AdSense is perhaps the biggest online advertisement network that is available to publishers from all over the world! It allows online publishers, such as blog owners, to monetize their websites by putting up text, image, video as well as rick-media advertisements that are relevant to the site’s content, as well as being targeted towards its audience.
So while it might be the biggest ad network out there, is it the best? That is debatable, at best. Yes, it does have its advantages, and offers certain features that other ad networks or alternatives don’t (such as having the biggest base of advertisers behind it).
However there are instances where I genuinely believe AdSense falls short, here are 10 of them:
No.1: Clicks aren’t really worth a lot
Small blogs, especially those with less than 500 daily visitors, might find that it is a struggle to really earn a lot of money with AdSense. Initially, it’s a real struggle to make even a few dollars, and it might make bloggers question whether it’s even worth it or not. In fact, it might not even be enough to pay for your domain-name renewal or hosting expenses! Seriously, how many times have you heard someone tell you that they’re making a killing off AdSense?
No.2: The CPMs are weak
AdSense CPMs are pretty weak. Yes, the CPMs have pretty much dropped universally, however AdSense offers the lowest in the industry today – while CPCs as an advertiser being extremely high. When you consider the fact that AdSense refuses to publicly share the percentage of revenue that they share with publishers, you cannot help but wonder if AdSense users are really getting what they should be.
No. 3: AdSense ads look pretty terrible
I’ll be honest here, AdSense ad, at times, look absolutely hideous. You cannot customize the ads beyond choosing the size of the ad, or the background color of the ad space, and some of the ads look pretty out-of-place and downright distracting – making the blog or the website unprofessional. With the resources available at Google’s disposal, you would thing that they would be able to come up with something that is perhaps a bit better designed!
No. 4: There really is no approval criteria, is there?
While AdSense might seemingly be extremely strict and stringent about who they let into the program, and are adamant that only if a website complies with the company’s terms of service will it be allowed into the program, that really doesn’t seem to be the case – what with a plethora of low-quality website using AdSense out there! What’s really surprising is that most of these websites seem to be littered with ads and are clearly violating AdSense rules and regulations.
No.5: The payout rate is very high
The payout rate currently is a $100, and that is a problem – most small blogs and small publishers, with low traffic, will either take ages to get there, or won’t reach the payout limit and simply give up on AdSense altogether (what happens to the money already in the account in this case?).
No. 6: Irrelevant or untargeted ads
This is one of the big problems with AdSense; often times, your website will be end up with ads that are unrelated to its content or its subject matter. These untargeted ads are not related to your website at all, and hence have extremely poor CTRs.
No. 7: Some visitors might not like ad-littered website
And this isn’t an AdSense-specific problem, it’s a general problem with any website that has advertisements on it. Too many ads, or ads that might prove to be a nuisance may put drive visitors away from your blog.
No.8: Account termination remains a real possibility
AdSense is notorious for terminating accounts for seemingly no good reason (or odd reasons), and there have been plenty of cases where accounts were terminated right before reaching the payout rate. Once you’ve been banned, there’s little or no chance of getting it revoked (even if you appeal), so you’re essentially out of luck, even if it’s through no fault of your own.
No.9: No money for impressions
AdSense is strictly a CPC-based (per-click based) service, which means you earn exactly $0 if your AdSense ads are not clicked. Other ad networks usually give you money for impressions, as well as per-click, but AdSense doesn’t. Well, apart from the occasional couple of cents or so, which doesn’t happen very often.
No. 10: Alternatives
There are some great (better?) AdSense alternatives available out there, that might be worthwhile to explore or look into. Some of these ad networks are much better suited to blogs belonging to specific niches, and some might even get you targeted ads, better CPM/CPC, lower payout rates and more money!
Disclaimer: I’m not looking to hate on AdSense, and the fact is that it has worked well for probably thousands of blogs and publishers out there. But as we’ve seen, that is not to say that it doesn’t come with its set of flaws or disadvantages, and it might be worthwhile to look at other alternatives in order to monetize your website.