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What Else Can You Use, Besides Google Adsense?

When Google launched AdSense for webmasters way back in June 2003, AdWords was still new, people had no clue what contextual advertising meant or how it worked, and most importantly, no one had provided a similar service for the average webmaster (like you and me) for free so far. Two and half years later, things have changed. AdSense has become massive; more and more people everyday are buying into the possibility of earning money, serious money through Google AdSense. A lot of this has to do with the high competition for keywords on AdWords – as advertisers bid higher and higher, clicks on your site’s AdSense ads become more and more valuable. In addition, a large number of services have sprung up to offer similar advertising services. Other pay-per-click advertising sites have been quick to follow the Google model, offering contextual advertisements just like AdSense. What’s more, alternative site advertising models have sprung up, most notable being the contextual algorithms used by Kontera and Vibrant Media, and the product advertising by Chitika, Commission Junction and CBProSense, amongst others.

Google AdSense is still the largest revenue network, and with AdWords being the most popular PPC program available, there’s still great potential for AdSense revenue on your website. Still, you may feel like AdSense is not the thing for you. Maybe you don’t like Google. Or maybe, like me, you’re looking to maximize the revenues from your website. In other words, you may have a number of reasons for looking at advertising alternatives to Google AdSense. In today’s lesson I’ve picked out three serious alternatives for you to consider in place of AdSense. These are:
* Yahoo Publisher Network (YPN)
* Kontera
* Chitika eMiniMalls
Each occupies a different “niche” within the site advertising model – and it’s worth noting that all three may work best for one type of site, but not too well for others.

Yahoo Publishers Network
Yahoo! Publisher Network (or YPN for short) is Yahoo’s response to Google AdSense. In effect, YPN works almost exactly like AdSense – insert a piece of JavaScript code into your site pages, and then wait for the YPN bot to crawl your site and pretty soon you have contextually relevant ads being displayed on your site. YPN is still in beta, and in terms of features, it shows as there are several features available in AdSense that seem to be missing in YPN (lesser ad format options, clunkier code generation, limited color palette options, a limit of 50 ad channels). However, YPN trumps AdSense with one feature that webmasters have been clamoring for ever since Google launched AdSense – the ability to transfer funds from YPN to Yahoo Search Marketing (YSM), provided that you use the same login/email information on both accounts. This is huge in terms of attracting webmasters, but since YSM is still a few steps behind AdWords in popularity, Yahoo will need to do more to attract AdSense users.

My own tests coincide with what other search marketing experts have said about “Yahoo’s AdSense” – results are too varied to determine which service delivers better ads or better CTR/CPM. If you want to switch over to YPN just because you want to increase your site revenues, I’d suggest that you test it out on a small section of your site first. Both YPN and AdSense have comparable ad relevancy and average earnings per click. This means that at least for now, your choice between the two might be based on something as simple as a preference for either search engine (or if you are actively involved in PPC advertising using YSM).

Kontera
If you own a high-quality content-rich site and enjoy considerable web traffic, you might want to consider a contextual, keyword-based advertising alternative to the AdSense model. Kontera provides such a non-obtrusive, highly effective solution. Kontera is unique in the sense that while it is provides ad banners similar to AdSense, it also uses keywords within your page text as ads – by underlining them and giving ads in the form of tool tips upon a mouse over of the underlined text (ad). An example of such ads is on SEO Chat (which actually uses a similar service from a different company, Vibrant Media, mentioned later in this section). Load any article on SEO Chat, and you’ll notice that certain keywords in the main article text are underlined. When you bring your mouse pointer over that keyword (don’t click), a simple tool tip will appear.

Kontera’s biggest draw, in my view, is their qualification requirements (150,000 page views per month and 100+ words on a majority of the site pages) which ensure that only content-rich, high quality websites become members of their publishing network. 150,000 page views per month translates into 5,000 page views daily – let’s face it, to get to that level of web traffic, you would need to put in some effort. All in all, the requirements serve to bring in only the best content sites into the program – sites that are focused on providing quality to the customers. In the end, this quality focus also translates into advertisers that are willing to pay big bucks to generate leads from theses sites, thus earning you high EPC (earnings per click) on average.

If you have a site that meets Kontera’s requirements and are interested in seriously exploring unobtrusive, effective contextual advertising, then I would suggest that you snap up a copy of Joel Comm’s Kontera Secrets and use it as your guide in implementing Kontera’s advertising algorithms on your website. Selling at $47 (as of 18th Nov 2005), the e-book is a quick but extremely informative and invaluable read at just 29 pages. Another option in contextual, keyword-tagged advertising in Vibrant Media. It offers similar services to Kontera, with one important distinction – its minimum qualification is 500,000 page views per month. Vibrant Media is the company that powers the ads on SEO Chat.

Chitika
Strictly speaking, Chitika is a product-advertising service that uses both contextual and keyword specific advertising (you can choose one of two) to display product information on your website. Revenue is generated through leads (i.e. clicks), and Chitika pays website owners 60% of their revenue (e.g. if an advertiser bids $1 for an ad for Nike running shoes, and a visitor on your site clicks on that ad, you get $.60). Chitika ads are better known as eMiniMalls – a reference to how convenient it becomes for users to browse through the product advertisement while remaining on your site. This is better seen than explained, so make sure you check the “demo” on the front page of chitika.com.

eMiniMalls can be configured to run both contextually or by manually specifying keywords. Contextual advertising is great if you have a highly targeted content site but if you are just looking to put up ads on a few product review pages (or if you just want to test out eMiniMalls), you can also manually specify keywords for which to show ads. The keyword option also allows you to run eMiniMalls alongside AdSense and YPN (as both prohibit the use of other contextual advertising running simultaneously with their ads). A key point to keep in mind when trying out Chitika is that running “product ads” on your website (no matter how informative they might be) is that you have to do your research on which products and keywords have the best paying ads. Otherwise, if the coffeemaker ads on your coffee secrets website only pay you $.05 per click, you might want to switch to something else.

If you would like to learn more internet marketing strategies for optimizing the amount of money you make online, you can get a free copy of any of our best selling courses. Just tell us where to mail it and we’ll send it straight to your front door. Go here: http://www.bradcallen.com




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