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Don’t Worry About What the Other Guy Is Making

Written By: Ken Evoy (CEO, SiteSell) in Ken's Blog | May 29, 2010

Ken’s Blog

Google, ‘in the spirit of greater transparency with AdSense publishers,’ outlined revenue shares for its two main AdSense products — AdSense for content and AdSense for search.

http://adsense.blogspot.com/

I didn’t realize what good timing this is, coming right after our release of Brainstorm It! v3.2, which enables you to pull Google $ data into your Master Keyword List.

Yes, it’s reassuring to now know that you make 70% of those CPC numbers.  Of course, it’s more complicated than that in practice, but nevertheless it’s more motivating to know that you are not getting 20%, and it’s certainly way better than having no idea if you get 10% for one keyword, 80% for another… which would reduce the importance of the CPC data altogether.

Frankly, though, I don’t really care what Google makes, only what YOU make. And if I don’t have a better alternative to offer, we move on to other things…

A very wise man once taught a very young doctor when I was just getting into the business world and completing a deal for one of the first toys we licensed…

“Ken, do me a favor.  Don’t count my money and I won’t count yours.  That’s a sucker’s game that just ends in acrimony. Either you make enough on this deal to please you or you don’t.”

In all the toy deals that followed, I never ever considered what I was contributing (an original toy invention), nor what, say Bluebird was contributing (R&D, manufacturing, marketing, etc.). I just decided if I was happy with the % royalty, the advance, the guarantee, and the protection clauses in the agreement.

Ditto for Google — say you’re making $1,000 per month with Google, right now. Imagine it. Now, suddenly… you found out that the % was 30% vs. 70%. Does it make a difference to you? It shouldn’t. It’s a free world. You can offer your traffic anywhere.

Sure, you could lobby with a zillion publishers for more money, that’s a “collective” option in today’s social world. Google would not want the black eye. That’s not likely to happen at 70%. So one has to wonder why Google was 1) not transparent on this (since it seems quite “fair” and 2) why they are now. My guess, in case you’re wondering, is that somewhere down the road, they slowly planned to erode the 70%, so did not want to make that number “official.”

But then… I’d be getting into worrying about what they make again, wouldn’t I?

Back to your business…

So what do you do if you find your eCPM on your AdSense Report is dropping while at the same time your traffic is climbing?

In the “pre-announcement days,” whenever someone would post about a situation like this, especially in the outside forums, there would be a raft of “Google is cheating us” rumors as others would join in to report the same experience (it’s human nature that those who are not affected are less likely to report the contrary, so a complaint is often exaggerated in threads). Well…

We can now rule that out.  Google has held steady at 70% since the beginning of AdSense. Which means that the answer lies on your site if CPC values themselves have not dropped dramatically for some reason lately (ex., seasonal).

I’d look at your big money-earning pages first and compare them against the advice in the SBI! Monetization HQ for AdSense.

Did you perhaps change something? For example, people who start a 3-column L&F often “tuck” Google ads in the right column, giving the site a much “neater” look. Unfortunately, by not putting ads in the way of your visitor’s eye flow, you drop the money flow considerably since folks now enjoy reading a nice clean page with no ads “in the way.” It would be like putting all the commercials for a TV show at the end of the show. (OK, maybe not such a good example nowadays, but you get what I mean.) So…

Instead of wondering about Google’s actions, take a hard look at your site and what you’ve been doing with your ads lately.

As I mentioned earlier, I don’t really care what Google makes, only what YOU make.

All the best,

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Ken Evoy (CEO, SiteSell)
Ken Evoy is the Founder, CEO, and Chairman of the Board of SiteSell Inc. He is the creator of SBI!, SiteSell's comprehensive Web business-building system. Ken is also a successful inventor, author, and emergency physician. He feels strongly that solopreneurs can be empowered by leveraging their income building potential online.
Ken Evoy (CEO, SiteSell)

Latest posts by Ken Evoy (CEO, SiteSell) (see all)

  • Gina

    When I read Google’s announcement, I wondered if it had anything to do with what’s been happening with Chitika, who have been treating their publishers with disdain and the opposite of transparency.

  • Ken,
    Really enjoyed this post, I shared it with my Twitter network who I don’t believe hear enough of this original thinking.

  • Googles announcement clearly shows that there is lot more to it Adsense algorithm regarding ads CPC.
    In my personal observation, mini sites that get 1-5 clicks per day always get much higher CPC (2-3 times) than when a site gets above 10 clicks per day.
    Perhaps we – as publishers – are still getting paid 68%, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that we get 68% of the CPC Google likes to show us in its external keyword tool – which is now integrated into Brainstorm It 3 v.2

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