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  1. #1
    Join Date
    June 23rd, 2005
    Is AdWords or Affiliate Marketing Paying More?
    There has been a lot of talk recently on whether Google's AdWords or Affiliate Marketing offers better returns to publishers. Some affiliates have said that they are giving more inventory to Google while the merchants are saying they haven't seen any traffic declines as a result of Google. Also if the Affiliate Networks introducted a hybrid scheme (CPA/CPC) would this be more attractive to publishers and would the merchants be willing to do this? Would love to get merchants/publishers thoughts on this subject. Thx.

  2. #2
    The Beer Hunter LearnAbout's Avatar
    Join Date
    June 1st, 2005
    usually 19th hole
    Welcome Aaron,

    there is no 'one-size-fits-all' answer here, it all depends on the area(s) your site is about. If you have a site with good traffic that deals with the consequences of Asbestos inhalation you're home and dry with Adsense rather than aff. links.

    Other than that it comes down to micro-testing your site page by page. Generally a combination of Affilliate links plus some decent Adsense will work - they are not mutually exclusive.

    [URL=]Golf Beginner Guide[/URL] ; [URL=]Lady Golfers Guide[/URL]

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    West Coast USA
    A well constructed product based domain will always pay more for TEXT based affiliate hidden links.

    [read between the lines]

  4. #4
    Full Member
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    Depends on what keywords are bringing in traffic and where they indicate the person is in the buying process as to whether AdSense or affiliate links are better. The closer they are to buying, the more affiliate links make sense. If it is just people browsing, then go with AdSense.

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador Jane's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    Some people are making 10 grand a month with adsense. I don't do that with affiliate sales. Should I think adsense is better? No... It depends on what kind of traffic you have. Why not run both?

  6. #6
    Member Chocolate_Chicken's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 19th, 2005
    The Hen House
    If merchants paid affiliates on a per-click basis, at a rate equal to 20% of what they bid on Adwords or Overture, in many cases the affiliate's income would be doubled or tripled.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    I make more from affiliate earnings than from AdSense -- probably 2 or 3 times as much. However, the AdSense earnings require a lot less work (and zero maintenance, so far), while affiliate earnings command substantial time and scriptwriting to manage datafeeds, etc.

    Alas, as an AdWords advertiser, I am starting to get very suspicious about click fraud. I launched two teeny test campaigns this week, intentionally at very low bid rates to draw very modest traffic. Of the first 9 clicks (as reported by Google) on each campaign, only 2 resulted in an actual http request at my server. In other words, the click-redirect was not actually completed (something I'd actually expect the fraudsters to be better at, by now). I'm waiting for Google's response on this issue.

    As others have noted, I can sometimes earn more on a per-click basis from Google AdSense than from the same merchant's affiliate program -- but in fairness, I suspect that much of the Adsense money I'm getting in those cases is actually being spent by affiliates who haven't done the math correctly.

    My attitude has been to simply add the AdSense boxes to nearly every content page I create, though I vary the placement and format somewhat.

    It is, of course, always about content, and as others have noted, if your content consists of reviews or value-added descriptions or discussions of products, then textual affiliate links will always earn more. On the other hand, if you have content across many topics, Google AdSense eliminates the need to identify the "right" merchant and sign up and create links.

  8. #8
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    On the other hand, if you have content across many topics, Google AdSense eliminates the need to identify the "right" merchant and sign up and create links.
    Instead, you get to identify which subjects you can get traffic to, and that bring the ads that pay dollars/click...and which ones pay less than 5c.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

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