No More AdSense

By Yaro Starak
41 Comments

I’m going to be brutally honest with you – I don’t like Google AdSense. I admire what Google has created with the AdWords/AdSense program. I admire those bloggers and website owners that make thousands of dollars from AdSense. I intend to one day draw extensive income from AdSense as I build a website portfolio, but for Entrepreneur’s Journey AdSense is not what I want.

I just finished reading an article, How AdSense Lowers Site-Self-Esteem, which reminded me again that AdSense should not always be the monetization drawcard that you rely upon. I’ve believed this all along since my very first money making website did not use AdSense but still made 100% of its income from advertising. I attracted advertisers myself by pitching to businesses that would clearly be interested in my audience (if you want to know more read this article – How to Make Money from Your Website Using Advertising). There was no middle man, I didn’t have to wonder how much money Google was generous enough to pay me per click and the advertisements were always clearly targeted at my audience and approved by me.

I fostered long term relationships with some of my sponsors, which was a comfortable thought compared to the whims of the Googlebot deciding how much traffic you get and consequently how much money you earn. My traffic back then was not reliant upon Google, it was mostly based on word of mouth and a loyal return audience. As long as my website was up I enjoyed a stable following, a stable income and no dependency on Google or any single major source. I would argue that it was a more stable business model than relying on AdSense and search traffic. Of course it’s not easy to get a site to that position but once you are there you can enjoy the fruits of your labour. I believe Entrepreneur’s Journey should follow this formula.

This blog is new and operates in an industry that has some fairly stiff competition. Right now I don’t get much search traffic, I expect that it will improve overtime and probably continue to improve as long as I keep doing what I am doing, but I never plan on search traffic being my bread and butter. It’s more the icing on the cake. My successes so far and I expect in the future will come from one thing – producing content that helps people and is consequently spread through word of mouth and linking. My audience will most likely always be repeat visitors coming back through RSS or bookmarking. This is not a bad thing. Yes search traffic is always valuable and no doubt some search visitors are converted to repeat visitors, but I’m fairly confident I understand how my audience will be built and it won’t be on the shoulders of Google.

Back to AdSense. As the above mentioned article on website self-esteem notes, most bloggers are writers first and advertisement seekers second. Yes the new breed of probloggers do seek specifically to earn an income from their blogging efforts but I feel most of us out there blogging are doing it for other reasons. Money can act as a powerful motivator and I wouldn’t be writing this article if AdSense on this blog brought in $100 a day, but it doesn’t nor do I expect it ever will, and it definitely won’t without me crossing the boundary from “just a few ad blocks” into the “adblocks wherever I can find space” philosophy.

AdSense is a great service but it appeals because it’s easy. It’s simple to insert into a website. It makes money based on clicks and does the job of finding relevant advertisers for us. I’ve put it on my website to test it and my conclusion is that I don’t want it and I don’t need it. I don’t like the type of ads it displays, I don’t like that it’s proliferating all over the Internet and becoming the banner ad of web 2.0. Yes it’s great technology but I already hear the whispers…oh, those things, yeah, I ignore them because I know they are ads just like the old banners

Worst of all I don’t like the way it’s making bloggers think. By bloggers I include myself too. AdSense makes me greedy. AdSense makes me trick myself into thinking that making money online is easy. It’s never easy. Online business only rewards hard work, research, clever thinking and people that take action not once, or twice, but every day.

Right now I like that my blog can give without necessary expecting anything in return. I like that I’m in a position with my finances and my personal congruency to be comfortable investing so much time into a project that currently has a financial return of about $1 an hour.

I’m no saint though. I’m in this for the money. I’m motivated by the money. I blog and write and put up affiliate programs because I want to achieve complete financial freedom. I want to be rich too.

As a daily exercise I remind myself to be patient. I work hard to produce content and focus on producing words that will bring more and more people to this site. I know that it’s all about eyeballs – the more people I help the more I help myself. The larger my hit count the greater my potential to earn from my website, even if I’m not exactly sure the methodology for converting eyeballs into coins…not yet anyway, that’s why I test. For the time being I’m close enough to being content with my progress that I can say no to AdSense.

I’ll leave with one last comment – if anyone would like to advertise on this blog, email me, I’m open to discuss anything.

Yaro Starak
Blogging For Fun And Profit

About Yaro Starak

Yaro Starak is the author of the Blog Profits Blueprint, a report you can download instantly to learn how to make $10,000 a month, from only blogging 2 hours per day. You can find Yaro on Facebook, Twitter and .

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41 Comments

  • All right, I’ve been wrestling around with whether or not to keep the damn things on my site… arguments on both sides rising and falling.

    On one hand you’ve got the potential and a little actual income, on the other you’ve got (in my case) hot-white-lame and not so targeted ads appearing all day*, coupled with the nagging nausea of knowing that it’s just not quite right.

    Thanks for tipping the scales on the side of credibility here Yaro, I’m going home tonight and cutting them once and for all…

    *This, of course, being one man’s opinion, one man’s experience…

  • I’ve always had a grudge against putting Adsense on NevBlog, but on other sites which I created for the purpose of making money, I don’t care.

    I tried the pixel thing because it was unique at the time and seemed like a more fun way of earnning a little cash.

    I usually don’t link to other sites who have an outrageous number of Google ads plastered everywhere.

    Glad you decided to go Adsense free!
    -Nev

  • You can always try Yahoo Publisher Network. I find the earnings to be somewhat greater than Adsense sometimes. It’s just as easy as Adsense although the ads look similar.

  • […] Now for the real question, should I put ads, particularly Google ads, on my site? I have been mulling over this question since I started this blog and haven’t come up with a concrete answer. I left it at yes until I read a post by Yaro titled No More AdSense. Once again questions arose after reading this article. He made some valid arguments against having AdSense on his blog. Mainly he discussed the common thought that having AdSense ads all over the place makes your site look to commercially generic. This might deter some potential return readers from the start leaving before getting to the content. […]

  • I think your taking a bit of an idealists stance on this because at the end of the day the vast majority of bloggers have neither the time nor ability to attract individual sponsors, and in my experience unless you’ve got extremely high traffic or PR you’re going to find sponsors aren’t all that interested. Adsense can and does provide a decent revenue stream to many people but naturally there are alternatives as well, but I wouldn’t exclude it in the broad way you have. If you can get sponsors: great! but most other people won’t be able to.

  • I agree. I want the content of ads to be relavent to content. I admire your principles and encourage you to continue to search for options. I think you are right in you asessment that content and good marketing will ultimately bring you what you want.

  • There definitely is an element of idealism in this decision, and I did write this post late at night which always makes me a little less practical and a bit more emotional. I think it’s a sound decision for this blog.

    At this point I can’t use Yahoo Pub because I am Australian (right?) so that’s not an option, and really unless it paid fantastically I doubt my conclusion would be any different to AdSense.

    Ideally I’d like to be selling my own info products on this blog as the main method of making money, and that will happen eventually. Until that happens I will continue to juggle and test to find a balance between advertisements, affiliate links and of course content that works for me.

    However I certainly would not recommend any other bloggers or webmasters follow my lead purely on principle unless of course you really don’t care about the money. Test AdSense out, find a balance that works for you.

  • Jason

    I had Adsense as well — always thought it was kinda ugly — and the return a few cents per click was aweful. I have actually decided to go with a creative advertising idea on my website — I make more this way can I coudl with Adsense.

    I think as entrepreneurs we must remember that owning the system is better using someone elses. That is why I shy away from google and have set-up my own in house ad program for my network.

    Jay

  • Yaro,
    What a delight to hear of an entrepreneur think that way. Nothing against using AdSense (I use it quite sparingly throughout my site til I reach the $100 mark and off it goes) – but AdSense is not for everybody.

    I appreicate a well-written business blog that puts content first.

    I’m all for sponsorships of blogs (but then I’ve got a conflict – I’m writing a Kit – SponsorMyBlog, if I may Yaro, I’ll email you details – maybe a win/win co-marketing proposal)

    Duncan is correct: people will find it hard to get sponsors themselves but it can be done.

    I await you first info product and if it’s anything like your high-quality content here then sign my up as an affiliate.

  • Thanks for posting this, Yaro. It’s confirmed what I’ve suspected, that AdSense is not for everyone and that establishing strong relationships with advertisers and readers–especially with an engaged, targeted readership–still makes business sense.

    -TimK

  • come on yaro. i read that article. it was such sensationalized horse shit.

    the claim of the article is this: “Running AdSense exclusively or even concurrently with in-house advertising is an exercise in low self-website-esteem.

    that’s a really crummy generalization. there are a lot of other reasons for running adsense concurrently or exclusively. and who is this guy? a shrink?

    and the summary: “The lesson here is that while AdSense can benefit some models, as in Jason Calacanis’ case, or in the case of a content provider who is more interested in art than money, there are instances where AdSense is akin ‘shooting yourself in the foot.'”

    What!??? is this guy a politician? such a weak-ass summary. certainly not the bold assertion made in the other paragraph.

    I don’t mind a bold claim like that, but geez, at least back it up with some sort of evidence rather than ideologic horse shit.

  • “How Adsense Lowers Site Self-Esteem” And Other Ridiculous Stuff

    I love the net. I really do. I love that anyone with a computer and internet connection can say pretty much whatever they want, any time they want. It’s all about freedom baby. Still, the problem with all that, however, is that anyone with a computer …

  • just to clarify yaro … i was referring to the webpronews article rather than your post here. as for your post, i think it was well thought-out and well-written. not that i agree with everything, but that i respect your position and the way you articulated it. one thing i do agree with you on is that your business model determines whether or not adsense is right for your site or not.

    best – mp

  • Michael Salazar

    Yaro, you really mean what you say. I noticed that there’s no more AdSense on your site :)

    That is what i liked about you. You don’t pretend to be always successful and you openly admit when times are getting tough.

    Good luck :)

  • While of course Adsense is not for everyone especially not for people that want to earn more money off of their websites, I prefer to let my visitors decide. My visitors have decided to click on Google Ads so i leave them there. I have actually added links to my site from Google Ads.

    Yaro I bet if you making money off Adsense off this blog or were willing to accept advertising dollars you might be able to spend more time on it.

  • I think traditional banner ads makes ones website look a lot better than the ugly Adsense ads. If you advertise the right products you can probably make a lot more by running your own ads/affiliate programs. Especially if you tailor them to the needs of your audience.

  • Michael – Your second comment pretty much sums up how I was going to reply. That webpronews article was a reminder about a thought I’ve been having for a while about removing AdSense from this blog. I really didn’t pay too much more attention to the article – I was thinking about my own situation of course :-)

    I love the way that a hard line approach, for example in this case an article ruling out AdSense altogether, receives stronger and longer replies. Sensationalism is at least a great way to get activity!

    In my situation a lot of personal preference impacted my decision to remove AdSense –

    – I don’t like the type of ads AdSense places on my blog.
    – I’m not making much money from it and in order to increase the revenue I would have to place more ads that further impact the presentation of my content. Right now I’m not prepared to do that, perhaps in the future.
    – I’d like to try other methods of advertising.

    If a few AdSense sidebars and small banners at the end of my articles brought in $20+ per day I wouldn’t have written this article. I’d be happy with the money. Perhaps when I get more traffic that might be realistic but right now it’s not so I may as well try other methods.

    AdSense is fantastic in many situations. What I really like is you don’t have to maintain it, just stick it up and let it do the job for you. No need to negotiate with advertisers and you get paid for what you deliver. It’s great as the only advertising solution or part of a monetization strategy – it doesn’t matter as long as you are pleased with it as a website owner.

    At this time I’m more interested in testing and evolving my monetization strategy until I find what works for me and as per usual I’ll write about all the choices I make just as I did in this instance.

  • Mr MySearchIsOver – as I said at the end of this article, if you want to advertise on this blog email me and let’s get negotiating. I’m certainly willing to accept advertising dollars from the right type of partnership.

    Thanks for all the other comments too everyone. This time of year is unique for me. Unlike the retail trade December is my worst month so there isn’t much money going into the bank account. It’s a period of reflection and an opportunity to write and plan for the year ahead. It’s also a period when I feel the most lost because I have way too much spare time on my hands.

    • Well yes Yaro, i think i have to accept exactly what you are saying about Google Adsense.I actually had an Adsense account and it has just been disabled recently….though i was already making money on it.

      I hadnt even collected the money at the end of the month until i received a mail from Google adsense that my account has been disabled due to what they call INVALID ACTIVITY.

      I was overwhelmed and dissappointed.

      Now i have my website still running cos i have made payments for it and the other domains i created.

      I am already loosing my money Yaro….so please can you assist me on how to continue making money on my website since i have already been disabled on adsense?How do i go about it and what do i need to do?I need a fresh to strat to start earning again because i can’t just leave my website dormant through out they year after i have already paid for it.

      Great contribution yaro i must confess here and i am continually encouraged to make earnings on the internet with all your articles and contributions made on your website.
      Kindly assist.

  • Martin – I’m always eager to hear more about your upcoming projects. Actually you know I’d like to do a podcast interview with you sometime, we should arrange that :-)

  • Jon

    I can understand; my site’s [similar in theme to yours] Adsense revenue just pays for my Starbucks addiction. It is good to realize what advertising model works best for each site. For someone like you that writes mostly from the heart, Adsense is not the greatest. For sites that are purposely creating pages targeted to products or keywords, Adsense Rules the World!
    I liked your “Yaro recommends” in your RSS…how come you got rid of that? I thought you were on to something there.

  • Adsense isn’t that great. At my previous job, where the previous webmaster used adsense, I occasionally checked the stats on the clicks. Somewhat surprised, however not much of a shock; I found there were 0 clicks.

    It – AdSense – has become so standardized that you just tend to view it as white noise and tune it out. You see it, you don’t care, you read on. That is what it’s becoming. Frankly, I’m sick them, period.

  • Alexander – you’ve hit on something there.

    From my own perspective I’ve become ad blind to AdSense advertisements when I visit blogs – especailly ones I frequent quite a bit. I don’t even have to consciously ignore them it’s become second nature. For example, I’ve visited ProBlogger probably a thousand times this year – and I don’t recall clicking on one Ad.

    That’s why I read somewhere where some bloggers prefer visitors coming from search engines (first timers) rather than their faithful ones – because the faithful readers are there for the content and rarely click on Ads.

    And I think in 2006, as more people become sophisticated in getting around blogs, more visitors will ignore the AdSense ads.

    Hmmm … sounds like a post I should write :-)

  • I implemented AdSense in a previous incarnation of my company’s blog, but it served absolutely no purpose. The format was hideous, there was little to no control over what ads were presented, and the user base/traffic didn’t justify keeping it.

    Then again, I am a freelance web developer with an emphasis on web standards. My website is my front door on the web, a necessary cost of doing business that fields 80% of my new client inquiries. It didn’t need to be cluttered with ads, and I didn’t want potential customers feeling like they were being sold to.

    I feel that it ultimately depends on the type of site you have and that consideration must be had for users, content and subject matter. I am currently researching other ways of utilizing AdSense for revenues, but I don’t think you can lose sight of your prospective user and target audience.

    On a side note, another great article Yaro. I continue to be inspired by your blog and it has really helped me in exploring other revenue sources on the web. Keep up the good work!

  • I can relate to the decision and quandry Yaro shares. Having been online since 1998 I have tried affiliate programs, Adsense. I have had Adsense on and off. It has paid my mortgage. But I recently removed all the Google ads. Because I felt it was incongruent with my business focus, and ant-relationship building.

    I justified it with the fact that people were leaving a tip in the tip jar as they left. My wife liked the fact that it paid the mortgage.

    From a personal congruency viewpoint I just could not let it continue. Not to mention the fact that my competitors were getting on my site and it would be a lot of work to block them all plus I am in a defensive mode when blocking them vs. being proactive and forming a strong offense.

  • […] ZaÅ¡to èekati da “probijem” 1000 pagview-a dnevno ? Zato Å¡to veæina sponzora ne želi da sponzoriÅ¡e sajtove koji imaju mali protok i koji ne mogu da im obezbede dovoljno klikova na reklamu. Veæina njih bi pre platila 100 – 200 dolara da dobije oko 50 ooo klikova na nekom drugom sajtu. Yaro Starak bloger koji nije oduÅ¡eveljen sa Adsense-om (proèitajte èlanak: No More AdSense) kaže: AdSense is a great service but it appeals because it’s easy. It’s simple to insert into a website. It makes money based on clicks and does the job of finding relevant advertisers for us. I’ve put it on my website to test it and my conclusion is that I don’t want it and I don’t need it. I don’t like the type of ads it displays, I don’t like that it’s proliferating all over the Internet and becoming the banner ad of web 2.0. Yes it’s great technology but I already hear the whispers…oh, those things, yeah, I ignore them because I know they are ads just like the old banners… […]

  • Right, that’s a good point. Blogging is not all about the money. I started my first blog 3 years ago because I really learn something best, when I write about it. It’s just the same concept as – if you can’t explain something to another person – you really don’t understand it well.

    After about a year of steady blogging – the business I was blogging about really started taking off for me. In addition, I was already making a pretty steady stream of adsense income from the site.

    I didn’t want to lose the adsense income – so I hired someone to make a daily update on the site for me :)) Well, now when I look back, the content is still interesting, but I don’t really feel any attachment to that site anymore.

    I’m at the stage again where I feel like writing. I’m starting another new direction in my business now – and I really want to think through all of the issues that I’ll be facing in that. This time through, I don’t think that I will be using adsense on my personal weblog.

  • No More AdSense

    No More AdSense to tekst znaleziony na blogu Yano Staraka. Przyznam, że powinien być lekturÄ… obowiÄ…zkowÄ… każdego mÅ‚odego webmastera / bloggera. Może mielibyÅ›my wtedy mniej kiepskich blogów / serwisów o niczym, których jedynym powodem istn…

  • Don’t Click on these Ads!

    You don’t see the Ads on this page. They aren’t there. They are invisible. Since they are invisible make sure you don’t click on them.
    There is an ongoing debate in the blogosphere about putting Google ads on your blog. Some blogge…

  • […] While hunting for some new RSS feeds to add to my growing collection, I came across a post from a few weeks ago by Yaro Starak of Entrepreneur’s Journey – No More AdSense […]

  • […] I created a bit of a buzz in the blogosphere when I posted my article – No More AdSense – promoting the fact that I decided to strip all the AdSense ads from this blog and lamenting, in a perhaps overtly emotional way, the evils of chasing the dollar with AdSense. It’s easy to say no to AdSense when you make next to nothing from it of course, but I made a pretty good case for my stance and I definitely still think it applies to this blog, perhaps only at this point in time while I haven’t tested fully other monetization methods yet. I’m keeping the door open on AdSense for Entrepreneur’s Journey, but testing other methods first. […]

  • I was thinking of adding adsense to one of my websites but this article has made me decide against using it.

  • Well, we (my wife and I) just hit our latest goal. We cleared 10K in one month. I know that that is no big deal for big time Adsense earners, but it’s a big deal where I grew up.

    It’s been alot of fun and of course a massive amount of work. We had to invest in our business to the tune of 7000 dollars. That paid for writers, software and hardware.

    We started a forum last month to help people begin their own Adsense revenue. You can see it
    here:
    http://work-at-home-on-your-computer.com/forum/index.php

  • Hi Brent – Great work on reaching that milestone, that is impressive! Is that all from content based sites? How many?

  • […] I was considering to remove them for a while now, but I finally did it after reading this post on Entrepreneur’s Journey (which is a really great blog on internet marketing and online revenue btw). […]

  • Hi Yaro,

    First time I’ve hit your site. God you manage to write a lot or more than me. I’ve been blogging for more than 5 months + building other online revenues.

    Adsense…yes I have to agree it really is getting bad press at the moment. It’s a great product that is marketing as a way of making easy cash from a website, but in reality the big earners are probably just 5% of all Google Adsense publishers. You’d be much better-off finding a suitable targeted Affiliate program that offers excellent commissions aimed at your content.

    Leave Adsense to the Google Whores!

  • Will you please leave a comment on my blog about adsense and blogging i think my readers would wanna here what you have to say about adsense or money making from blogging.

  • Thanks for sharing your thoughts…we really need to take a step back and evaluate if we are really getting greedy. Priority should always still be providing good content and not just money. The essence of serving the readers should till be there.

  • I still using adsense for some of my blogs that I don’t know how to monetize, but I never place adsense ads at my affiliate blogs

  • Thanks Yaro for sharing this wonderful thing about Adsense. I know I’m a bit late on commenting on this site about Adsense but the topics kept on haunting me. I am a blogger who relied mostly on Adsense.

    I was broke when I experienced the worst things in blogging, my Adsense account have been banned for more than three years I have an ample income from Adsense, but now I’ve learned my lessons, don’t rely on Adsense only.

    Thanks for the inspiration right now I’m focusing on other blog and started studying about affiliate marketing and other ways to earn money online.

  • Although this article is a bit older it is still very useful and very powerful at motivating. You are right, Adsense is easy and it does look sloppy. Patience is difficult but, you just reminded me of the power of patience. I just removed Adsense from one of my most visited websites. It’s clean. I’m going to make some relationships and rekindle others and get some advertisers the good old fashioned way. Thanks!

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