There are many reasons why people hate AdSense and most of them are quite silly. I’ve taken the top 10 reasons below, and discussed each of them individually.
There are some valid concerns, definitely, but a few of them are just ridiculous.
- Poor email support / Poor support overall
This is a fair point – AdSense can and should do more in terms of tech support.
However, when you consider the sheer number of people who use AdSense and even if you place the percentage of people who need tech support generously low, that’s still a lot of users.
I’d like to see the Google AdSense team do more (they’ve improved since last year, IMO), especially in replying to all email support queries within 12 hours. Impossible? Hardly.
- Google allows AdSense ads on scrapper sites
Google is in favor of using algorithms as far as possible to weed out the trash, and to their credit they’ve done a lot over at Blogspot to reduce the splog-effect.
But MFA-sites are NOT going to go away, and to combat the problem Google needs to do manual checks both at the point of application (maybe introduce minimum conditions for joining – such as site age, traffic, etc) and at any random time every 6 months (or 1 year).
To get the scrappers out of the system sites need to be checked manually – although this raises another nasty problem where personal bias on ads can mean the difference between a site being seen as heavily optimized and blatant spam.
But why are people crying about Google allowing ads on scrapper sites? How does this affect you?
- Smart Pricing
If you don’t know what smart pricing it, read this article from Jennifer Slegg and then this followup by Loren Baker covering Google’s response.
It’s the way AdSense / AdWords works – deal with it.
- Doesn’t pay enough
A problem of expectations and nothing to do with Google or Google AdSense.
AdSense is usually a function of traffic – if you have low traffic you might want to head the TLA way and push your PageRank up.
And if you sign up to AdSense expecting it to pay all your expenses, you’d better be prepared to put in the hard work to build up your site’s traffic to that level.
Don’t rely on just one source of income – and depending on your niche and site traffic, AdSense could be your worst or your best earner.
- Ugly ads
I disagree – but maybe that’s because I’ve been using AdSense for so long. I do think that Google have done a decent job in how their their ads blend in well with content – and on the most part I’d blame the advertisers, not the ad network, for the quality of the ads and ad text.
- Don’t allow arbitrage
Losely translates into:
Don’t allow us to cheat by going against their TOS.
I’m all for arbitrage, but you have to make sure you don’t get caught.
- Dont allow banned accounts to be reinstated
Never had an account banned (touch wood) so I can’t say much about this. If it really is a zero-tolerance policy then it’s not necessarily a bad thing – although accounts that are wrongly banned for suspicious activity should be reactivated once the mistake is discovered. Google will only get better at detecting fraud though, so the number of false positives should decrease.
- They’re everywhere
A testament to its simplicity and ease of use. Doesn’t apply unless you hate Google, which is a whole different story.
- Poor targeting
Are you saying this relatively or objectively? Relative to other networks, AdSense is actually much better. And when it comes to depth of inventory, Google is usually ahead as well.
There are certain cases where relevant ads are not presented, but those cases are isolated and there’s a fix for every one of them.
- It feeds the Google Borg
Yes, it does.
I can live with that, even if sometimes your earnings per click get slashed for no obvious reason and AdSense support or an optimization expert assigned to you does absolutely nothing to explain why this happens. It’s annoying, but instead of complaining, you need to adapt, find alternatives and fix things on your end.
While I was writing this list I realised that I might come out sounding like a Google apologetic – please no. I’m just trying to put forward both sides of the story as I see them.
So, have I missed out on any reason why you would hate AdSense?
This article was originally written on 10 Jul 2007 for Performancing.com.