Can You Make a Living on AdSense? Don't Count on It!

Wednesday, July 26
Coming out of a recent session regarding niche marketing and AdSense that has swept through the IM world I felt a sense of an unhealthy direction for the future of this practice. If you haven't heard niche marketing in conjunction with Google's Adsense is very hot right now and a number of marketing gurus as well as opportunists have jumped on the bandwagon. This has been an excellent example of Google actually creating a new industry that didn't exist before - the information black market.

Now, I don't want this to sound too alarmist but the researching, refactoring, rewriting and reselling of information is rapidly becoming a dark art. By this I mean that information for the pure sake of profit is starting to devalue what the internet's higher goals are - universal access to information. But what kind of information? How can one establish what the quality or the motivation of information is?

Let's take an example - two people decide to publish information regarding a topic such as a niche health care issue. One does it purely for the public good - the other purely for AdSense revenue. Does this have any relationship to the quality of the information? Who would you trust and why? What would be the determining factors?

This is a very complex question and has no easy answers. Nevertheless, the search engines are looking very closely at this problem. If you were a search scientist at Google what high level criteria would you use to rank motivation? How would you score a site who's pages are covered with AdSense ads vs. pages with only pure content? I'm not sure how this is going to be answered but this very issue is rapidly rising to the top.


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