… if you are relying on the (potential) swarm of Digg visitors to click on your Adsense ads.
Personally, I think the spike in traffic you will get by getting a home-page link on Digg won’t be worth anything at all, unless you are selling something that Digg users want. Now, I don’t know what that something is, but whatever it is, it is going to be a hard sell.
Most of the traffic from Digg will be geeks and nerds, just like me. I’m an avid blogger, digger, googler, you know – the self-proclaimed “uber-web savvy” type. And I won’t be too far off the mark when I say that the tech profile of the average digg user will be quite similar to mine. And I can’t remember the last time I clicked on an Adsense ad.
I have family (my wife, BIL) and friends who are in IT, and almost none of them ever clicks on Google Adsense ads, not even on Google’s own search pages, let alone on 3rd-party web sites. When they do a google search, they are completely and utterly focused on the organic search results, and completely block out the ad-block on the right-side of the page.
This is not a Digg-specific phenomenon. I think this is more of a natural, human phenomenon.
I’m one of Google’s biggest proponents. I sign up for most Google services the day they are beta-launched. But my Google-fanboi status notwithstanding, I am predicting that Adsense’s effectiveness is only going to decline, the way CTR’s for banners decreased.
Here’s why: Google’s text ads were novel for a while, and everyone clicked on them, similar to the novelty of banners and popups when they were first introduced. They’re now common place, and I have increasingly noticed through my various web sites that the average non-techie visitors are among the few left clicking on them, and the tech-savvy folks are clicking on them at an alarmingly decreasing rate.
I say that with substantial (undisclosed) proof, because on my web sites built for the average mom and pop, the Adsense CTR’s are very high – and my earnings substantial. But on my sites targeted towards a tech-savvy audience, the CTR’s are pathetic, and revenue is nothing to write home about.
This is why you see popular tech blogs and sites going with pay-for-placement or pay-per-impression ads.
I believe that PPC will gradually make way for PPP (pay-per-performance – like affiliate programs) ads – and I know that Google is developing a CPA (Cost Per Action) service for this. And then they will compete with the ValueClicks and CommissionJunctions of the world.
As long as they keep evolving Adsense, Google will be fine, but the quality of clicks on PPC is only going to deteriorate, as more people find out that every click = someone makes money + someone loses money.
If you just spent a large amount of time, money and effort trying to figure out ways and sneaky ways to get on Digg’s home page, here’s the bottomline:
Digg traffic is mostly good for increasing your impressions and increasing awareness of your product/service’s existence (a.k.a “branding”). These guys/gals are very web-savvy, won’t easily buy anything without a lot of research and social proof, will always try to find a cheaper or free alternative, won’t easily give up their email addresses as they are very spam-aware, and probably won’t click on your Adsense ads.
Maybe you will get tons of impressions, but your pay-per-impression advertisers may not be particularly happy, because the kind of traffic you will get from digg will be largely untargeted, and any click-thrus to the advertisers site will face the same situation – won’t click, won’t buy, won’t sign up (easily).
So, stop building pages and sites targeted for Digg; stop joining Digg-fraud communities, because if you build it just for them, and they do come, you probably won’t be making very many pennies. But if you build something remarkable, and do build it for everyone, then the Diggeeks just might put some moolah in your pocket.
– Ravi Jayagopal
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