Some readers may recall that three months ago, I signed up -- at their
encouragement -- with Google Ad Sense, in the hopes I could convert
this Digest into an advertiser supported forum. They had contacted me
and said I was 'pre-approved' for their ad program. I spoke on the
telephone to one of their (frankly, sort of smooth talking) sales reps
in New York City who evaluated this site, and told me I should
'easily' expect to make 'several hundred dollars' per month. Nothing
could be further from the truth. Thus far, now three months and a
couple weeks later, they have not sent a single check, nor will they
explain *how* they calculate the payouts.
For example, one day there may be 20 click throughs and the Google
scorecard says that is worth 10 dollars. A couple days later there are
20 click throughs and Google says it is only worth 10 cents. I do not
get any answer from them in email about how they calculate these
I run three clusters of ads (one horizonal banner at the top of the
page on latest-issue.html and two 'tower' groups verticaally along the
left side of the page, supposedly with four ads in each tower
cluster). But often times, the two vertical towers are totally blank
and the top horizonal thing is a single public service ad. They
(Google) say that is because they do not have appropriate ads to give
me. Now and again, they run the same identical ad two or three times
on the latest-issue.html page, and if I read their terms of service
correctly, they claim they will not run the same ad more than once on
a page, but that does not seem to apply to them either.
I have checked my pages both through the direct URL of
'massis.lcs.mit.edu/telecom-archives' and also through the more
well-known alias 'telecom-digest.org' but also through the lesser
known aliases of 'telecom-digest.net' and 'telecom-digest.com' and I
also set up an alias to test with of 'telecom-digest.us.tf' and
others, such as 'telecom-digest.n3.net' and sometimes *they* get a
full compliment of ads when the original (via massis) get no ads at
all. When I use another redirection alias, through 'us.tc' or 'net.tc'
still other ads show up in German or French. I just wish they would
explain their rationale for what they do, but they will not!
They claim they will only pay with a written check mailed to your
address (no PayPal payouts which is much more convenient) and that
they will only pay for those months on which you get at least one
hundred dollars in revenue, and that they 'reserve the right' to not
pay that if they choose to charge you for your 'costs' in running
their search engine or if they decided you were cheating on them,
And they won't give any real, consistent explanation for how they
come to those conclusions. And guess what! Surprise ... I have yet to
have a single month on which I 'earned' a hundred dollars. The closest
I have come was last month (November) in which they admitted (by their
calculation which is the only thing they will use) to $98.60. So, of
course no check, since it was not the hundred dollars they insist on,
which their smooth talking sales rep told me should be 'easy
money'. And of course, if you quit their program, then you do not get
anything accrued at all as of that point.
Over all, I do not think Google Ad Sense is a very good program; it
just clutters up a person's web pages with a bunch of ads, (of which I
disapprove anyway), and it would be different if they actually paid on
a timely basis and if they explained how they do it. So far I have
gotten nothing from them except canned answers about their 'policies'.
I cannot recommend it to web page publishers.
Another similar program is called 'Bidvertiser' and I am thinking very
seriously about writing off what I have lost on Google Ad Sense unless
I can find an attorney willing to sue them to try and collect the
approximatly two hundred dollars they always find reasons not to pay
on, and see how the Bidvertiser program works instead.
Bidvertiser says they will pay via PayPal anytime you, as a publisher,
collect at least ten dollars due. There is also a similar program
through Yahoo, I believe. I have experimented with Bidvertiser on a
non-telecom web site I also operate, and it seems to be doing okay,
although the payouts are much less, but at least it gives the
appearance of being a more honest operation.
Any thoughts from readers?