Adsense … my hairy backside

Hey there,

as you may have guessed from your inbox, “Adsense is not dead … and with this new course it’s going to …” well, make Sean Donahoe a few fistful of dollars.

Nothing wrong with Sean, …

probably nothing wrong with Sean’s course …

EVERYTHING wrong with Adsense as used by most “passive income” oriented IMers.

Here’s the deal:

Google Adsense was designed to be an additional monetization method for sites that already

  1. provide a good user experience (they are a high-quality ‘product’ in some sense), and
  2. have ‘natural’ traffic (as a result of providing that good user-experience)

What you get taught in pretty much ANY Adsense ‘course’ is to build a site specifically for Adsense.

That’s MFA (“made for Adsense”) – and that’s something pretty much everybody hates … Google, the visitors to that site and your bank-account:

yes, this is yet another one of those methods that makes the course-creator good money, but is VERY UNLIKELY to make you any decent money.

Plus, if you’re not already suffering from ADD, it’s just another shiny magic bomb-shell that’s pulling your attention in yet another direction, …

… rather than you focusing on what matters:

creating a ‘product’ that truly WOWs visitors.

If you have a product, and I put it in quotes above, because it doesn’t have to be something you ship, or people download, a site that provides an overall great user-experience can be a product, THEN, by all means, add Adsense to make a little bit of extra money.

But, never ever make build something with the goal of monetizing it with Adsense.

In all likelihood you’ll end up with MFA, which is another way of saying SPAM.

And SPAM sucks – I hope you agree.


Just for kicks then …

what are products that truly WOW you?

I’ll start my list here:

  1. Joy Michaud’s – awesome chillies, but more importantly: a terrific buying experience and customer service (that’s 3 products right there)
  2. Alia K. – a secretary at Siemens in Oxford, she’s one of those rare people who makes you feel you’re the centre of the Universe
  3. Jackie Wilson on the Jerry Lee Lewis show in 1971:

ok, ok, the above 3 are just things that make me very, very happy, so here are 3 top ‘products’ in the traditional sense:

  1. Jules Watkins’ iVideoHeros – it’s a classy product that is evergreen (well, as long as mobile phones with video functionality are around;-), done by someone who truly cares, and at the same time is a truly inspirational “Internet Marketing done right” story.
  2. Glenn Livingston’s – a fantastic fundamental concept EVERYONE doing anything online MUST understand – delivered again by a guy who cares, and again with a story that shows you that anyone can make it happen. Plus, the basic ‘idea’ is free right there on that page. See also the interview on this site.
  3. and guess what, then it’s starting to get really thin on the ground … whereas my list of products that anti-wow me for some reason or another is pretty much endless.
anyway, your turn I guess – let’s try to get the list of “wow” IM products to at least 3, shall we?;-)




  1. Ha! Your hairy backside eh? Veit, I love reading your blog and your posts are so honest… I’ve worked soley online since 2001 and most of the time from my home. I sold (don’t ask why it pains me) one of my main sites back in November and have returned back to the bullshit merry go round world of internet marketing. Oh the irony of seeing people selling IM products they don’t believe in to other poor people who want a quick immediate fix and can’t be bothered /or are too clueless to do a bit of reading. Fortunately since discovering you and adding you to my reads every time you grace us with a post, I have been able to keep abreast (ahem!) of things and know that I’m not the only person in the world who has a little bit of sick come up every time I get a must buy never to be repeated offer to remove $99.99 (or whatever it equates to in sterling) from my wallet, which will sort out all of my IM woes at a push of a badly coded button… It’s late, I’ve had too much coffee, forgive me! LOL!

    • Tim,

      lol, the “BS merry go round world of Internet Marketing” … one for the swipe-files

      and $99.99, that’s about GBP 2.50 … although I reckon the Euro is going to pull down Sterling with it, so you better buy a good stash of IM courses right now, call it an investment. Mhmm, I wonder what an Internet Marketing Ivestment bank would look like?;-)


  2. Hey You’re damn right about that – Gosh You want to see how many “idiots” who have probably never made a cent out of adsense promoting it.
    I am unsubscribing from the lot.

    It’s a little like when the Google shouted out about bad backlinks – and the disavow tool—- wool man you should have seen the panic –
    people dissavowing links in the droves.
    And yet I have sites that are still there right on first page on all the search engines – and emd at that – no changes – guess what — they are not even affected –

    It just shows – act like a sheep and you get treated like a sheep. !!
    have a great day

    • lol, I reckon the disavow tool was genius on the part of Google:

      why bother trying to find ‘bad’ sites by algorithm or expensive manual labour, when you can get the whole Internet Marketing community to point at the bad stuff and shout “SPAM”.


  3. You are so right, Veit!
    Internet Marketers these days become obsessed with direct response techniques, because they are the “low-hanging fruit”, and they neglect building the brand– providing real value that enhances their reputation.

    The question to ask when making any marketing decision: “Does this provide real value to my target customer?” If not, don’t do it!

    • Gene,

      interesting observation regarding the ‘direct response’ techniques … I’ve always looked at it from the “sales-psychology” angle, but same principle:

      (ab)using a perfectly good tool for the wrong purpose – overcoming a lack of real understanding of how to provide value


  4. Viet, we are one hundred percent agreed on the subject of Adsense.

    Also, going forward, it will never again (if it ever was) be a good idea to build an income based on Google as the primary strategy. Adsense-wise or traffic-wise. It’s just not.

    Google can arbitrarily ban you from Adsense for hardly any reason at all and deny any appeal. They do not feel any obligation to explain why.

    Pretty much the same with their algorithms, even apparently going so far lately as to penalize sites in terms of SEO for doing too many of the right things.

    And my apologies, but I have nothing to add to your list of wow products right now. Maybe because I am focusing, for the immediate future, on building my own business with the tools and knowledge I already have rather than buying and learning new stuff.

    • Hey Richard,

      or they never give you back you Youtube account after it got hacked … good-bye a couple of years worth of videos ….

      Anyway, you’re 100% right on the money: build on the tools and knowledge you already have – Jay Abraham puts it nicely in his book-title: “Getting Everything You Can Out of All You’ve Got”



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