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Google Adsense Help HubPages Hal Make Money

Updated on May 10, 2010

Why Making Money Isn't The Same Thing As Ranking High

A well respected Hubber, Hal Licino wrote a post in which he details several hubs that have high ranking keywords on Google. Despite numerous pageviews, he earns just pennies from those high-ranking hubs and over 1,000 other hubs. His conclusion is that no one makes money with Google AdSense at that anyone telling you otherwise is probably a scammer looking to sell you something.

As a brand new Hubber, fellow writer, and reasonably successful AdSense publisher, I offer the following humble advice to Hal in hopes that additional insight might make Hal's future endeavors more rewarding. My "answer hub" is about world famous Chicago pizza. While some prefer New York style pizza, I think the best Chicago pizza offers much more flavor, variety, toppings and choice than the soft, fold-in-half pizzas from Manhattan.

What You Rank For Matters MORE Than How High You Rank

If you leave this Hub having learned only one thing, let it be the statement above. High rankings do not equal high income. Likewise, high pageviews do not equal high income.

Consider the first high ranking keyword phrase on Hal's list, "World's Best Pizza". Google's own AdWords tool tells you that this particular phrase is worthless. See for yourself. This tool is not a secret, nor a scam.

World's Best Pizza receives just 210 search globally each month according to the AdWords Keyword tool. That could still be worth something if anyone was willing to pay for an ad on a page with that phrase. Unfortunately, no one is.

Check out the column that says Estimated Avg. CPC. If you don't see that column click where it says "Choose Columns to Display" and choose to display Estimated Avg CPC. You will notice the value is $0.05. That, my friends, is Google's attempt to sugar coat the result. The lowest possible value is $0.05 for any term. Five cents might as well be zero cents. This can be confirmed by looking in the Advertiser Competition column.

Put it altogether, and if the #1 website for this phrase got ALL 210 hits, and every single visitor clicked on an ad the best possible income for ranking number one is $10.50 per month. However, that is GOOGLE's income, not yours. This tool lists the estimated cost to the advertiser. Google does not pass on 100% of that to the website owner. Some estimates range from 20% to 70% of the income passes through. If we take the high number, the best you could possibly do ranking for that keyphrase is $7.35.

Take into account that not everyone click an ad every time, and you get the nickles and dimes that you are seeing for that keyword.

Before we go any further keep in mind that this is the ADWORDS tool, not the ADSENSE tool. This is the tool Google uses to convince advertisers to buy ads. In other words, these numbers are going to be best case, rose-colored glasses, numbers. If you are on the AdSense side of the equation, these numbers represent the best possible scenario on your best day. Do not mislead yourself into thinking that things might be better than what is shown here.

What is the point?

The point is that this particular hub likely ranks Number 1 in Google search results because no one else cares to rank for that term. Anyone who ranks for it, is doing so incidentally.That isn't a powerful webpage, that's winning by default.

You Can't Make Money with AdSense Like This

When Is Ranking Number One Not Really Being #1?

Here is more bad news. That hub doesn't actually rank #1 for either world's best pizza or "world's best pizza". It might show #1 for some people, but not for most people.

It is a little known fact outside of the Internet industry that Google tries to tailor your search results to the user. Between users being logged into Google (via iGoogle, Gmail, or whatever), and various cookies, Google tries to match your search results to what you want to see. If you always search for nail polish, but click on the result about polishing building nails (it's an example, I don't know if there is such a thing) then Google will move up those types of results.

Keep in mind that this is a subtle tweaking, not a wholesale rearrangement, so customized search results won't necessarily cause the number 8 result to jump to number 1, but a move from 8 to 4 isn't out of the question.

One of the best ways to check your "real" Google ranking is to use Incognito Mode in the Chrome Browser, or Private Browsing Mode in Firefox, or whatever it's called in Internet Explorer.

Not #1 Search Result

But, yes Hal, You CAN Make Money From AdSense

Answering Hal's Challenge

In his Hub, Hal challenged anyone to give him the step by step guide to actually making some AdSense money. I'll take that bet.

Here are the steps. I'll be doing them too, just to keep you honest :) You should win thanks to your much larger hub following, but I have other tricks up my sleeve.


1) Create a New Hub with the title "Best Chicago Pizza" - If that is already taken, choose a title that starts "best chicago pizza" and add something useful to the end. Do not put anything in front of best chicago pizza and do not put any words in between best chicago pizza. Do not fall victim to using best chicago STYLE pizza. It is NOT the same. This will work (if you do it fast before someone else starts doing it) precisely because there is so little competition for this slightly less accurate phrase. You can say best chicago style pizza elsewhere, but not in any of the links.

2) Write the hub. Write it any way you want, with one caviet. Somewhere in the first paragraph make sure the exact phrase "best chicago pizza" appears in one of your sentences. You sound like you have to sell out in order to make any AdSense money. That isn't true, you just have to set it up right. It is akin to putting your resume on resume paper. Your resume can and should speak the truth, but putting it on regular white paper doesn't make it any more honest, and using nice paper doesn't make it any less honest.

3) Link from the World's Best Pizza Hub - Edit the high ranking hub to include a sentence about chicago pizza somewhere in the first paragraph. In that sentence use the exact phrase "best chicago pizza". Highlight only those three words and create a link to the new hub.

4) Wait Until the Site Is Indexed - Don't do anything until the site shows up in Google's index. Search for "best chicago pizza" until you see your Hub.

5) Write Five New Hubs - Every three days, write a new hub about pizza. It doesn't matter what about pizza, so long as it is about pizza. Write about crust, sauce, Pizza Hut, whatever. In the first paragraph of each hub link to the Best Chicago Pizza Hub with the same three keyword anchor. Make sure that none of these new five hubs use the keywords in the same sentence as each other or as the World's Best Hub.

6) Wait 60 to 90 Days - Maybe it will happen sooner, maybe it won't. Best Chicago Pizza reportedly pays $1.00 with 1,600 searches. That makes the best case scenario (as described above) $1,600 per month. Again, that WILL NOT HAPPEN. I like to estimate by taking 25% of the CPC and then multiplying it by 10% of the monthly search volume. This would mean that you get 10% of all Google search traffic by being highly ranked and that 25% of visitors click on an ad. That would work out to about $40 per month. It's only an estimate. The best you can do with AdSense is make the smart moves and then see if they pan out. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't.

7) Let Me Know If I Win - Granted $40 per month is not a huge amount of money, but I just took the first decent looking keyword I found based on looking at your World's Best Pizza keyword. I wouldn't exactly call $1 w/ 1,600 traffic extra juicy, but based on what you wrote in your hub, I would almost be doubling your AdSense income. More importantly, if you had just 50 hubs doing this well, you would be making $2,000 per month.

In addition to sharing your income in perpetuity, maybe you could write some glowing review about me. Don't worry, I'm not an SEO scammer. I'm a writer. I don't have any SEO stuff for sale :)

No matter how it shakes out. Best of luck.

Hub Llama


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