Archive for the ‘Adsense’ Category

Survey: What’s your Highest Adsense Click Ever?

We all know that in some cases people pay more than $10 per click in the content network and more than $50 per click in the search network.

My question to you, my readers, is:

“What is the Highest You Have Ever Been Paid for a Single Adsense Click?”

4 Billion Pages indexed in under 3 Weeks

Via Digg, (so i’m not outing anyone here), merged has shown how some Romainian search engine spammers got more than 3 billion pages indexed in Google in under 3 week.

Check out this site: search of eiqz2q.org — depending which datacentre you hit, you will see between 3.8 and 5.5 BILLION RESULTS. Even worse… the domain is EIGHTEEN DAYS OLD. That’s right, in under 3 weeks, one person has managed to get one domain 5 billion pages indexed in Google. And they are ranking, too. That particular domain has an Alexa ranking of under 7,000. Another domain owned by the same person, t1ps2see.com, has between 1.7 and 2.4 billion indexed pages and an Alexa ranking of under 2,000… after 4 weeks.

It’s been said before, but clearly there is no money in black hat SEO and search engine spamming.

Most Profitable Adsense Keywords

Here is an article that contrasts the most expensive adsense words with the most profitable.

The most expensive keyword:

Selling Structured Settlements at $64.81 per click.

The most profitable:

insurance – CPC $17.41 and over $868,645 spent per day.

The conculsion: Go after words that have a high total spend, not the highest per click spend.

Tutorial: Make More Money on Your Sites with a Mouse Trap

Have you ever noticed that when you go to MSN, Yahoo, or Google the cursor goes to the search box when the page loads? I know I notice it when I start to type something in the address bar and half way through the cursor goes to the search box. I call this phenomenon the “mouse trap.”

The reason the search engines force the cursor to the search box on their sites is the same reason you should do the same on your site: to make more money. I have made this change on SEO Black Hat and will show you how to do the same on your sites.

Aaron Wall points out that the Adsense search box is the most profitable ad unit per pixel you can have on your website. BY A LOT!. So for this project:

Sign up for Google Adsense.

Once you have an Adsense account:

1. Log in and choose the AdSense Setup tab.

2. Choose the Adsense for search

3. You can choose either the Google WebSearch or the + SiteSearch option.

4. Customize the colors however you want and generate your code.

It should give you a code that looks like this:

<center>
<form method="get" action="http://www.google.com/custom" target="google_window">
<table bgcolor="#ffffff">
<tr><td nowrap="nowrap" valign="top" align="left" height="32">
<input type="text" name="q" size="31" maxlength="255" value=""></input>
</td></tr>
<tr><td valign="top" align="left">
<input type="submit" name="sa" value="Google Search"></input>
<input type="hidden" name="client" value="pub-8383871056003291"></input>
<input type="hidden" name="forid" value="1"></input>
<input type="hidden" name="ie" value="ISO-8859-1"></input>
<input type="hidden" name="oe" value="ISO-8859-1"></input>
<input type="hidden" name="cof" value="GALT:#008000;GL:1; DIV:#FFFFFF; VLC:663399; AH:center; BGC:FFFFFF; LBGC:336699; ALC:0000FF; LC:0000FF;T:000000; GFNT:0000FF; GIMP:0000FF; FORID:1;"></input>
<input type="hidden" name="hl" value="en"></input>
</td></tr></table>
</form>
</center>

5. Cut and paste this code to a text editor.

6. Now you have to add a name (let’s go with name=”google”) in the form tag so:

<form method="get" action="http://www.google.com/custom" target="google_window">

becomes

<form method="get" name=”google” action="http://www.google.com/custom" target="google_window">

7. Paste this code where you want the search box to appear on your site.

8. Change your <body> tag to

<body onLoad="self.focus();document.Form_Name.Field_Name.focus()">

So in this case it becomes:

<body onLoad="self.focus();document.google.q.focus()">

9. Profit!

Now, whenever anyone goes to your site, the cursor will go to the search box so if they start typing and press enter, it will do a Google search. If there are adwords for the search term, they will appear on top of the search results. When they are clicked, you get paid.

I’m about 99% sure this is kosher with Google (after all, they do it themselves!). Matt, if you could give this method a thumbs up I’m sure everyone would appreciate it.

Cheating Adsense – Clickfraud

First of all, I would like to point out that I do not cheat adsnese or any PPCs nor do I condone clickfraud. Fraud is fraud and most blackhats that I know are making too much money to play with clickfraud.

That being said, I will add 2 more ways to cheat adsense that are not on adsense cheat’s list because I think the problem is with the PPC system. It must be overhalled – if you leave a pile of cash on your front lawn, someone is going to take it. It’s that simple.

11. Click Tunneling. This has been done in Porn for a while. Go to many TGPs and x% of the links are tunneled or redirected to somewhere other than what the link says it is (normally another TGP for traffic trades). Applying this model to adsense, one could take real clicks on non ads and tunnel them through an adsense ad. It’s difficult, but unfortunately not that difficult.

12. Clickfraud Virus. Create a virus or malware that is included in some real program that will surf and click ads in the background. One would probably need to emulate a browser that runs in the background, but it can be done.

PPC is a house of cards waiting to fall down. It is not a question of if but a question of when.

Google Storefront Will Bring Affiliate Marketing to the Masses

Via Battellemedia, Cnet says that Google settlement or not, click fraud won’t go away:

some click auditing companies still claim that between 20 percent and 35 percent of clicks on Net advertisements are fraudulent.

Despite those figures, click fraud is not deterring spending on search marketing, which JupiterResearch predicts will rise from $4.2 billion in 2005 to $7.5 billion in 2010.

Indeed, clickfraud will continue to grow. Soon, more than 2 out of every 3 will be done by sophisticated bots and tunneling or people working for a few hundred dollars a month clicking adds. Clickfraud is going to reach a point where it will almost completely kill PPC.

However, there will still be a place for it on the right hand of Google’s search results. The only clickfraud there is done to increase the cost per acquisition for one’s competitors. However, throughout the content network, I think it’s much more ominous. As long as it’s so easy for crooks to steal, it’s just going to create more and more crooks doing it on a bigger and bigger scale. It won’t be long before the system collapses.

The Solution to Clickfraud

The solution to the clickfraud problem is PPA (Pay Per Acquisition) affiliate marketing. In this model, which was pioneered in adult, advertisers pay only for the leads that turn into sales. This is the route that Google must go to solve the clickfraud problem and steady their relationship with advertisers. Which brings me to:

Google Storefront

I’m gonna pull a Cringley and make some predictions. Google is going to get into affiliate marketing management like Commission Junction and Azoogle. However, they are going to do to affiliate marketing what they did to blogging with Blogspot – make it simple for the masses. Within the next 2 years, they will launch Google Storefront.

With Google Storefront, anyone will be able to sell almost any good or service (except Porn and Guns) with an affiliate program managed by Google. All the credit card processing, all the management software, and all the analytics will be provided by Google. The software will be free and Google will take a piece of every transaction. They will cycle the best converting and highest paying ads to the top of what is now google adsense.

Google Storefront will combine the best aspects of contextual advertising with affiliate marketing. Instead of advertisers picking the Keywords they want, Google’s massive user date will algorythmically determine which ads to place on which sites. Your Ads CTR, how well your site converts, and what your are selling will determine how often and where your ad is placed. There won’t be any advertising budget concerns, because Google will take the advertising fee directly out of the sale.

I predict that Google will do this first, and may therefore eventually win in the affiliate marketing space if they execute correctly.

However . . .

It’s Still Anyone’s Ball GAMEY

Anyone of GAMEY (Google, Amazon, Microsoft, EBay, Yahoo) could still win in affiliate marketing advertising space. Whoever is the first to do it right (the Google Storefront for the Masses model), will have a huge advantage.

Yahoo’s been a little bit slow lately, but they could take back the initiative in a major way by beating Google to the punch with “Yahoo Storefront”. If they got in the game 9 months before Google, and did it right, they could get entrenched in the marketplace and possible even win. But what are the odds of Jeremy Zawodny and crew taking advice from a black hat?

We have seen a lot of innovation out of Amazon lately. Plus, they have e-commerce expertise. So it would make sense for them to get into helping other people manage their affiliates. Their user review system could help people pick the right affiliates and we know their affiliate tracking system is already best in class. The only question is whether they would see this as potentially cannibalizing their own business. This is, of course a short sited view of potential market, but we haven’t heard much from Jeff Bezos since that first internet Bubble.

EBay already has personal eBay storefronts, but this differs from the Google Storefront model I described. They own paypal and it would therefore seem easy for them to start helping people to manage affiliates and processing. Maybe they’ll buy Commission Junction, but that’s not quite the easy, turnkey solution for the masses that Google Storefront could be.

Microsoft; don’t count them out yet. If “Live Store”, is launched correctly and well before the others, they could get the head start they need to win. However, M$ has not big on the innovation front lately. I predict they will launch about 2 months after Google Storefront – enough time for Google to have already recruited 10,000+ affiliates and become firmly entrenched in the marketplace.

Make $200K+ a Year Running the SEO Scam

Let’s face it. Most SEO is scam. Is it fair to say that 80% of the people selling Search Engine Optimization services have neither the knowledge nor ability to deliver good value to their customers? I think so.

If someone could take your crappy site and rank it for Viagra, Poker or Mortgages, why the hell would they do it for you? Why wouldn’t they just do it themselves and keep all the money?

So, while you’re trying to figure out how to get up to $100 a day in adsense, these SEO Scam shysters are raking in more than $200K per year.

In this post I’m going to lay out the Anatomy of the SEO Scam and how to identify an SEO scam when you see it in the form of a beginners guide to becoming an SEO scammer.

Step 1. Don’t let the fact that you know nothing about SEO hold you back. Sure you could at least get a primer by reading some of the newbie blogs. Or if you’re really interested you could read the best Search engine forums and all the important blogs of SEO experts daily and (God forbid!) actually go out and rank for something in the search engines. But all that’s really overkill for running the SEO scam. All you really need are some buzzwords like “meta tags,” “crawler pages,” “doorway pages,” and “premium placement.”

Step 2. Buy a domain with the word SEO in it and fake a page rank 7. Alternatively, you can purchase a link to your domain from a page rank 8 that transfers page rank for about $400 a month. Copy some other SEO firm’s site (that doesn’t have a blog) almost verbatim – make sure you change the colors and the contact information. You will of course show this site to your prospective clients and point out your Google page rank. Don’t worry about the fact that you don’t actually rank for anything in any of the search engines, or the fact that no legitimate SEO has ever quoted or linked to anything you have written – you can double talk your way around that.

Step 3. Get the word out that you are an SEO. Make business cards and tell everyone you know. Once you have business cards, you are by definition a “Professional SEO.” I don’t have any business cards so I am NOT a professional SEO. Remember, almost all of your business will have to come from your offline hustling – because no one is going to find you online.

Step 4. Go to non SEO trade shows. Steer clear of Adult, Gambling, Pharma and Technology Related Shows– they are, on the whole, too savvy to pitch. I would throw Mortgages in their too, but you can definitely find some mortgage brokers who
a) don’t have a clue and
b) have money to waste.
A fool and his money are soon parted. – Thomas Tusser
Tell everyone you meet at these shows that you can get them a top 10 placement in Google and the other search engines. Get their cards and call them until they agree to meet with you. Your prime targets are people with decent sized business who know nothing about Search except that they heard about “Google or Something like that on the news”.

Step 5. If you have to, whip out the yellow pages and start dialing for dollars.
“Hi this is Mike Jones, I’m trying to find it . . . what is your companies web site address?”
Then pull their site.
“Oh, it looks like the Search Engines are having problems finding your site. Who should I talk there about fixing that problem – the President right? What’s his name? [pause] Joe? Great – Transfer me over to him. Thanks!” And so on. I could write the script, but that’s all just sales 101. Once you get rolling, you’ll be able to hire telemarketing appointment setters.

Step 6. You guarantee a top ten placement in Google, Yahoo, and MSN. How do you deliver this? If need be “with long phrases in quotes”. Do not guarantee that you will rank for any important search phrases that people actually search for or that have any traffic. Do not do pay for performance or ever agree to work for a piece of the increase in revenue.

Step 7. You tell them that because you know people at Google, you can get them premium placement at the top of Google Searches. This is of course doublespeak for selling them Google Adwords.

Step 8. You charge $1500 per month with a 12 month contract + 25% of PPC spend and a 50% markup if they want analytics software like clicktracks (basically for installation). If you think you can get more, then get more. But never work for less than this. If you need a contract or two, just contact some of the big SEO chop shops who don’t have anyone you’ve heard of working there. Tell them that you are interested in their services and want a proposal (you may need to purchase an extra domain and throw up some crappy web site for this). After you get the proposal, do a find and replace. If there is anything about link bait, viral marketing, natural links, buyouts and 301s, footprints, content generation or delivery, affiliate programs, building communities, blogging, networks, interlinking, building a site that someone might actually want to find, or any legitimate SEO strategies that you don’t understand, just take it out. Don’t worry, odds are the SEO you contacted won’t have mentioned any of these.

Step 9. When you meet with the customer, don’t be afraid to lie and over promise to close the deal. As long as your contract does not lie or over promise, you are covered.

Step 10. After the Contract is signed, make sure you get that first check. Do some on page optimization (if you know how – if not just guess), sign up for PPC programs, do a few press releases and buy them a few links – but not all at once. Stall this process over of a 16-20 week period. If they ask about results, just tell them that these things take time. If they persist, show them how they rank for a certain “search term with their company name in quotes” and talk about the next Google update.

Step 11. Send them some keyword reports, traffic graphs and their Adsense reports and ASK FOR REFFERRALS! Ask early. Ask Often.

Just close one of these deals a month and you’ll be making over $200k per year after expenses. You will have to close slightly more once you have hired your telemarketing appointment setters.

Hopefully this guide will be used more to help people avoid being ripped off by an SEO Scam, but of course I know better. As PT Barnum said (or didn’t):

There’s a sucker born every minute.

Digg this Story.

What if MSN Heavily Penalized for PPC Ads?

We all know the deal. Google is making a killing off of Adsense on spam sites that are listed in Yahoo and MSN and laughs all the way to the bank as these sites are buried in Google’s results. But what if MSN started penalizing heavily for the presence of ANY PPC ad program?

I don’t know what their weighting factors are, but would it dramatically improve relevancy for MSN to move down any web page with any PPC program an average of 10 spots in their SERPs? I think it would.

Most of the bigger and more reputable sites steer away from contextual ads because they can fetch a premium for selling the ad space themselves. MSN could even do hand exceptions if it turned out sites like the NYTs were running Adsense. Even if they had to do thousands of hand exceptions, it might be worth it.

While it’s true they would be pushing down some of the best content, they would concurrently move about 85% of spam sites out of the top spots in their SERPs. So while they may sometimes lack the truly best results at the top, people would rarely see a spam site there.

This is a move that Google could not easily counter. If it became apparent that Adsense caused a noticeable drop in Google SERPs, you would see an exodus from Google’s only real source of income. It would also be a hard pill for Yahoo to swallow, as they are making some inroads with YPN.

Now, I’m not recommending that MSN do this as I get a fair amount of traffic from MSN on large sites that run PPC ad campaigns nor do I think that Microsoft Engineers give a rats ass about my opinion.

I’m really just asking “What if?”

Top 10 Reasons To Sell Google’s Stock

I Love Google, But Hate Google’s Stock. For what it’s worth (about nothing), I used to be a stockbroker. Would you believe I got out of it because I didn’t like ripping people off? (it’s true!)

Today I’m going to talk again about why, even though Google is a great company, their stock is overpriced and should be sold if your want to protect your portfolio’s value. Sure I said it before (when their stock was $80 higher per share), but this time I’m going to lay it out in even more detail. Hopefully this won’t be the straw that breaks the Googlebots back and gets my site banned.

10. Google is a 1 dimensional company. Although they are try to branch into everything even remotely related to advertising, software and the Internet, they have only been successful with 1 product: search. Sure people talk about Gmail (less than 5% market share), Myspace Brazil Orkut, Google Reader (what’s that?), and Ebay and Craigslist are soooooo Dead Google Base, but Google is really only making money with one product: search.

9. Market Cap vs Profitability. Right now, Google’s Market Cap is $104 billion dollars. The highest market Caps for any Company has never been more than $650 billion. Right now GE and XOM are the top dogs: both around $360B; WMT is at $185B; MSFT is $282B. Even if (for some reason) you think that Google will someday be worth more than Exxon Mobil is today, you’re still only looking at a 3 fold increase. Right now Google is making about $1.7B a year in profits, XOM $36.1B.

8. Search Query Revelancy is narrowing. Via Battelle’s Searchblog we see that not only is Google tied with Yahoo in terms of relevancy but (just as ominous) no search engine scored better than a 2.3 out of 5 for Relevancy.

7. There is no switching cost for search. I can use Google at 9:00 am Yahoo at 9:02 am and MSN at 9:03 am – without feeling any kind of switching pain. It’s just too easy for someone to choose another search engine – there is no “switching cost.” If you’ve every read Geoffrey Mores “The Gorilla Game,” you understand that without a high switching cost, no technology company can consider it’s business model safe.

6. Google’s Margins are shrinking. Straight out of SES we have Jensense pointing out how Google admits AdSense margins will be squeezed in 2006 and beyond. You don’t need captain obvious to tell you what shrinking margins mean to stock prices.

5. Microsoft. Are you really going to bet against a team that just doesn’t loose? I mean seriously? What is Google going to do when Microsoft intelligently integrates an Amazing search product into their operating system? It may not happen for a few years, but this is inevitable. What happens when Microsoft smartens up and realizes that the best way to improve search relevancy is to push ANY result with ANY Pay Per Click add down 10 places in their SERPs?

4. Risk vs. Reward. If you want to invest in risky stocks, that’s certainly your prerogative. But when you do, there should be a chance that you’ll hit a home run and see a 20 fold or more increase in your investment. With Google, you have all the risk of investing in a small company without the huge potential payoff.

3. “Search is in its Infancy.” Aside from MSFT and Yahoo, we see innovation coming from A9 and hundreds of upstarts. There could be a disruptive technology that revolutionize the way we search – it’s still anybody’s ball game and GOOG is priced as if they’ve already won.

2. Legal Concerns. Google is still priced as though everything will go perfectly for them for the next 5 years. With privacy concerns, copyright and other legal / government issues, there are still several legal pitfalls left for Google to avoid.

1. Clickfraud. “Make $300 per month Clicking on ads” has a lot of appeal to many people around the world. It’s why Google has already set aside $90 million to settle clickfraud cases (via TW).

The adult space is always on the cutting edge in terms of Internet technology. Wanna know why there’s almost no PPC in adult? Because years ago that industry figured out that PPC is not a sustainable model for advertising. Sure, some people buy clicks from Adsense in adult, but the real money is in Pay per Acquisition mixed in with some “pay for premier placement.”

There is a likelihood that the business model (PPC) that is the source of virtually ALL of Google’s revenue today will not exist in 10 years. Can Google make the switch to affiliate marketer if need be? Only time will tell.

I love Google. I love the people at Google, their spirit and how they innovate. I just don’t see how you can justify owning their stock at its current price. If their stock goes below $100, it will be time to take another look. But today, I can’t see why any informed investor would own GOOG.

Fadsense Recruiting Details

Fadsense is a project with incredible upside potential. Here’s what I’m looking for:

1. People to program application including a GUI Webmaster interface (I want the color scheme choices and fad sizes to be close to Google’s). Innitially, there will only be a small set of fads. Later on, webmasters will have choices as to what category of fad they want to display – so the app should be designed with this in mind.

2. Someone to host and manage the ad server. This could get very big very quickly if it goes viral, so we want someone who can prove they can manage a quick ramp up over multiple servers. We will need to track CTR and impressions per account.

3. Editors. I know the temptation is to whore out your own sites and copy fads, but doing this part legitimately will be more beneficial and have more value even in the short term. We want people who can write truly compelling “fad ads” and link them to the original source of real Internet fads.

4. Someone to help build the Fadsense site including sales copy (why webmasters want this), graphics, and site structure.

5. People in charge of recruiting webmasters to join Fadsense and general marketing / link building.

6. Someone to manage the Myspace marketing.

and

7. A PROVEN project manager or single point of contact. (I want a President for Fadsense – I can’t commit enough time to this project to take on this role myself).

The pay is nothing, but there will be equity sharing and link love from the actual Fadsense site (but not from the fads).

Who knows? Maybe GAMEY or some Venture Capitalists will want this once it gets going. Stranger things have been happening lately.

You already know a little about me from what I’ve dropped on SEO Black Hat. If you want to work with us on this project, send me:

1. A list of the site or some of the sites you own or manage.

2. A summary of your programming / web development skills (what you’re good at)

3. What role(s) you want to play.

4. Anything else that will aid in my decision making process (for example, “I manage 20 web servers”, “I run an ISP”, or “I’ve have a lot of experience with similar projects”,)

Direct your requests to work on the project to fadsense[at]seoblackhat.com.