182 responses to “How to Convince a Skeptic”

  1. aaron

    That’s good that the last post didn’t give you all public service ads. I was wondering if it was some sort of test. Really nice of you to lay this out for Jim as well; people (that aren’t Jim) can really learn alot by reading this if they pay attention. The title of this post doesn’t seem very MMO friendly though; maybe there are enough Kws in the content to make up for it. Or maybe, your New Years Resolution is to chase social traffic!!

    I’ve been making some changes to one of my sites recently and following some of your leads; one post per page, bold/italic keywords repeated often, and I’ve been trying to push more PR to my inner pages by nofollowing certain links. It seems to be helping as I had my first $10 day (AdSense) a week or so back. The site also sells affiliate stuff, and that seems to be increasing a bit as well.

    Unfortunately, it won’t last as I fear the niche will die fairly shortly. What should I do? I tried an experiment a month or so back; putting up a few posts & getting some links on a new but related subject. EPC fell off pretty bad. SE visitors were showing up searching for the old content, but the index page was now new words. You can imagine the gruesome ads that showed.

    Do I have any option at all, or do I just have to ditch the site completely next month? I know this is an awful comment as I haven’t shared TONS of details, but I’m sure if you had time to worry with it you could find me. =) If not, a quick “you’re screwed, give up” would be OK too.

    Sorry for the book like comment; maybe I’ve spent too much time reading your sites. =)

  2. Ben

    I wondered why the clicks on my guitar site went down from around .45 to anywhere between .4 and .6 cents. The ads are all relative. Maybe the clickers aren’t buying.

    1. aaron

      @ Ben – I have noticed a small drop in earnings, but I believe it may be because advertisers are paying less. If you see a large drop though it’s time to start digging for a reason.

  3. Josh

    Well laid out Griz, as always I learn a lot from and enjoy your posts very much.

  4. Stevo

    Great post. I agree, the majority of MMO blogs are crap. They have a horrible reputation, yet they still seem to suck in newbs who think you can make fast money with a blog.

    Like anything else, it’s hard work, there’s no magic bullet. I wish the people with dollar signs in theirs eyes, and the MMO bloggers that feed on that, would give their heads a shake.

  5. Andy

    Chock full of gold post once again griz, I have gone back and read all the posts from your 3 blogs I know about and it has been an amazing free education. I have 2 main blogs and the new rank gave me a 3 and a 4. Thanks for the information as it was a great help to me.
    I look forward to reading anything you write. Including posts about the end of the US because it is instructional to try to figure out what you are doing.
    wishing you a happy and prosperous New Year.

  6. Shaun Connell

    Damn Griz, that’s a great defense of AdSense. It’s true too…I have a website (listed above) for readers, and others for SE traffic alone. Adsense works for the SE traffic, but not the readership. I’ll bookmark this page so I can have a quick response if someone tells me that adsense won’t convert. Thanks!

  7. Don

    Grizz , hers is the sad part, “Jim” or others like him will take this advice and refuse to apply it , or refute its accuracy. What you have said is not only accurate but has been applied by myself. Let me keep it real, I’m not quite in the Major Leagues of Adsense as you are, more like a AAA minor leaguer at this point. However I know for sure that day is on the horizon. I haven’t had a day job since June, Adsense has a large part in that situation. As for skeptics , they are born that way and seldom change, my thinking is Jim wont either

  8. Ben

    Thanks, I’m almost sure that it’s not another site. I removed the ads from all of my sites for a day then put them back up on only that one site. All of the ads on all of the sites are relevant to the key words.
    I just noticed something as I write. I recently added a new key word to the subheading and the ads are targeting that key word. That could be the problem. Should I try removing the new key word? Or maybe block those ads?

  9. Frank Carr

    One of Jim’s other comments hinted at the source of his skepticism…

    “all in the hope of enticing people to become devoted readers who will eventually click on their ads.”

    It does seem as if he got disillusioned when this didn’t work out for him. I can’t say I blame him though. I would have probably felt the same way if I hadn’t found you and Vic with Court essentially making the introduction. Maybe he’ll figure out or maybe he won’t.

    BTW, I’m trying out Google’s new Adsense for Domains. I setup 20 pre-owned, good keyword, domains with it. I figured I might try to make some money off of them rather than letting GoDaddy have all the cash while they’re sitting around waiting for me to get to them.

  10. Mrinal Bose

    Thanks, and a happy New Year to you, Grizz. I just read the post, and liked it as usual. I learn something from every post of yours. You’re really an inspiration to those of us who’re trying earn from Adsense.

  11. Jerry Lindenburger

    Thanks Griz,straightforward, simply explained, detailed, as always. As soon as you write it I’ll read it!
    Hope you have a great 09

  12. LarryG

    First Grizz I want to say your screen shot inspires me. I have been following you and Court for about a year and I am up to 100 dollars a month. AdSense does work…just not overnight. It is like anything else, it takes time, planning and the ability to execute. I can vouch for your teaching…it produces results.

    I have seen posts like this before (Jim’s that is). It was actually a similar post in my early days when I was exploring the idea of MMO that led me to Vic’s site. Needless to say, he was less cordial with the gent that recommended tossing AdSense aside. :)

    Thanks for the article and Happy New Year.

  13. Norm Sheppard

    Thanks Griz,
    I always pick up something new.
    Was just thinking if that Russian guy is right we’ll be neighbors. Also, noticed a few PR jumps this weekend.
    Happy New Year!

  14. Brawnydt

    As always, reading your posts are like eating candy Grizz. So much fun my teeth hurt afterwards. I should be doing some experiments of my own on adsense, that’s a good idea testing the title importance.

    Looks like enough KW’s will override a generic title.

  15. V Smile Adapter

    Hi Griz,
    I know this is a no-follow blog but any link is a good link, right? Hope you don’t mind. I have been reading your stuff long enough that when I saw the title of the post and read the first paragraph, I pretty much knew what you were going to say. That is because you have said it all before on your other blog about making money online for beginners. I am a beginner in this crazy make money online world I now call home. You are one of the sunshines in the middle of a dark cloudy sky full of scamming internet marketers who pretend to be authorities and are not but teach and take the new person’s money anyway.

    Ya know if I had one site making that much money I would not have to have too many other sites. Thanks for sharing your income from Adsense and I believe you when you say those are the real numbers. But I am not a skeptic, so what do I know?

    I have noticed that since Vic came on the scene and has been teaching many people about how to make money online, he often has said that it is a lot of work, that we cannot make money online overnight. That is one of the things that signaled to me that he might be telling the truth about how to make money online. Now a year later this idea is being used to draw in new people by new scammers. The new make money online scammers are now all saying that making money online is a lot of work. So this phrase has become just another phrase in the toolbox of scammers.

    You know something? I hate blogs. I really really hate blogs. The blog has got to be the absolute worse form of online literature for anybody who is interested in actually teaching anything to anybody. The only way I could ever learn anything from a blog would be to print out the whole damn thing, cut and paste it with scissors and glue into some organized fashion, and make an index for it. Hell bells, that is called a book, isn’t it!

    I am starting to make money online on a daily basis. I have not tried Adsense yet, but I see it in my future. Just not sure when. A few years down the road when I have a large enough knowledge base to actually help others, I will look forward to paying it forward. I am not sure what form that help will take, but I can tell you one thing. I am not going to use a BLOG!!

    Thanks for the anchored link and good luck to all of us in 2009 as we try to make even more money online.

  16. Roddy

    Hi Griz, I just started reading your stuff a couple of days ago. Are you able to offer any mentoring to start my own blog? I have this website that sells a 2 strategy course on Forex trading for a fee. How do I start a blog and combine it with the website that I have up and running now? Eventually I would like to offer a forex trading signal service for a monthly fee.
    I want financial and time freedom. I want to make money online exactly how you are doing it. Please help.

  17. matt2257

    Hey Griz,

    You hinted at the fact that you can’t just blatantly post your keywords in your post titles as they would easily give away all the terms you target.

    That you also write novel posts so that you can pepper your keywords through out the post and have good density.

    So, if I am understanding correctly, you make the post, adequately keyword stuff, then get anchored links to the post for the keywords you want, which are in the post….

    And then you get ranked high in the serps for that anchored keyword, which may not be in the post title, but in the post content?



  18. matt2257

    Oh yeah,

    One more thing…you mention that lots of low PR anchored links can also get you to rank well…

    Does this relate more specifically to low competition longer tail keywords?

    Just asking because in other posts you had mentioned that your ablilty to rank this site so well in such short time had to do with a handful of high quality links, as opposed to a large amount of crappy links.



  19. JR @ Internet Marketing Strategies

    Thanks Grizz, on point as always. You can’t ever convince true skeptics, I think for many of them it’s an excuse to fail, it’s easier to ask someone for proof and then say AHA! see they are liars when they don’t provide their personal information, than to test it on their own. Too bad, those people will never see much true success in any biz.

  20. Internet Marketing Tips

    Another awesome post, Griz. Thanks for the continuing education. I must admit, I’ve had some of the same concerns as Jim at times. However, I made a decision a few months back to follow your advice and it seems to be working, slowly but surely, across my various blogs. I think I’m doing a fairly good job following your suggestions (with the exception of “long, rambling posts” :-) I have to work on that).

    By the way, thanks for the tip regarding RT’s ConnectContent….it is working out very well, as is your Niche Support resource.

    Best to you,

  21. DennisJr

    Happy New Year Grizz,

    I really do like money shots. It’s inspiring. I wish I could say I learned alot and a shining light came down and the secret was provided from this post. All I can say is I really do learn from repitition.

    In 2008 I learned

    1) What SEO is

    2) The importance of keywords

    3) The importance of links

    4) The importance of relevant content with links

    5) How to build your own network of friends by offering useful information and keyword links.

    6) How to optimize a site

    7) Test your sites and personal ideas by trying something new.

    8) Keyword Research

    9) How to use software ( SEO Elite)

    10) Funneling traffic( I love this)

    11) Using different platforms for setting up sites ( most time consuming since I was new to blogging)

    12) This is work!

    In 2009.. If I can only remember your teachings and apply them.

  22. roger


    Wish You A Happy and Healthy New Year

    I am like a fly on wall just try to assimilate everything you write on make money niche.

  23. ghuraba

    Hey Griz, how long do you think it will take to rank for the keyword “Jim”? Haha, I really hope Jim reads this. Jim, if you read this, don’t be discouraged, a lot of people spent years trying to make money online from social blogging, and then came across a few individuals that actually know their stuff.

    Griz, seriously man, stop trying to be so nice and go play some golf, its friggin new years.

  24. Trent Brownrigg

    I don’t know if I believe this post, I am way too skeptical!

    Ha ha just kidding.

    Another awesome post Griz! They always are!

    I’ve been making money with Adsense for a long time so I definitely know it can be done.

    One question though…

    My main site has high rankings for hundreds of competitive keyword phrases related to home business, work at home, make money online, home based business, etc…

    Almost all the traffic is from Google searchers, and the Adsense ads are relevant to my keywords. However, I am only getting maybe 30 cents per click. It used to be much higher.

    Any reasons come to mind why this might be happening?

    Oh and happy new year!!!

  25. Jim

    Well, Griz, seems I stirred a sleeping giant or two and in the process have been mislabeled being oddly lambasted by someone who calls himself “Boss”. I think that perhaps you as well a couple of others here are confusing the term skeptic with cynic. As a skeptic, I’m doubtful, but still open-minded and logical enough to consider new input and ideas. Like many I’m seeking evidence through the process of asking questions. That’s my nature and it serves me well. Of course, I did not expect you, or anyone else for that matter, to actually provide a tax return. That statement was more for effect. As you implied in your article, “How to convince a skeptic”, it is next to impossible to prove one’s success with Adsense beyond that of taking them at their word or in this case following good advice and applying it.

    Clearly, if I were a cynic, then the mere existence of doubt would be immediate cause for labeling an entire concept, like Adsense, as erroneous. I accept the fact that people make money with it, but I still think that it is absurd that someone like yourself has to map it out rather as opposed to getting the same information from Google’s Adsense support team. When I delved into their convoluted explanations that invariably pass me from link to link to link to link,I eventually reached a point where my eyes begin to glaze over. As I said to you, on Tuttle’s site, I am willing to read and take your advice, which I realize now may be more applicable on a completely different kind of blog, domain name and title rather than the one I have now.

    Regarding my domain name and blog title, I chose both because I simply could not come up anything that would be exemplary of the intent of my blog and at the same time attempt to make a modicum amount money with it too. Obviously, my priorities lies with the former.

    Through all this, I’ve learned quite a lot from you as well as others here and that was ultimately my goal, although admittedly in doing so I went about it like a bull in a china shop. Maybe if I make enough noise, my name will become popular for all the wrong reasons… Just kidding.

    1. Fiar | Conservative Satire

      Jim, It’s entirely possible to implement some of the things you need to do without starting over on a new site from scratch. Not that having more than one site is a bad thing. In fact, it’s good to diversify, but simply changing the title tags of your blog will do wonders. You can also get your keyword in the URL by having it be part of the permalink URL. That won’t help with raw links to the homepage, but it will help for all single posts and pages.

      I can tell you that having your keyword in the URL is a BIG help, but it’s not impossible to rank well without it there. The biggest factor of all is the links you get pointing to your site, and what the anchor text of those links are. The anchor text is the text of the clickable link. For example, Grizz points a link to Court and the anchor text is “Internet Marketing.” That helps Court rank for the term Internet Marketing. You’ll note that his URL is courtneytuttle.com, no keyword in the URL. So, with a little work, you can most certainly leverage the assets that you already have.

      1. Jim


        Thanks for your sound advice. I will most certainly follow it. Along with your and Griz’s suggestions, I feel that I have a better chance at jockeying my blog into more of a viable position for at least a shot a some modicum of revenue.

        Thanks again. I really do appreciate your input.

  26. matt2257

    Thanks For the Clarification Griz.

    One more question…Vic really likes the use of commenting on high pr related blog posts, with anchored text. Over at the Tuttle camp, they feel that they are a poor use of time and leverage, and I see that you say they are crappy too.

    I know that each does things differently, just wondering what your thoughts are that Vic would push them hard if they are not too valuable.

  27. matt2257

    Thanks..I’ll shut up now, and go get some links!

  28. Medic


    It has been nice to have you sum up all your 2-3 years of posts in the past couple months. Saves time from having to read so much, even though I do enjoy your writing style. Your summaries have provided me more time to build links :-)

    I am far from getting ready to quit my day job, but I have followed much of your advice and these past two months have been my best two months of adsense yet.

    Here’s to a great 2009 for you and all your readers.


  29. Terry Didcott

    Hi Griz,

    Happy New Year! Nice (lengthy) post as always and a few more keywords added to the collection. Now I have to get back to work on my agricultural stuff…

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  31. Alice

    Hi Griz,

    Thanks so much for your websites – I haven’t been blogging for very long so have a lot to learn. I’m lucky that I stumbled onto your site (and Court’s) early on, so I never got sucked into all those “get rich quick” scams that so many people got tangled up with! 2009 is the year to really push my blogs and optimize them so that they start making some serious money. Unfortunately I’m having to completely rebuild my main blog because something broke and I no longer had any admin control over it. But I’m excited about this area and glad to have you as a resource!

    The one thing I’ve noticed about all of you experts’ advice is that its geared toward people who want to become MMO experts themselves. I have no interest in doing that since the field is pretty well filled with the good, the bad, and the ugly already! I want to sell stuff and am really into affiliate marketing. This field has been hammered by G in the last year and its been tough going for many affiliate marketers.

    I have trouble figuring out how many of the MMO principles you talk about apply to overcoming the hurdles that affiliate marketers face. I understand the parts about SEO optimization etc but wonder if you could comment on some of the additional pitfalls and challenges in niche affiliate marketing. Is it worth pursuing, or has G’s crazy PR jiggling made this a lost cause?

    Also, I’m really curious about why the so-called “thin affiliate” is such a no-no. I’m the kind of person who when I want to buy something, I want to go to a site with lots of choices and good prices. I don’t care if the site offers a virtual campfire for all of us buyers to sit around and commune about what a cool thing it is to be buying that new dishwasher. But Google seems to think I SHOULD want to do this, and it makes no sense to me. Maybe it’s important in some areas (like hobby items) but I can’t figure out why EVERY site needs this fluff in order to gain PR. Do you think this makes sense??

    Anyway, thanks for all the great info!

  32. Ben

    Jim, Glad you responded and started a dialog with Griz to talk this thing out. I agree that AdSense support is almost worthless. I used to read their forums just for laughs.
    Griz, I have a couple of “both” blogs that require quality content for the benefit of the reader but luckily the main key words fit in snugly with any post that I write so the ads are consistently relevant. They get around 80% SE (Google) traffic.
    Jim and Griz, one of the sites mentioned above was started last June. I found out today that it went from zilch PR to PR3 today. I can’t think of anyone else to credit for this but myself. Just kidding. The truth is that it would still be PR nothing if I had not read Griz, Court and Terry’s articles. Now I’ve gotta work on getting some serious back links.

    1. Jim


      Thanks. I’m glad too. Sometimes I guess it pays to go back to square one, especially for newbies like me. Most of you guys appear to be veterans in the Adsnese game and clearly I am out of my league (for now).

      I had to look up PR and PR3. I had never heard of that ranking. Looks like congratulations are in order for you.

      You and others here might find this article: https://www.jimwgreen.com/2008/05/partnerships.html, interesting. I wrote it several months ago and it pertains to gaming Google. As I stated in the article, we (a business partner and myself) didn’t do the dirty deed, but it was fun creating the concept, applying it in a very cursory manner, very tempting to want to follow through with, and above all showed Google’s vulnerability. Considering so much time has elapsed (over a year), I think it is safe to say that the effectiveness of our model is no longer feasible.

  33. Lorecee

    Grizz: I just found you, Vic, and Court last week via Frank on a Warrior Forum discussion, and it’s the best damn Christmas present I could have had. Cost of my foolish attempts so far to make money with social blogging: one SiteBuildIt subscription ($299 but I’m getting a refund for my remaining seven months), one series of MMO eBooks from Chris Rempel for $75 (some of it actually useful, but way overpriced), six months wasted in barking up the wrong tree, and more frustration than I can possibly add up.

    Advice from four guys who have done the SEO thing long enough to know what works and what doesn’t: priceless.

    I’ve taught English for 20 years and it’s funny to hear you and Frank talk about not writing overly well so people will click on your ads instead. You guys are actually very good writers. There’s something about all those keywords and the long, long posts that’s hypnotic…or maybe I’m just easily mesmerized.

    I have a few mantras for those of us who have gotten out of the IM matrix and have found our way to the art of SEO (and it IS an art and takes a while to learn):
    “Readers don’t click; clickers don’t read.”
    “Content is the court jester.”

    Thanks for all that you do.


  34. marco

    I usually optimise my site ,for two types of keyword, one that brings in quality clicking & (buying)traffic and another which is optimised only onpage for adsense(usually a keyword which has high CPC),i make sure they are semantically related and that they are optimised on two different articles , and then make sure they have both crap unhelping content ,then i link my first (traffic)keyword article to my second (adsense) keyword article.it brings me huge amounts of traffic + high CPC + high CTR ,which means big big cash…
    wat r ur thoughts grizz….
    am i brilliant or what :P

  35. LarryG

    Hey Grizz, I just wanted to say thank you for taking the time to reply to all of the comments. You always give excellent feedback, and I learn as much from the comments as I do from the post.

    I also got on board with contentconnect. You were right, RT did a great job setting it up. I think it is going to provide most excellent ROI.

  36. Buddy

    I’m still mostly on the beginners site but the post title intrigued me. Like many, I’m new to the Court, Griz and Vic show. I don’t mind (too much) that I may have wasted a few hundred bucks on stuff I may never use again. It was the cost of finding these sites.


  37. Jim

    Have any of you had any experience with Proximic’s ads program?

  38. LarryG

    All, I know there are many AdSense vets on here. I have a question about smart-pricing. I know that I am currently being smart-priced. My question is this…is this something I can wait out and continue to tolerate the .05 and .10 clicks? What is the downside to letting it run its course as opposed to just shutting the ads off?

    Thanks in advance for any guidance you can give.

    1. aaron

      You may be waiting a long time to escape the smart pricing. You would have to get your CTR & advertiser conversion up enough for the algorithm to reconsider your site. This could take a VERY long time if you just wait it out.

      You might be better off removing the ads (or removing the site from your allowed) list instead. Once the EPC comes back up on your other sites, start adding some blocks in a little at a time.

    2. LarryG

      Thanks Aaron and Grizz. I took the advice and guessed which site was causing the problem. I removed it and the value per click shot back up on my other sites. I played with the add layout on the site in question and it must have upset the Google gods. DOH! Guess I will give it a week and then add it back in and see what happens.

      Thanks again :)

  39. Jim


    Regarding your statement: “the Adsense bot uses your post titles as the main indicator of what ads it will display. Give it five unrelated post titles on a page and yes you will get irrelevant ads. The bot is a stupid machine – it doesn’t know what the home page is about. If Jim checks his post pages (only 1 post on each page) he will see that he has relevant ads on them.”

    I’m getting just the opposite results. On my homepage (with the five unrelated post titles), my ads perfectly match my present post, but when I go to an individual post page, my ads are not relevant. Now I’m really confused.

  40. Ion

    Hi Jim,

    For the best Adsense optimization and ads delivery use one single post per page and work your keywords. Include your main keyword that is targeting those ads of the niche you are working in your post title. Sprinkle some variations of those keywords through your content. This way you should get relevant ads.

    As Griz mentioned, Adsense optimization equals SEO – so please get yourself a cup of tea and read Griz posts on beginners blog regarding on page optimization.

    Cheers ;)

    1. Jim


      Thanks for the advice. As I mentioned previous to your comment, I did as Griz (and you) suggested. I reformatted my template so that there is only one post per page. The newest post is effectively returned relevant ads, as it was doing prior to reformatting, but if I click on the older posts link at the bottom, the next post that comes up is returning ads they couldn’t be more irrelevant.

      If I go back to formatting two or more posts per page and click on any of them, so that they show up by themselves on a new page, I get relevant ads. Now I’m really confused.

      I hope that makes sense the way I explained it.


  41. Jim


    Thanks for the response. I can only imagine how inundated you are with request and your need to reply.

    It wasn’t my intention to chastise you, or anyone for that matter, for using the terminology. I look up everything I read in that regard. I’ve no complaints about that. That’s how I learn. And I have been reading your site beginners voraciously.

    I’ll keep the single post up for a while for the sake of the crawlers.


    1. Frank Carr


      I’ve just added your blog to the OpTempo randomly rotating blogroll using the keyword term “Internet Technology”. That should help send the Googlebot your way.

      1. Jim

        Frank, I have idea what that is (I’ll look it up), but thank you. I appreciate it.


  42. Underdogblogger

    Hi Griz
    You make an interesting point about the MMO niche being infinitely expandable with a nice suffix to the basic phrase. The thing I’m wondering right now (given the importance of post titles) is….how much money is in the phrase “how to convince a skeptic”

  43. Mike

    You always have good information on your blog. However, I do understand people’s frustration with adsense. I think there are still problems to using adsense that can arise, even if you do all of the things that you listed.

    Here’s an example.
    See This Blog Post
    Now out of the 5 ads on the left of this blog post, the first ad is for a “personal injury lawyer”, 3 other ads are for “brain injury lawyers” and 1 other ad is just for “brain damage” info (from my datacenter perspective at least). None of the ads are currently for “brain injury rehabilitation”. So the ads are fairly off target for this post. I didn’t mention “lawyers” at all in this post nor in my blog, but adsense plasters the page with lawyer ads. Also google doesn’t even display any text link ads at the top of this post for some reason as well. It just has a “View ads about” search option button.

    I’ve played around with the title of the post, doing other terms like “rehab” instead of rehabilitation and “TBI”, “traumatic brain injury”, “traumatic brain damage”, “brain damage” etc. I’ve also changed the keyword density in the blog post to see the resulting effect. I got it to the point where the adsense on the left showed one or two “TBI rehab” links out of 5. Now, though, it is currently not showing any “brain injury rehab” links so for some reason, so it seems to be somewhat variable. If I put more “rehab”/”rehabilitation” keywords in the post, then I get ad links to drug/addiction rehab or something else that is unrelated to brain injury rehab. I’ve done just about every combination of keyword density imaginable with varying numbers of the key terms “TBI”, “rehab”, “rehabilitation”, “brain damage”, “brain injury” etc. Nothing seems to matter. The ads still are fairly off target. The blog post is specifically written to target the right adsense ads but it fails to do so. I’ve seen this happen when I try to target a bunch of other advertisements. I rarely get extremely targeted ads.

    Here’s another example Now in this one, the ads to the left of the blog post are for “anxiety remedy’s” and one is for “psychotherapy”. I didn’t mention “anxiety” or “psychotherapy” a single time in the post. The ads should be more related to stroke, but none of the ads have anything to do with strokes. Now I didn’t really play around with this post that much. I’m sure I could get some stroke ads if I changed a few things, but they still would likely not be very targeted ads. Also, I want to emphasize that the ads in this post are not the generic ads that come on a post before the google adsense bot asseses the page (those ads are usually of the “make money bloggin” nature). These ads are AFTER the google adsense bot has assesed the page, as “anxiety”/”psychotherapy” are obliquely related to brain perhaps.

    Okay, back to brain injury “rehab”. Now if you type in “brain injury rehabilitation” into google, this is what you get;
    Google Brain Injury Rehabilitation
    Now here google has no problem serving up highly relevent contextual ads for brain injury rehabilitation/rehab. Also typing in “brain injury rehab” gives you fairly relevant ads as well. Obviously they do this to make money.

    The fact that adsense does not serve up highly relevent ads on my blog indicates to me that google doesn’t want to increase the relevancy of some ads on blogs for some reason. Perhaps it affects google’s bottom line. People who click on ads on your own blog/website are less likely to click on google ads offsite (like when they are searching). If a person clicks on an ad on your site google makes less money, as they have to share the money that they get from the advertiser with the blog/website owner. So its possible that decreasing the relevancy of adsense ads on a person’s blog causes an increase in the amount of adsense clicks offsite, which is more profitable to google. That’s only my own theory, though. It seems rather sneaky of google if that is the case.

    So I must stress that all of the information that you give on this blog is amazing. However, adsense ad targeting does suck in certain instances. I have a nagging suspicion that is done on purpose too.

    1. Mike

      In the last post I said the ads are on the “left” when I meant to say they are on the “right” side of the blog post.

      1. Jim


        I’m experiencing the same problem my blog. My site’s title is Demystifying Internet Technology. All of my posts are in one way or another relevant to that subject, although as Griz once mentioned, who is going to search for ‘Demystifying’ in regard to internet technology. But, traffic, for now, is not my biggest problem.

        Like your site, that are far too many of my articles delivering ads selling cars and language translations for content that is solely about the internet. There are no references to languages or automobiles in my articles. I’ve also written a few posts about search engines and the ads I get for those are for, yep you guessed it, small engine repair, gasoline engines, etc. Your suspicions my be right, but I tend to think that Google’s algorithmic system is inefficient.

        I have started getting much better traffic and I’ve implemented to the best of my abilities all the advice I’ve gotten here and from Griz’s beginner’s site, and my ads are much more relevant as a result of that, still what has worked for those posts should work for all of them.

        Sites that address SEO, keyword choice and how to get content and ads to match may be more profitable than Adsense itself.

  44. Mike

    Yeah I see the same thing with your site Jim. For instance look at the ads for this post on your blog;
    Ever Hear Of The Term Cloud Computing?
    The ads showing up have nothing to do with “cloud computing”, but are for “information technology”.
    Now if you do a google search for “cloud computing”, you get this;
    Google Search “Cloud Computing”
    When you do this search, google serves up highly relevent contextual ads that actually have to do with “cloud computing”.

    So does this mean that google can’t decipher the “Cloud computing” term that is inside Jim’s post? Is the google adsense bot (or whatever scans the post) really that dumb?
    I realize he has IT twice and “information technology” once, but he mentions “cloud computing” 3 times in the post (bolding it once), and mentions it once in the title. None of the other words in the title really lend themselves to any specific type of ad. Why can’t google figure out the post is about “cloud computing”. With all their sophisticated algorithms I find it improbable that they really can’t figure out a fairly specific string of two words with a definite meaning.

    I’d be interested to see what type of ads would be served on that specific page Jim if you removed the reference to “information technology” or IT. It probably wouldn’t matter, though. I consider myself lucky somtimes if I get 1 contextually relevent ad on certain posts. Other posts are just fine and the ads are relevant. On my main page I’m fairly happy about the type of ads shown by adsense. It’s just when I’m trying to get more specific that it seems to get much more difficult to trigger the right ads sometimes.

    1. Mike

      I also just wanted to add that at least the “information technology” ads in Jim’s post is somewhat related and not totally off base (like having ads about cars). However, it’s somewhat useless when you look at the ads in relation to what Jim’s specific post is about. If people happen to find that post searching in google, it seems less likely that they will be clicking on ads for “Information Technology degrees”. I’ve seen this happen far too often to make me suspcious about google. Especially when the ads are often very close but no cigar. If google can serve up “brain injury lawyer” ads on my post, then why can’t they serve up “brain injury rehab”. It doesn’t seem to be due to them serving up “cheap” ads on my blog. The overall keyword of my site is brain (my blogs title is “brain stimulant”). So why does adsense have difficulty serving up long tail “brain” ads (brain injury rehab) on specific posts?

      1. Fiar | Conservative Satire

        One thing that happens, and I have no idea if this is what your issue is, is that the ads Adsense serves up are based on the PPC campaigns that advertisers run. If I was buying ads for my law firm, I might buy ads for keywords on brain injury. That might not be what you think you want, but it might be what I think I want as an advertiser.

        I really don’t know. Also, not everyone trying PPC is knowledgeable about what they are doing. They could buy the wrong ads, they could pay too much or too little. They could target keywords that won’t convert well for them. There are many variables. Google provides a service that is intended to play matchmaker between publishers and advertisers, but if the advertiser doesn’t know what he’s doing, there’s not much G is going to do about it. They
        re just going to let ‘em spend the money.

        As for me, my CPC is bouncing up and down. I think some advertisers are not paying much right now, and others want to use the downturn to grow faster, so they are paying more than normal. It’s a little weird. Don’t get caught up micro analyzing. See what happens, and see if maybe there just aren’t enough advertisers to give you a full block of ads, so other crap gets thrown in. If adsense isn’t working, then dump it for that site, but it can be great if you have the right niche that attracts PPC advertisers, and follow all of Griz’s tips on optimization.

    2. Jim

      I hadn’t thought about it, but you’re absolutely right about how relevant ads are returned on a few words in a Google search versus the ads returned based on those exact same words used in the title of an article, much less the content that speaks to it in depth. If Google has a reason for that, I would love to hear it.

    3. Jim

      Makes me wonder what kind of ads would be returned to “Cloud Computing” used as the title of a post and the content. No doubt, at some point, Google algorithms would remove the ads from the post altogether. Still it would be interesting to see.

  45. Mike

    Yeah I’m not sure about that (Les James?) from “Fiar | Conservative Satire”. But certain ads are impossible to trigger no matter what I do. Even if I just do “brain rehab”, I can’t get most of the ads targeted for brain rehab (usually one or two at best). I either get “drug addiction rehab”, or something related to the brain. Doing a google search, though, there is no problem in the ad targeting. Type in “brain rehab” and you get ads for “brain injury rehab”. So there is definitely a disconnect between onsite blog vs. google search. The targeting of ads is always poorer on my blog compared to the search engine targeting (on the right hand of the search engine). It doesn’t seem to matter what keyword it is. This is especially true if you are targeting long tail ads. Of course if you write a post about “brain injury” google could just serve up ads about the “brain” based on what advertisers run their PPC campaigns on. If you do a post about “brain injury lawyer” google could serve ads for “brain injury”. Or in my case, writing about “brain injury” or “brain damage” seems to serve up “brain injury lawyer” ads.

    So I would hope this is not google’s intent. It is still fairly annoying, though, either way. I’m pretty sure I have not received a single click on the “brain injury lawyer” ads even though I do get some traffic to those types of posts. The cost per click of “brain injury lawyer” is like $21 dollars, so I think I would notice even if my blog was smart priced. So I don’t see what the purpose of them showing up on my blog. Oh, and having google serve highly irrelevant ads seems like a recipe for getting smart priced too.

    1. Fiar | Conservative Satire

      Les is one of my other authors. I have 3 plus myself.

      The search results are different ad campaigns than the content ads. As an advertiser, you can target search results only, content only, or a combination of both. That is probably one of the reasons why the SERPS have different ads than you are getting.

      I’ll also second what Aaron said.

  46. Aaron

    You’ve also got to factor in how people create their adwords campaigns. The default is broad match for all the keywords that you put in. So if I’m trying to get business for my clinic and bid on “drug rehab”, G will broad match that to all kinds of crazy stuff related to drugs & rehab. That’s why the ad shows up in your post about brain rehab.

    And, maybe the advertisers that are targeting “brain rehab” aren’t advertising in the content network; I’ve run several campaigns where I don’t as I find that as an advertiser lots of times the clicks don’t convert as well.

    The law firms also have huge ad budgets; they cast a wide net hoping those clicks will convert. So they are very likely to have HUGE keyword lists bid at very low prices; kind of a shot gun effect.

  47. Boo

    What’s up with google? you’re on page 3 for me from google.com.

  48. how to learn guitar

    Splork here. Griz, what you say about your “precious baby” is right. When I finally stopped trying to Adsensitize those websites that I “cared” about things became a lot less stressful. I discovered that it is far better to use WordPress.com for those blogs that you feel like you have to have readership and notoriety. Why? Because it is geared for collecting readers. If you make good use of tags you will get more readers than you can stand. AND you will also get some amazing PR…that you can use for meaningful backlinks. I’ve got a handful of PR 3-4 WordPress.com blogs that I have been using to yap about stuff I like, not worry about monetizing, but still drive traffic, quietly (don’t want to wake up WordPress), to monetized sites.

    I think it is cool to have a few babies that you like. Just don’t expect to make money off of them, like you mention. But used correctly you can still get a lot of use from them. These WP.com blogs each now get around 2-4,000 pageviews a day. Bandwidth, storage and hosting is on WP.com. They are on topics that I know and love. A couple I update everyday. Others, a couple of times a month.

    I got the idea from Vic during the Ebay/.info fiasco last year. I kept working them and have now got a ton of subscribers on all of them. Granted I can’t monetize them directly, which seems a waste, but I still link out. Maybe one outgoing link every third post. Every little bit helps, no? And the best thing is I actually like my readership and the blog topics.

    1. LoreCee

      Splork, you just convinced me I’m not insane after all for posting on my PR3 WordPress.com social blog from time to time. Back in October I sent a sip of the blog’s link juice to a hosted site that I did everything wrong with from day one, and after less than two months it’s out of the sandbox and PR1 despite adding AdSense the same day I put it up and other no-no’s.

      Well, I might still be insane. But not because of my WordPress.com blog.

  49. LoreCee

    Grizz, beware, this post is going to have 1,000 comments by the time you get around to the next one in February.

    About choosing a niche: I’m feeling timid about going after a general niche (not long tail phrase) where the primary keywords are dominated by a site with PR5 or 6 and solid SEO. I know I can take first position page 1 for a long tail, but if that long tail has a lower number of monthly searches (say 2,000), I’m afraid the big guys will stop me cold before I can get some real traffic. If I’ve understood Grizzly right on the beginners blog, he likes to start with the least competitive long tail and build on his momentum to move up the food chain until he beats the PR5 and 6 guys (which is what he’s done in the MMO niche).

    I suppose I could just work on general niches where the primary keywords are all PR3 or less, but they all seem to be a dead end–the supply of traffic and related keywords is so low that there’s no room to grow.

    I’m trying to find the right compromise between competitiveness and traffic potential. (I’m monetizing with AdSense.) What do the rest of you do?

    1. Aaron

      It will be tough for you to unseat those top sites no doubt, but with time & persistence (and maybe a bit of cash for some good links) I’d bet you could do it. If you concentrate on the long tails, I’d bet that the big dogs won’t even notice you; until it’s too late. This would also be the easiest method for you too as you are building your own personal momentum and doing your experiments on less competitive phrases. Much better to slip up with a small link building campaign with a long tail than screw the pooch with a mistake for your main keyphrase.

      I can’t speak for Griz, but it sure seems like this is the way he operates even with what I’m sure is YEARS of experience. Or it seems that way to me as he hasn’t hopped right in with this site trying to rank for “money”.

      I’m personally using Micro Niche Finder to do my keyword research. There are several tools available to do it (many free), but it saves me time. I can find phrases that garner a good bit of money, but have very little (organic)competition. This makes it easy for me to rank with a few decent links, or even some bum marketing so I can hopefully get the best possible adsense clicks on my site. It seems to be working so far, but I’ll admit that I haven’t scaled it up beyond a handful of sites yet.

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