Guy Kawasaki Uses Google AdSense - Leaves Money on the Table


Chris Anderson at The Long Tail posted you shouldn't quit your day job based on Guy Kawasaki's $3,350 AdSense earnings on 2,436,117 page views.

I guess if I relied on delivering low value ads to tech savvy ad blind webmasters I would probably be writing this post about how I recently doubled my daily income from $6 to $12, but if I was a VC and did that, I wouldn't have the audacity to talk about how I was keeping score:

I care because
1) My mother taught to never leave money on the table.
2) It's a way to keep score and not fall into the trap of doing things for bull shiitake "strategic reasons."
3) I can tell Web 2.0 entrepreneurs that they're on drugs if they think they can depend on an advertiing model because of my first-hand experience.
4) I use the ad revenues, Amazon Associates fees, and jobs-board fees to pay for my hockey obsession.

Threadwatch with 2 ads makes far more than Threadwatch with AdSense at the top and center. SEO Book with 2 ads makes far more than SEO Book with AdSense all over it. I know this not only as a person who has tried selling the ads and tracked revenues, but also as an advertiser buying millions of ad impressions for under $1,000 a month.

Does your site structure and monetization method help build your authority? Or does it cost you more than it is worth? If you run AdSense on a blog about SEO thanks for the under-priced ad space, but there are probably far better ways to profit from your blog.


I agree with your last comment

I tested AdSense on my new SEM site whilst it was still in testing, split testing it with targeted affiliate links for items that I buy and use myself. Apart from the affiliate link for SEO Book (everyone already has it!), the affiliate links won by a mile. This was partly because the only adverts appearing on AdSense were for small SMAs (which is the audience visiting the site) and dodgy Make $1M With AdSense eBooks. Hopefully when I start promoting the website, my decision not to use AdSense should pay off nicely.

All ads are not created equal

Guy's claim that his AdSense experience renders ad-supported business models redundant is plain wrong.

All online advertising is not created equal. AdSense is always going to pay less than perfectly targeted affiliate ads.

Of course, it's not always possible to choose perfectly targeted affiliate ads, particularly for sites with a very broad audience (eg, AdSense can work well as an alternative.

But in the case of a site like Guy's blog, with a clear audience (I'm guessing mostly men, under 35, tech-savvy) it amazes anyone might think AdSense is the *best* way to monetize the site.

TW leaves linkbait on the table

Where's the obligatory tie-in? :)

It's possible that Guy primarily monetizes his blog via building relationships, with that one key relationship connecting him with an opportunity to make multiple millions of dollars in his VC work.

and if the relationships are key...

which I think they are, then him dismissing AdSense (and advertising in general) as a business model based on poor ad integration on one blog is as best handing out ill thought out advice.

Guy's BadSense

We all know AdSense works best when people are actively looking to purchase goods and services, which doesn't tend to happen reading sites like Guy Kawasaki's which really isn't selling anything except Guy Kawasaki.

What Guy has sadly pointed out is he should stick to VC and leave the AdSense to people that know what to do with it ;)

"he should stick to

"he should stick to VC"

Something people haven't noticed.

The guy almost certainly knows alot, but too often the posts (between his start-up ads) read like arm-chair critic fluff. Sales pep-talk, based on observation, not experience. Maybe that's the pressure of blogging?

As above, though - solid established sites can usually do better with direct advertising relationships - the strength of Adsense is in availability for emerging sites.


Has Guy funded a single

Has Guy funded a single investment at Garage yet? Maybe he should stick to blogging and keynoting!

I think he was just

I think he was just linkbaiting you guys. He's stated a few times that his goal is to get in the top ten at Technorati. Whether that's a worthwhile goal is another question. In the same post, he was crying about being ranked only at #45.

9 bucks a day baby! He's got

9 bucks a day baby! He's got Federated going now. I figure he'll make between $50-$100k in 2007 using them with his traffic levels.

Um, that's leaving money on the table in 06.

Just goes to show that Adsense doesn't work for bloggers yo.

With niche focused sites

With niche focused sites like tw and my blog they will make 25X more for brand recognition then adsense ;)


If Guy doesn't know its all about the niche, then is there any hope for the non-tech world?
I have a lovely tech site that I adore (and badly need to redesign), but it puls 50c/day because those people don't click on adsense ads.
Whereas I have a new site selling consumer-level widgets and its pulling $30 per day at only 6 weeks old and I havent even finished it yet :)
Adsense? Tech? I don't think so...

Adsense? Tech? I don't think so

Adsense? Tech? I don't think so
exactly. Best way to monetize the tech sites is by affiliates, as it is done by seobook and TW. Just ask yourself, when you last time interested and clicked on adsense ads? Tech guys lives on the net and they know everything that are actual.

Hmm, I like YPN

I manage to eek by with over a $100 a month with Yahoo Publishers Network (been w/ them since Nov 2005) on a site with about 1,000 views a day. The trick is using Yahoo ad targeting; b/c some times i'll get 10 clicks worth $10 and others 30 clicks worth $2, cumulatively.

I will not use AdSense due to ethical reasons (same reason I won't shop at Walmart or Starbucks).

* I current own YHOO stock.

you own yhoo?

wow! that just undermined your stock market credibility right there. ;)

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