I don't know much about others, since everyone is so secretive about profits and advertising returns, but I am rather curious, and outside of Google imposing policies to its publishers and advertisers (not to disclose detailed information about their accounts) I feel I want to share and learn more about the routes and venues to independent publishers sustainability.
So, like everyone else who doesn't like to depend on one customer only, I have explorer alternative and complementary venues to Google AdSense, my chief advertising supplier.
Next to Blogads, which is a valuable and still promising clearinghouse for advertisers targeting the blogosphere (though with major limitations screaming for improvement for over a year), I have been more recently experimenting with Kanoodle, a mix PPC search engine and advertising agency which allows me to fully select the specific "ad feeds" that Kanoodle will integrate into my selected Web pages.
This means that, in sharp contrast with the Google AdSense program, Kanoodle allows its ad publishers to fully select the "niche categories" of ad feeds that will be matched to their Web pages.
In my personal view, this approach provides much greater ability for the publisher to guarantee a consistent and relevant selection of contextual text-based ads to appear next to publisher's content and thus a much greater opportunity for offering readers useful and complementary product information that they may find worth clicking on.
Well, the first 10 days of testing with this alternative provider have yelded some pretty impressive results.
Especially so, when considering that the sites offer counter-information on issues ranging from health and alternative energy to world politics. On the two Communication Agents Initiative Web sites that I chose for this Kanoodle test, I have had to restrain almost completely the use of advertisements before, as traditional channels and ad systems did not provide relevant content for such counter-information sites.
Google AdSense did not provide any relief to this, as its own automatic content-scoping algorithms often fail to generate relevant and complementary text ads on the pages where they are used. Worse than that, you may end up with Google AdSense showing ads that openly promote products in sharp contrast with your statements and site ethics.
But with Kanoodle all this was history.
Yes, Kanoodle is not Google, and it does not nearly have the inventory of ads and advertisers that Google has. But the key point here, is that different approaches than Google's own highly acclaimed AdSense program, can work as well, if not better.
Some data to corroborate the above, as reported to me via email by my Kanoodle's own account officer reporting and supporting my specific sites:
"CTR does appear to be very high.
Based on our pageview numbers, we are seeing an overall CTR of around 20%, (7/29 to 8/10). Very impressive."
Talk about effective conversion ratio and sustainability of bloggers?
Start posting serious stuff, instead of flying high from personal to trivial, and you will see what I am seeing myself.
N.B.: I am sure I am not the only one experiencing these results. I also anticipate with confidence that highly targeted niche sites, that produce high-quality content on a systematic basis are bound to be very sustainable in the very near future.
To see sample pages of the Communication Agents Initiative Web sites were the Kanoodle ads are being run, check individual articles in these sections of the two sites:
Health Supreme - Health section
(the Kanoodle ad feed displays text ads inside the right column)
Share The Wealth - Health Through Nutrition
(N.B.: Kanoodle proactively selects and evaluates sites that provide a good level of traffic, credibility and authority for inclusion in its program).