I wasn’t going to do this, but for the sake of the project ….
What’s “Adsense Arbitrage”?
To start let’s take a high level view of what AdSense arbitrage is and how it works. The basic principle is to pay for a low price for keyword in an advertising program like AdWords, Overture Yahoo Search Marketing, or MSN AdCenter and direct users to a page with AdSense or another contextual advertising program on it that has higher payout. You can either bid low on the same term, looking for keywords with a large bid gap (more on that later) or you can bid on very specific keywords with little competiton and drive them to page with ads for a more general and competitive term.
Ethics of Adsense Arbitrage
I’ve never been one to really think of this as a way to make money. For some reason, it just doesn’t seem legit. But, the more I think of it, the more sense it makes, under certain conditions.
I have a feeling ad arbitrage isn’t thought of too highly in many circles. I think the reasons are relatively unfounded. The few things that made me feel uneasy were:
- Putting up stupid/bad/unhelpful content just to get people to click on an ad
- It feels like stealing from the person who put up their advertisement on Google’s Adwords
- Anything this easy has got to be wrong in some way
Well, I’ve made an adjustment or two to the typical arbitrage, some with DeVore’s help, and come to the conclusion that it’s not all bad.
- I’m actually going to use decent content. Something of value to the visitor, and more than one page of it too.
- Every retailer and wholesaler works exactly the same way in terms of buying low and selling high.
- Just because it’s “easy” doesn’t mean it’s wrong. Find a better reason.
Beyond the Ethics
Now that I’ve gotten past the ethics issue, on to the business of it. I’m still learning, but I have a few tricks up my sleeve too (being as I have years of experience on the SEO bit).
DeVore wrote on his blog:
This website will chronicle my journey to making 1,000 websites that each make $1.00 per day! The idea isn’t new, but to me, its a goal I plan on achieving. This goal will come from 1,000 websites that have NO traffic unless they are from SE’s. I already have a couple with #1 rankings in google, and a few sites close to the $1.00 per day goal already.
ust do the quick math on DeVore’s attempt. If it actually works for him, he’ll have somewhat-passive income coming in of $30,000 per MONTH. Not per year, folks. Per month.
And, now that I’ve actually created about 6 sites, I can tell you, it’s not difficult to replicate and make something that big happen. I would be happy with about 200 sites or so. That would give us a livable wage. At least where my wife would not have to work. She would be able to follow her dreams – and that’s a novel goal.
So, 200 sites it is.
With a little limon twist
DeVore is using a small twist on the typical arbitrage model. He’s not paying for his placement. I like that idea because I don’t like money going out, especially for an attempt at a novice project like this. The bill could get run up pretty quickly, and the checks won’t show up for at least a month after the invoice is due.
So, he is buying up .info domains for about $3 a pop. I am going to try subdomains (free). Both of us are attempting SEO strictly by counting on people misspelling words, phrases, and names. We’re both attempting the celebrity names for starters, although I think we could do better by trying other things (DeVore already has started doing this).
I started Popularize.net as a WordPress MU installation, chose a theme that I think (1) is decent looking (not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing in this business), (2) has space for advertisements, and (3) can easily be judged as a valid website, rather than an obvious attempt at arbitrage without added value.
I suppose I’ll keep you all updated on how this little side project goes, if you’d like (leave a comment, please).
So far, the site hasn’t even been indexed yet and it’s been 3 days since the beginning of the project. I pinged google yesterday with a few sites, so hopefully it starts working soon.
If you have any questions, comments, or advice about how to go about this to make it a success, I’m all ears.
Side Note: I haven’t gotten the subdomains working properly quite yet. I think it will take some .htaccess hacking to get just right. But, for the time being, here’s a few of the sites I started:
- Angelina Jole
- Ashlee Simpsom
- Jennifer Anniston
- Jessica Simpsin
- Oprah Winnfrey
- Rolling Stoned
- Steven Speilberg
- Tigger Woods
- Tom Criuse
(update: site has been repurposed)
[tags]adsense, arbitrage, popularize, celebrities, misspellings[/tags]