The Performance Marketing Association is a wonderful asset that provides publishers with industry insights and tools to help them optimize their practice. One important offering of the PMA is their numerous councils including the one most dear to VigLink’s heart, the Publisher Recruitment Council which aims to, “attract new publishers to performance marketing and help publishers identify new monetization strategies and opportunities”. In doing so, they review different monetization strategies and evaluate key aspects of each, including pros/cons and use cases.
In their latest white paper the Publisher Recruitment Council reviewed Google AdSense and came to the conclusion that there are three main benefits that are offered by affiliate links, but not Google Adsense. One example being that affiliate links tend to be far more relevant than Google AdSense. Tricia Meyer, experienced this firsthand when she was curious as to why her traffic was high yet revenue low. She describes looking back at her content and seeing “in the middle of (her) post about Champagne was an ad for an auto parts merchant.” Due to the irrelevance of the ad, it wasn’t surprising that despite her high volumes of traffic, she was seeing very low conversion and revenue. With Tricia’s vast experience using numerous monetization strategies also comes valuable insights. In a recent podcast she participated in with Lisa Picarille, who sits on the PMA board alongside Oliver Roup, they describe the different councils of the PMA and how they can assist various parts of a publisher’s overall monetization strategy.
We sat down with Lucy Bartlett, our Manager, Marketing and chair of the Publisher Recruitment Council, to get her thoughts on Google Adsense…
Q: For those who might not know, can you explain how Google AdSense monetizes blogs’ traffic.
A: “Google AdSense is a form of display advertising that is targeted toward your audience and is, to some extent, customizable. It’s a free service and payment received on a PPC basis.”
Q: Other than irrelevancy, loss of control, and loss of revenue what other issues have you heard of people having with Google Adsense?
A: “There are certainly many positive aspects about Google AdSense but the algorithm is not perfect. I’ve heard of many instances where the ads are not quite as targeted and useful to their audiences as publishers would hope and they have then not helped to enhance the reader’s experience.”
Q: How does Google AdSense impact the user experience of those visiting your site?
A: “When it works well and is relevant to your audience it can be a positive experience to your audience. That being said, if it isn’t aligned with your content it can be distracting and take away from the aesthetic and intrinsic value your content affords.”
Q: Who is a publisher that is using Google AdSense in conjunction with affiliate links and doing it well?
A: “Design Milk does a wonderful job of placing Google AdSense banners strategically throughout the site. In addition to the banner ads they also use VigLink to curate monetized links within their content.”
Q: What are the insights you get from Google AdSense compared with insights provided by VigLink?
A: “With VigLink there are deep insights into your audiences’ experience such as where they go after they leave your site, which content is most appealing to them, and which brands they are most engaged with.”
To learn more about the other various benefits of using affiliate links over Google AdSense be sure to download the free white paper provided by the Publisher Recruitment Council!
Written by Hanna Fritzinger