Thousands of site owners are making poor first impressions in exchange for a few monthly dollars.
When I began my blog, I experimented with Google AdSense. It was my first foray into onine advertising and I thought “Hey, this has some potential.” But it didn’t take long before I removed the ad blocks due to their less-than-complimentary appearance. The fact that I wasn’t earning much money played its part, too, but more than that, and as a graphic designer, I don’t like site additions that I don’t control.
Was my decision to remove AdSense detrimental to my overall aims? Not one bit.
I was prompted to write this post after reading a guest spot on ProBlogger.net by Chad Randall, titled 10 ways to make your blog more attractive to advertisers. Chad has been working in the online advertising industry for around six years, and has sold more than $5,000,000 in online ads. You’d think he’d know what he’s talking about, wouldn’t you?
Two of Chad’s 10 points that were of most interest:
Don’t use Google AdSense on your site
“OK, this could be the most painful one for most people, especially if you are generating a few hundred bucks a month from it already. But Google ad sense devalues your site and makes it look unprofessional. You have to ask yourself, ‘Do I want some real revenue from my site or Google’s table scraps.’”
Have an ‘Advertise with Us’ banner on your site
“This is the single most important issue. It should click to an Advertising information page and have an easy way to contact you for more information and rates. Key points: Make it a graphical image or a tab. Keep it above the fold.”
Now, I’ve been mentioning lately about making money online. Not plastering my blog with every ad or affiliate scheme under the sun, but placing a few targetted, relevant ads in prominent positions. Ads that don’t cheapen my blog’s appearance, and ones that are actually useful for you.
Chad’s article came at a time when I was looking for it. For that I’m grateful.
However, it’s not all that ‘cut and dry’. The comments on Chad’s guest post make interesting reading.
Cue Dave Taylor, author of the successful AskDaveTaylor.com. Dave had this to say about Chad’s stance on Google AdSense:
“Chad, I find it hard to understand why you, the ad director of b5media (of which Darren is a member), are saying that AdSense makes a blog “unprofessional”. My take is quite the opposite, and that if anything, an AdSense block is like anything else you add to a page (like, say, a widget or banner ad): you can use it for good or evil. If you have an ugly design or try to trick people into thinking it’s part of your navigational scheme, well that’s obviously bad. But that doesn’t make AdSense itself bad.
“Frankly, for you to blanket criticize AdSense without explicitly saying that you make your money by competing with Google for blog advertising space is a bit like the pot calling the proverbial kettle black.
“Oh, and finally, some of us bloggers make more than “table scraps” with AdSense. In fact, I know of many bloggers and website entrepreneurs that are making a quite comfortable living working closely with Google.”
Of course AdSense can be beneficial. Dave Taylor is an excellent example of this. In saying that, and speaking as a graphic designer, I’d personally overhaul Dave’s site design, possibly shooting myself in the foot at the same time.
From a design point of view, I still don’t like the aesthetics of AdSense blocks. I side more with Chad than Dave on this one.
What is unfortunately contradicting about Chad’s point of view, is his follow-up comment where he, Director of Sales for b5media, mentions:
“Yes, b5media does still run AdSense.”
Hmm. So I followed on through the comments, where Chad draws readers to his own blog to carry on the conversation. You can read his post there by clicking on his blog banner below:
Interesting how the article is titled, Why I hate Google AdSense. Spot the contradiction?
What’s your take on using Google AdSense?