“I’ve had a couple of people email me this morning saying that they have been booted from Google’s AdSense program for fraudulent clicks. Since one of them has made all of $23.58 in 9 months, I find Google’s tracking mechanism a little, erm… questionable. But it doesn’t change the fact that once banned from AdSense, it’s a headache to figure out what to do next.
First of all – Contact Google through your AdSense account. People can and do get reinstated if indeed there was no fraudulent activity (although from my morning research today, I’ve found this isn’t what happens all of the time).
But I’m always up for looking for the silver lining. Perhaps this is just the kick in the pants you need to do a little more experimentation with your site advertising!
Regardless of what contextual advertising you use, for some great tips on optimization check out this Search Engine Roundtable report on Jeremy ShoeMaker’s and Jennifer Slegg’s presentation at last year’s SES. Plus, both Jeremy and Jennifer have written extensively on the subject and I highly recommend digging around in their archives on this topic.
What are My Alternatives to AdSense?
This is probably the biggest competition to AdSense simply because Yahoo has the reach that many of the smaller ad networks don’t have. Generally speaking, Google serves up more relevant ads than Yahoo – but this little JenSense test offers some interesting observations on the subject.
I use AdBrite here on this site, and have encountered some of the same relevancy issues as stated above. What’s nice about AdBrite is that you can use it in combination with other contextual advertising programs (including AdSense). Just tell AdBrite what eCPM to beat, and it will rotate all of your ads for you based on how much money you could make with each program.
Chitika has a reputation for being one of the better performing advertising options for sites that promote products (not so much services). But this is something that they are devoting some serious attention to improving, which is why I’m excited to watch them evolve and take on AdSense. My hunch is that if they stay on track, they will be soon giving AdSense a serious run for their money.
I’ve been using AuctionAds ever since they launched a couple of months ago. Though it hasn’t been a huge source of revenue to date, I must say that it has a really impressive click-through rate. I also give them props for relevancy – although technically this isn’t a “true” contextual ad program because the publisher controls the keywords when the ad code is created. Results to date indicate this network is a keeper.
Although TLA is not even close to being a contextual program, I include them here because of two reasons – I make a good amount of money every month from TLA, and they recently added advertising at the post level, which increases your opportunities to make money in various ways from your site. TLA is a little harder to get approved (you need traffic and page rank first), but it is worth it to pester them (sorry, Patrick, but it’s the truth! )
Amanda just reminded me about BurstMedia – and she offers a pretty glowing review of their services in the comments. Burst has been around a really long time – but never really got close to being a front-runner in the space. Their longevity says good things about the fact that they at least ‘get’ contextual advertising and I don’t think they will be going away any time soon.
Technically Azoogle is a PPA (Pay Per Acquisition) network, not PPC (Pay Per Click), so you only make money when a site visitor actually buys/takes an action. Regardless, I found it interesting that Azoogle was mentioned repeatedly at the last Elite Retreat, by both the presenters and the participants as one of the stronger programs out there. It’s a program I hope to play around with very soon.
I know very little about Quigo, but I do know they have been around for quite a while. A scan of their FAQ’s states their program is for US-based publishers, and it also looks like you have a little more control over what ads appear on your site. Anyone who has used this program want to comment further?
Kontera’s ads are slightly different than the ads mentioned above – they are the double-underlined links that serve up an ad in a pop-up bubble. I know that some bigger bloggers have had some success with Kontera, but personally, I think this kind of ad interrupts the user-experience too much.
Amusingly, I hadn’t heard of Clicksor until today when I did a search on contextual advertisng. But since they came up first in the natural results, I’m a little embarrassed to admit that!
Again, another one I didn’t come across until recently – but this one looks quite interesting as it is targeted specifically to blog publishers. With their main claim being that they “Put an End to Irrelevant Ads”, I’m hooked into investigating further already!
Your Own Ads
I have to say that although this option is little more difficult for a newer blogger to implement, it is also the one you want to dedicate the most time to for long-term growth. I’ve written quite a bit about this in the past in regards to ad optimization and strong ad placement. Promoting your own free reports, professional services.”