check in his Gallery that showed him holding one worth over $100K. Keep in mind that the check was for August 2005.

Sure, it’s a link bait post but a good one at that, so it’s worth linking to. If you are looking for a real life example of publishers making insane amount of money from AdSense, check this one out. Posting the picture again will continue to “resurrect” readers’ interest and certainly create an opportunity for him to promote his sites.

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I quote the FAQ in full below:

  1. What site was it for? What does the site do?
    The site is nextpimp. The name was kind of a joke at first… next-pimp like pimp out your nextel phone. It started as a wallpaper site for nextel phones which grew into ringtones and other stuff. All content is 100% user generated.
  2. How much of the check was profit?
    At the time my expenses were 1 server @ 299$ per month for hosting. I would say atleast 130k was profit.

  3. How much of the traffic was pay per click?
    None of it was pay per click. Back then I did not know anything at all about pay per click.
  4. Where did all your traffic come from?
    About 70% of the traffic was direct 15% from search engines and 15% from referrals.
  5. How much traffic did the site get to get that much money?
    About 75k uniq per day.
  6. Why did you get a paper check and not wire?
    Back then Google did not do wire transfers for amounts of $10,000.00
  7. Do you think its possible to still earn that kind of revenue? (most often asked question)
    Yes.
  8. How long did it take to make revenue?
    I never tried to make any money the first 1.5 years it was running. I just concentrated on providing a good service. About 2 years after I started the site It started to do good revenue from AdSense
  9. Can you show the full month report from AdSense for that month?
    Sure.

 

He even includes a screenshot of his AdSense report for that particular month. With permission from Google, he discloses his CTR and CPM. Can you imagine making such insane amount of money while only spending $299 monthly on web hosting? Check out his daily income below. Now convert those to Malaysian ringgit, are you thinking what I’m thinking? 🙂

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And that’s not even his main income, according to him, AdSense has accounted for less than 5% of the incoming revenue for his companies. In addition to that, his blog at ShoeMoney.com is pulling just under $30,000 in October from direct ad sales, 30% from affiliate programs and other sources. Obviously more than the amount John Chow made from his blog. It made my head spin just thinking about those seriously mad figures.

But it doesn’t stop there, in March 2007 he made USD709,626.81 in commission from Commission Junction. I hope that’s a typo because I started to feel a little depress right now LOL. Just joking, it’s great inspiration for everyone. I don’t know if he earned that amount as a vendor or affiliate, regardless, it’s just insane to make that much monthly.

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So did you notice a running theme here? He doesn’t make money by serving AdSense or selling paid links on his blog. While creating a blog can make you rich if it’s done correctly, I believe you’ll have to explore other monetization options in order to go to the next level.

You’ll need to create sites that serve certain purposes like PlentyOfFish.com or NextPimp.com, then learn PPC and do affiliate marketing. Remember Ashley, the 17 year old teenage girl who pull in over $70K monthly from AdSense by offering free MySpace templates on her site?

That goes to show that offering a service or products that lots of people are interested in will help you make money online faster.

Now I‘m not suggesting you drop everything you are doing now and start brainstorming similar ideas and hopefully get rich next year. I am aware that there are tons of other ways to make money online and not everyone can be as successful as those above even when they create the next free dating site, or free ringtone download site or give away free Myspace templates.

Often people become successful because they are able to offer the right products/services at the right time. Some may call that luck, but I call it knowing when to act when opportunity presents itself. If we can do that, we’ll be the next ShoeMoney.

You Can Now Update Your AdSense ad Unit within Your AdSense Account

November 7, 2007 by · 8 Comments 

Google AdSense has started to roll out a new feature which allows publishers to save the settings of their ad units within their AdSense account.

So what so good about this you ask. Well with the ability to save your ad settings, you can now change the colours, channels or even the corner styles for your ad units directly in your account without the need to generate and pasting new code into your blog or site.

The only thing that you can’t change is the size of your ad units. To do so, you’ll have to generate new ad unit. You are also not allowed to delete ad units created, so as to prevent active ad units from being deleted accidentally. Ad units that have not generated impressions for 7 days will become inactive and will be hidden automatically so it’s good to remember that you must use newly generated code on a site that have some level of existing traffic.

If the “Manage Ads” and “Get Ads” options are available under the “AdSense Setup” tab in your account, you are ready to go and use this new feature.

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How to generate a code that takes advantage of this feature?

On the “Get Ads” page, under the “AdSense Setup” tab, you’ll find the familiar code generation wizard that you’ve been using to generate codes. The only different is that, in the end of the process, you’ll be prompted to create a name for the ad unit.

It’s recommended to use descriptive names that include information about the location of the ad unit, its size and so on. Example “Post Entries – 300×250”. You can later refer to the name of a particular ad unit if you want to make changes to it later on the “Mange Ads” page.

 

Do I have to change my old ad code?

You don’t have to as they will continue to work as usual. However, in order to take advantage of this new feature, you’ll need to generate new codes. There’s an option to import your old code and save the new settings. To do this just follows the following steps

  1. Find and copy the code on your site that you’d like to update.
  2. Sign in to your AdSense account and visit the AdSense Setup tab.
  3. On the Manage Ads page below it, you’ll see the option to Import your old AdSense code . Click this link.
  4. On the resulting page, paste your existing ad code into the box and give it a memorable name (we suggest including the site, page, location and/or appearance in the name).
  5. Click Save and get code to create a new AdSense unit with the exact same settings.
  6. Replace the old code your pages with the newly generated code and save your pages.

 

Since I do not modify my ad units frequently, I’ll continue to use my old codes. However, when it’s time for some testing and optimization, I can see how this feature will become handy. It’s a time saver as you don’t have to go through the entire process of selecting ad settings and colours again.

How a Malaysian Made USD1243.17 in August 2007 Using AdSense Arbitrage

October 17, 2007 by · 27 Comments 

If you’ve been following AdSense news closely, you might recall that Google AdSense had been on the look out disabling AdSense publisher accounts that are doing AdSense arbitrage.

Since May 2007, a number of AdSense publishers had been receiving emails from Google stating that they have violated AdSense policy by running unsuitable business model and that account would be disabled. As it turned out, the email was sent to publishers doing arbitrage.

 

So what is AdSense arbitrage?

It’s basically a way to make money from sites with very little content or sometimes none at all. The sites, often called made-for-AdSense or MFA sites are typically created by scraping content from other websites and then littered their pages with ads from Google AdSense.

To drive traffic, the owner would buy pay per click traffic and send them to those sites. It’s called arbitrage because the AdSense ads on the sites pay more than the cost of the pay per click keywords. When the visitors click on an ad, the owner pockets the profit from the difference between the earning per click minus the cost of the PPC keyword.

Arbitrage exists in several forms and the one described above is the most likely to get the boot from Google. Other types of arbitrage include one that like the above but the webpage contains more content with a goal of generating clicks on the ads.

If I were to send traffic to Sabahan.com using PPC, I am basically doing arbitrage. However, I am certain that I won’t get the boot because I provide value to the users by presenting relevant and useful content. So as you can see, arbitrage can be a valid business model as long as it provides good users experience.

Other types of arbitrage include shopping engine arbitrage where a landing page compares the price of a same product from multiple suppliers. Another one is an affiliate arbitrage where the marketer creates a landing page to promote certain affiliate programs and use PPC to drive traffic to that page. Arbitrage exists because people want to take advantage of the inefficiency in the marketplace.

 

Yahoo & AdSense Arbitrage

Since the crackdown, it’s now become riskiest to get involved with MFA especially with one that offers no value whatsoever to the users. Some people tried to circumvent the rules by using other PPC search engines such as Yahoo Search Marketing (YSM) or Microsoft AdCenter. As it appears, some are able to get away with it, at least for the time being.

I came across an interesting thread over at CyberWang.com Forum about a guy who is making good money from the AdSense and YSM arbitrage combination.

In the thread, he shares his experience and progress as he continues to experiment with YSM & AdSense arbitrage. It’s interesting to see how his profit slowly increased as he increased his PPC expense. The most he had made so far from AdSense was USD1243.17 in August 2007.

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However, keep in mind that that’s a gross profit before PPC expenses. You’ll get an idea in regard to his profit margin once you check out the thread. I think it’s a clever marketing ploy on his part as well where he uses the thread to sell an ebook where he reveals his methods in more details. Now I am giving him a free publicity at Sabahan.com…

From what I understand from the thread, his strategy basically involves the following steps

  1. Find thousands high paying AdSense keywords using certain tool
  2. Use a software to generate hundreds of blogs with AdSense placed strategically to maximize click through rates
  3. Drive traffic to those blogs using Yahoo Search Marketing
  4. Slowly increase your spending on PPC to drive more traffic
  5. Repeat the above steps

My first impression tells me that this is exactly the type of account that will get canned by Google. According to him, some of his sites get an incredibly high CTR. That’s a cause for concern if it were to happen to any of my sites as it would raise Google’s red flag.

Perhaps the reason why he could get away with it is because the clicks seem to be organic as they originate from outside of Google network. But sooner or later, Google will surely catch up. Then again, I haven’t purchased his ebook or visit any of his MFA sites so I can’t comment whether he’s violating any of AdSense policy.

While I know Google frown upon MFA sites created automatically, I don’t know what makes his sites different from the rest and whether they offer any value to the users – that’s for Google to decide.

 

How to Avoid Getting the Boot When Doing Arbitrage

My general feeling is that Google is only banning arbitrage sites that offer no values to the users. As a matter of fact, arbitrage is actually a valid business model and can be beneficial for publishers and advertisers.

Sites that produce poor conversion rates after the click won’t stay in the network for long. It may make the publishers rich in the short term but advertisers are looking for return on their investments. When the demand and supply is out of balance, Google may canned those publishers which in turn is actually good news for advertisers since it should weed outs bad publishers from the content network.

A Google spokesperson once said this is part of an ongoing quality initiative on its content network:

At Google, we are always focused on how we can make the user experience as positive as possible while still providing value to our publishers and advertisers. As part of this effort, we continually conduct automated and manual reviews of publishers and sites that violate our policies. In some cases, violations of our program policies will result in termination from the AdSense program.

So if you are thinking of getting involved in arbitrage, you need to ask whether your site provide value to users, if they don’t, expect to get the love letter from Google anytime.

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