Google can crush anyone if they feel like it. I am not kidding. A couple of years ago they banned thousands of affiliates from their Adwords program just because they were advertising affiliate links which according to them is an unnecessary step in the sales funnel.
Little did we know Google already was working on their comparison ads to replace affiliates with their own landing pages and content to tap into the lead gen industry themselves.
If you search for something like “credit cards” or “home loans” you will find their comparison ads that make money from affiliate commissions that are paid by participating companies.
So what did affiliates do? They started looking for other ways to get traffic and there are literally hundreds of places where you can go and buy media.
In my opinion, still the fastest way to make money online is to simply grab a high converting offer and then drive paid traffic to it. If you do that on Google though you are risking getting banned for life even though you are not doing anything unethical or bad. You are just sending customers to a merchant who doesn’t know how to do that himself or wants affiliates to promote for him so he can concentrate on customer support.
Google allowed affiliates for the first 5-7 years when they needed help getting their Adwords program out to masses. Now when they no longer need affiliate marketers they simply threw them out (but kept the data). Kill or be killed!
Anyway, if you had profitable campaigns running through Adwords you now had to go and find other traffic sources. For many people it was hard to replace so they went out of business overnight. Others found that direct media buying or other content networks can deliver quality traffic (if not better) too so they grew their business and survived.
Getting traffic believe it or not is the easy part nowadays. You can run text ads or banners through Adsonar (advertising.com), Adblade, MS Adcenter, 7search, ContextWeb, Sitescout, Zedo, Pulse360 and many more.
There are tons of possibilities out there and if you know how to convert visitors then buying traffic is a no brainer…it’s like free money waiting to be picked up.
But here is where it gets interesting. You see, Google wants their Ads to show on all these other sites too. There is a secret war going on between companies that buy media wholesale and giants like Google.
For example, Adsonar used to run their text ads on FoxNews.com. On almost every news post you would see an ad block below the post that looked like this:
Now I don’t see it anymore and guess what it was replaced with? Yep, Google Adsense is now showing in its place.
If you had a profitable campaign running on FoxNews through Advertising.com self serving platform you just got pushed out by Google lol
Here is how it looks like now:
So no matter what you do Google can still affect your business even if you are paying someone else to run your ads.
Good luck trying to replicate the campaign and target Fox from Adwords. You now have to deal with quality scores and all sorts of rules. Plus they can ban you for even trying.
Here is how it works:
Companies like Advertising.com basically buy out the entire spot wholesale and then resell it to advertisers at much higher price. You can call it arbitrage but it’s no different than buying merchandise from a manufacturer and then selling it at the local store for more than what you paid for it.
Then Google comes along and offers them more for the spot and poof Advertising.com is now gone.
You see, Google probably offered Fox much bigger percentage of every click, but I think they could have even offered them more than what they are making just to promote Google brand this way.
All those advertising networks compete against each other for publishers which is good for advertisers but Google doesn’t compete. They just buy it to have it in their inventory even though they could be losing money.
They can push out any advertising network if they really want media from a certain publisher. You can’t beat them because they have so much money so competing would bleed you out.
I have been watching and observing a lot of high end publishers and stuff like this happens all the time, but as soon as Google steps in nobody stands a chance.
You can still run ads on Fox through Adblade. I like their formats which they call “news bullets”. You can find them on the right sidebar but they don’t always show on every post.
I am getting ready to roll out some paid campaigns possibly still this month so I am going to experiment a lot soon. I pretty much know who is making money on those big sites and who isn’t. It’s easy to spot if you take some time to research it.
Patience, focus, and speed of implementation…that’s all it takes (oh and money 🙂 )