Using Adsense with Integrity - Which Side Are You On?
By Chuck Brown
The word is out. For all the talk about making money on the internet...Google Adsense is finally "the real deal". Their contextual text link advertising program may not be the perfect solution for everyone. But its ease of use does make it the first and best choice for many, many webmasters.
However, as people are starting to see real, physical checks arrive in their mailbox month after month, a certain kind of insanity can set in: "Hey, if I can do this well with just one or two web sites...what if I had 50 or 100?" In fact, there is now a "business model" in circulation that says: "Build 2 new web sites a week. If you can average XXX per week, you can make XXXXX dollars per month total...with practically no additional work at all!!"
But here's the problem. This so-called business model that is doomed to fail. Google is unofficially already referring to these sites as "spam sites"...and they are moving to keep them from ranking well in their search results. More news about this will follow soon enough. But, rest assured, they will respond.
Why are such sites referred to as "spam"? Because they are adding no new value to the web!! The concept of the internet is not just to slap up affiliate links and hope to make a million thru search engine referrals. Rather, it's that a site with real value builds an audience, and while people are there for their main purpose, you can also use your influence to endorse a product you believe in.
Or maybe your site exists for the express purpose of selling a single product. No problem. But, you have an obligation to not just take up space and "gum up" the web (spam!) by just slapping up a page and a getting a bunch of inbound links and trying to dominate the SERPs. What are you adding? Come up with a better sales pitch. Offer comparisons of your product to the competition. ADD SOME VALUE.
Many webmasters have begun to use RSS to add a little dynamic content, and article syndication sites to add static content, in an effort to beef up their site. That's fine...and it's well within the spirit of the internet.
However, there's an insidious new philosophy/technique called "scraping" where content is auto-located thru keyword searches, and then that content is STOLEN from the site of origin and reconstituted...as if it was original to the new site. There are now programs and services out there that do this for you.
This is a terrible idea. And it's doomed to fail. Because it's thievery...and it's against the spirit of what the web is about. Not only that, such sites are not the platform for which Google designed Adsense. They will put a stop to it eventually...and you will hurt everyone else in the meantime (why do you think Google had to create "the sandbox effect" in the first place?).
If you don't have something new to offer, DON'T build a site and pretend that it has a reason to exist. Bring something new, something solid, something of value. Bring your perspective, your experience...and bring together valuable resources in support of your site. Then, use RSS and articles to add additional value. Sites like THAT have a reason to exist.
There's NO WAY to build quality sites...ones that offer true value...at a rate of two a week. Decide now to do things the right way. In so doing, you can ensure your long-term success...and not just settle for a "quick score".
About the author: Chuck Brown is the webmaster of Adsense-Tools.com, which endeavors to provide links to all the best tools related to Google Adsense, in order to help webmasters maximize their Adsense income. He also is the creator of the Torn Bread network...a group of sites in which he has endeavored to provide real value to visitors. You can also read his occasional ramblings at The Slightly-Less Self-Indulgent Blog, and hear his solo piano compositions at HealingPiano.com.