Saturday, 2 December 2006

AdSense Publishers, Don't Forget Who Really Pays You

A week or so ago, I was rather frustrated by a poster on the official AdSense Help forum who wrote

"And I HAVE to ask - how on earth do you get clicks if you are not allowed to ask for them - I mean, REALLY!!! Come and look at all the beggars in my country who do better than I do begging on the streets than I do working my but [sic] off on ADsense!!";

This frustrated me because it highlights a disconnect that many AdSense publishers ("AdSensers") have regarding who exactly it is that pays them. The AdSense help forum is full of people, many from "third world" countries, who have heard how it's possible to earn more money from AdSense than many local people could ever hope to earn from regular employment and are desperately hoping to generate income for themselves. AdSense is seen as a way out of poverty and all you need is clicks. This has seen a tremendous rise in sites whose sole purpose is to generate AdSense clicks, with no intent to provide real content or any real usefulness at all, except to earn money for the AdSenser (which violates AdSense's Terms and Conditions, but that's another story) and this isn't just in "third world" countries, but throughout the globe.

What makes this situation worse is that these "AdSensers" only deal with Google, Inc., the fat, powerful, multi-billion dollar corporation in silicon valley. It's Google's name on the checks that arrive, it's Google's web site that they go to diligently to check their earnings . . . but it's not ultimately Google who pays them, it's Joe Advertiser, regular businesses and private indivuduals like you and me. It's our hard-earned cash that is funding AdSense through our AdWords advertisements, Google is just the middleman, the marketplace where AdWords advertisers and AdSense publishers meet.

Without AdWords advertisers advertising on the Content Network, there would be no AdSense. Those ads you're hoping for clicks on don't appear from nowhere, Google doesn't write them just so you can earn some money, they are paid for by someone just like you. Perhaps if every AdSense publisher spent some of their money trying to promote a product via AdWords, they would have a greater appreciation of how lucky they are to have such an amazing opportunity to earn money from people clicking on ads, people who may never even end up buying the product or service that's being advertised and each one of those clicks that earns you money, takes money from someone else . . . as the rule goes, "for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction."

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