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Payday Loan Blog - A Search Engine in Sheep's Clothing

 Friday, 27 April 2007

According to 7search, it looks like our industry is once again popping into the list of high keyword payouts, which isn't that unusual given the influx of competition (both on lead purchasing and lead selling).

At first glance one might be willing to say "wow, I should just throw some Adsense on the page and collect my money in the payday loan industry", but you may recall that I previously explained why I thought private label affiliate programs are better than Adsense. Does this explanation still hold up? Oh yeah.

First, from an affiliate's point of view the big question is: what am I getting paid?
If you are able to survive quality score updates, smart pricing, and have a premier site, you might crack that $4.50/click range, sometimes, maybe. Is that really what you can expect to earn? Not really.

You see the quality score updates and advent of smart pricing didn't exactly benefit the advertiser or the affiliate; it was a profitable move for the network. Before quality updates and smart pricing, it was possible to sell space on your site, hoping to get matched with quality content, which is not a given no matter how big you are. During that match, you were given a split of the proceeds with Google. Well my affiliate friend, times have changed. Nowadays, that split you get will be determined on a sliding scale, depending on whether they deem the quality of your site high enough - if it is in their interest as a for profit company to get as high a percentage as possible, what do you suppose happens?

If your answer to that is "I bet I don't get close to $4.50" then you'd be correct. That per-click is the ideal outcome, but in reality, doing a fair amount of testing, I know that it is usually not even ΒΌ of that, and for sites that are definitely of a high quality and relevant to the end user.

It hasn't been a walk in the park for advertisers either; while the smart pricing hurt honest affiliates trying to sell traffic from their site, quality score updates hurt advertisers trying to buy that same traffic. It was bad enough not knowing where the traffic was always coming from, given the lack of transparency woven into the Adwords system, but now the amount charged has a tendency to increase for arbitrary reasons hidden under the pretext of CTR, ad relevancy, and landing page relevancy. The same question is posed again - if it is in their interest as a for profit company to charge as much as possible given their higher percentage split from smart pricing, what do you suppose happens?

The answer in the short-term is that Google makes more money at the expense of both buyer and seller; the long-term answer is that both buyer and seller will move into more private label affiliate arrangements, where both know exactly what they are getting.

Don't be fooled by the search engine in sheep's clothing.


Friday, 27 April 2007 10:02:55 (US Mountain Standard Time, UTC-07:00)  #     

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