No Ads, No Clicks, No Revenue? What Business Model?

Something Chris Tolles, CEO of Topix.com said on a This Week In Startups episode got this started. He stated that Content was worth $.08 to every $1. of Search. Thanks to the magic of Twitter, a DomainNoob like myself, was able to follow-up with Chris directly for details. He pointed me to research (here and here) Mike Markson had conducted. Wow! You mean to say that for every $1 Google makes on Search, they (and we if we split it) make $.08 on (our) Content? Well sure, Mark’s figures could be off, and the articles were written in 2006, but even if they’re close… For me it begs the question, “Are we all just fodder for Google’s search engine?”

Then a post on Michael Berkens’  TheDomains.com blog about Comcast stealing error traffic, ” Comcast Launches “Domain Helper”: I Call It “Cash For Typos” re-sensitized me to how much it pisses me off that Verizon steals my type-in errors (costing me time and frustration) and re-directs to their ‘Domain Helper’ page full of ads. (Not to mention how much it pisses me off that OpenDNS isn’t Open at all and has their own version of browser-bar-Hijack-to-ads).

Then a friend who’s deep inside the web marketing business Tweeted how invasive ads are getting to be on some pages.
That all lead to me try the Adblock Plus Addon for Firefox, which blocks ads. Check out this 1:30 YouTube video for an overview. it really couldn’t be simpler.

Here’s what ad-free browsing looks like. I picked Ron Jackson’s DNJournal.com. I have a lot of respect for Ron Jackson and I very much appreciate the information he provides, but I’ve always hated visiting his site because the ads are so obnoxious. (If you haven’t heard it already, check out OzDomainer.com’s interview with Ron).

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Before AdBlock Plus (much of this is blinking)

After AdBlock Plus

After tweaking AdBlock Plus for Ron’s site. (Really easy to do)

 

I’ve been browsing ad-free for a few days now. I love it. I’m reminded how much I hate ads. I’m beginning to sense the psychic price (as Bill Hicks would have put it) we pay to see all these ads everywhere. I’m thinking about my own mini-site experiments whose whole purpose in life is to generate a few Adsense dollars. I’m thinking about all of us scampering around generating content for Google to monetize with ads.
And my point? I don’t know yet. But I don’t think I want to be in the ad business. And if it’s this easy to turn ads off, maybe it’s something we should all put a little thought into.

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What Is Adsense For Domains?

Update 4/12 Adsense for Domains has been discontinued.

Came across a long thread on a Google forum today which led me to believe that for some, this isn’t as obvious as I might have thought…

Adsense for Domains is used to monetize Type-In traffic, ie. people type your domain name into the Browser Bar and hit Return. That’s it! If you register a domain and discover it’s getting lots of traffic, it’s probably because you stumbled on (not likely now with so many generic keyword domains already registered) a phrase that a lot of people are looking for-so many that the tiny percentage of people who type the phrase into their Browser Address Bar amount to significant traffic. If you’re not getting hits/clicks on your Adsense for Domains domains it means you probably have an average domain name. Not meaning it’s a bad domain name, but it’s probably not a generic term that people are searching for. For example, you would be wasting your time entirely trying to monetize a domain (using AFD) like Figgs.com. OTOH you MAY earn a buck or two a month with a domain like usedfashionwigs.com Mostly I think Adsense for Domains is for ‘Domainers’ who, due to fortuitous timing and insight, picked up a lot of generic search term domain names early on. Rather than ‘park’ their domains at places like Sedo, Park, etc etc. they now have the option of parking with Google directly.

[Update 122209 Answered a question on another site]
The Google Adsense For Domains instructions are pretty good.
https://www.google.com/adsense/support/bin/answer.py?answer=76049
Problem is, you don’t know if they’re going to accept your domain before you submit it and go through the entire hassle of changing your A records etc. And while the directions for setting it up are pretty good, there are no directions informing you how to change back. So keep good notes. I would recommend taking a screen shot of the settings before you make any changes. You might only discover that Adsense for Domains isn’t working for you a few months from now and have completely forgotten how the settings look. Ask me how I know 😉

There should be an easier way to submit domains for consideration BEFORE you go through the whole A record hassle. For instance, two of the 5 domains I initially submitted were declined by Google. 2 others did worse than when parked. One did a little bit better.