Warning! Don't mix Adsense with Amazon Affiliates

by awddude 27 replies
I keep reading this on the forums - that a site should stick to one or the other, and that the mix results in worse performance for both.

I thought it was interesting enough... but what is the evidence to support the assertion? So I threw up adsense on a low performing amazon affiliates site and have seen a steady dollar a day through adsense while not affecting affiliate sales negatively.

Are there special criteria when one should follow the no-mix rule?

Most of the products I sell from that affiliate site are not even related to the product my site revolves around. I believe this means shoppers are in a real browsing mood for this particular keyword. In that case, I think Adsense & Amazon affiliates make a great combination.

Maybe people see negative results in mixing when their users are more targeted than mine. It's hard to say from just one site.

What do you think?
#search engine optimization #adsense #affiliates #amazon #mix #warning
  • Profile picture of the author Kurt
    I do it simply because it's likely having Amazon (or other affiliate programs) on Adsense pages blurs the line of "Made for Adsense" from Google's point of view.
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  • Profile picture of the author awddude
    Hmm that's a good point. The site I used has ~30 pages of content so I think it has passed the threshold of "made for Adsense"

    But with smaller sites, especially if you are creating them fast, I totally see where you're coming from.
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  • Profile picture of the author felku
    I have a mix of lot of things in somes of my big sites and I haven't see any side effect.
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  • Profile picture of the author onSubie
    Hi

    Your subject is very deceptive. I thought you were going to post a reason or evidence on why not to combine AdSense and Amazon. Pertinent info for me as I am considering adding AdSense to my Amazon sites. My reasoning is below.

    For AdSense it is a good idea because Google likes to see another method of monetization other than AdSense. Right now my sites are mostly adsense or Amazon but not both.

    For Amazon sites, it may take away from product sales, but I wonder about the commissions for a low volume Amazon site.

    Product keywords are valuable for AdSense so if you can get $2-$4 a click, that is the same as selling $75-$100 of product at Amazon depending on how your sales volume affects your commission percentage. As I said, this may not apply to high volume Amazon sites.

    So if 1 ad click = 1 Amazon sale, or even 2 ad clicks = 1 Amazon sale would you rather get AdSense clicks for the $$$ or an Amazon click and hope they follow through and buy?

    AdSense pays you on the click.

    Amazon pays you if that click converts.

    Edit: I think AdSense would also help monetize traffic that is still in 'research' and not 'buying' mode. If not ready to click through to Amazon, they may click an ad in search of more information or pricing.

    Mahlon
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    • Profile picture of the author awddude
      Your subject is very deceptive. I thought you were going to post a reason or evidence on why not to combine AdSense and Amazon. Pertinent info for me as I am considering adding AdSense to my Amazon sites. My reasoning is below.
      hehe... sorry I didn't realize the deception at play. My anecdotal evidence says there is no harm in combining, but hopefully someone will come along and post evidence convincing you not to do it.

      So far though, everyone has said the combination is a good thing.

      For AdSense it is a good idea because Google likes to see another method of monetization other than AdSense. Right now my sites are mostly adsense or Amazon but not both.
      Makes sense, as Kurt said it can "blur the line"


      For Amazon sites, it may take away from product sales, but I wonder about the commissions for a low volume Amazon site.

      Product keywords are valuable for AdSense so if you can get $2-$4 a click, that is the same as selling $75-$100 of product at Amazon depending on how your sales volume affects your commission percentage. As I said, this may not apply to high volume Amazon sites.

      So if 1 ad click = 1 Amazon sale, or even 2 ad clicks = 1 Amazon sale would you rather get AdSense clicks for the $$$ or an Amazon click and hope they follow through and buy?

      AdSense pays you on the click.

      Amazon pays you if that click converts.

      Edit: I think AdSense would also help monetize traffic that is still in 'research' and not 'buying' mode. If not ready to click through to Amazon, they may click an ad in search of more information or pricing.

      Mahlon
      Yeah this makes sense. I think the rule is, if you are really pounding an affiliate link, and the user is in "super buying mode" there really would be no reason to use Adsense and give competitors your customers.

      When users are more in "information mode", the mix of Adsense and Amazon is beneficial.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kris79
    There can be also a different approach to mixing both monetization methods.
    First of all Google treats affiliate links as ads so if you have to many AdSense units and few affiliate links it might be bad - content to ads ratio.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kurt
    Here's another angle...Let's say I'm create a page for Adsense. If we can write about anything, why not write about something people can buy?

    And if we write about something we can buy, why not have a link to let them buy it from Amazon?

    IMO, Amazon is the best "content helper" site there is to help create content for Adsense.

    Maybe having both hurts conversion percentage. On the other hand, using Amazon to help create content for Adsense lets you create content faster and by writing about things people can buy, you create a second revenue stream.
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    • Profile picture of the author awddude
      That's exactly what I think Kurt. If my site is centered around a product, it seems silly not to include Amazon in the mix.
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      • Profile picture of the author theverysmartguy
        If you are creating sites centered around a certain product, there is no reason why you shouldn't put both amazon and adsense on your site.

        This enhances the user experience; they are searching for a product to buy, they see your site with several reviews, they see some adsense ads that show a discount on that product, they click it, you make money.

        Or it could happen the other way around. They see the product they want right from amazon, and its at a good price, so they click it; buy the product, and look, they see some other stuff that goes with that product and buy it too.

        Really, its a win win win situation ( you win twice because there are more ways to covert visitors into $$, and the visitor wins because they see more ways to get what they want).

        I have been looking into testing out a few sites with this in mind and see what happens. I know there are several people that have had success with this website model.

        -- Jeff
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        • Profile picture of the author mrdomains
          If you feel Adsense would help, I guess the only reason for not putting Adsense on a affiliate site is if you think it “cheapens” the impression of your site. Meaning, it becomes obvious and apparent that you are into it for the money, more than the discrete affiliate text and image links. I sometimes get the feeling visitors react to the presence of Adsense in a affiliate site as a sign of "desperation".. This all depends on how you style your affiliate sites, but if you have a strict and clean affiliate site that is converting well - I would skip Adsense.

          I do have Adsense on a few of my Amazon sites - for 2 reasons:
          1) an experiment to see if the idea that multiple monetization is something Google cares about. Been running this experiment for quite a while now and so far, stats do not indicate any extra love from Google. No ill will either.
          2) as a income stream from sites that have traffic, but aren't converting affiliate sales, and for which I have yet to decide the fate of.
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  • Profile picture of the author OmarNegron
    I can't see having both of them on your website hurting you. I've had both in the past and they tend to work good together.

    Only thing you must keep in mind is that if you are adding Amazon to your website that you have been monetizing through Adsense, you can and should expect CTR to probably drop a bit since you are giving the visitor another option on how to leave your site (amazon affiliate link)

    But if that's something you can handle, then you should not have a problem!

    -Omar
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  • Profile picture of the author mooble
    I use both adsense and amazon. The reason being, the first thing they will see is the Amazon products, and if they don't find what they are looking for, they will then likely look for links to continue their "search," in which case adsense is another exit from your site. I haven't had the guts to try dropping adsense and going with amazon only, but that's because i make money from both. Why change it?
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  • Profile picture of the author awddude
    Very interesting guys, great answers thanks. Time for me to start mixing more.
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  • Profile picture of the author adamv
    I have sites that have both amazon affiliate links and adsense but I don't put them both on the same page.

    For example, I have sites that review products and the product review pages have link to amazon. The same sites will also have informative articles and on the article pages I have adsense.
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  • Profile picture of the author queen bee
    Thanks for sharing your opinion guys..I have a few pointers now
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  • Profile picture of the author Netpreneurs
    Depending on the situation..
    I have a few sites which I mixed adsense & amazon together and I don;t see any issues with them. The only reason I do that is when I have a low paying amazon product, adsense rev can come in handy..

    But as a rule of thumbs, it all depends on your strategy..
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  • Profile picture of the author Maraun
    You don't have automatic penalties when you do both.

    What people mean is that when you plan a site, you usually choose keywords that are good for one or the other. Some keywords might be really great for amazon review style content but don't have any advertisers or low CPC.

    The other way around might happen, too. Insurance topics have high CPC so if you build a site around insurance keywords, what do you want to link to on Amazon? Maybe a little insurance selection guide book or something, but the big money is in the Adsense clicks.

    It's easier to plan sites when you have a specific method of monetization in mind.
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  • Profile picture of the author bmcgoff
    This is a really interesting discussion. I'd love to hear an Amazon vet (Gaz Cooper, Jan Roos, Paula & Wanda) weigh in on this. To me, it makes sense to use both methods, and others for that matter, because if it truly isn't about the money, you should offer your readers more options.

    Same would go for using other affiliate links besides Amazon. If Best Buy had a better price on something, why not use a link to them for a specific product?
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    • Profile picture of the author jan roos
      Originally Posted by bmcgoff View Post

      This is a really interesting discussion. I'd love to hear an Amazon vet (Gaz Cooper, Jan Roos, Paula & Wanda) weigh in on this. To me, it makes sense to use both methods, and others for that matter, because if it truly isn't about the money, you should offer your readers more options.

      Same would go for using other affiliate links besides Amazon. If Best Buy had a better price on something, why not use a link to them for a specific product?
      I did send out an email to my list about this. I tested Adsense on one of my Amazon sites and am now earning $150 per month in Adsense from that site without losing any Amazon sales.

      Always test things out is the moral of the story.

      Cheers

      Jan
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  • Profile picture of the author Kreative4
    I like to take my chances. Unless Adsense or Amazon change their TOS, i will use both on my sites. Asian traffic converts well for Adsense while Amazon is focused for US/EU traffic.
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  • Profile picture of the author uoftenwinny
    To me sometimes I point the link to other sites, it's common. Adsense is good for Asian users as Kreative4 said.
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  • Profile picture of the author dumitrumidon
    I think everything is about how nice you mix them on your site and what is the user reaction on it. If you think first about your users and only after that about Google or any of affiliate programs...you will always have success. Build user experience and user friendly sites...money will come like water...
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  • Profile picture of the author cheapstuff
    dumitrumidon hit the nail on the head. Presentation along with providing a solution always pays off.
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  • Profile picture of the author Stevie C
    In my opinion its a big NO! if Google for some reason decide to penalize my Adsense sites I will lose the earnings from Amazon as well. I'd even go so far as to say I'd keep them on different IP's or hosting. Maybe I'm just being over cautious though?

    Doesn't it also show a lack of confidence in the product you are promoting?
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  • Profile picture of the author adixon1989
    I use both adsense and amazon on the same page regularly and haven't experienced a problem, but I encourage you to try testing all three ways though because some markets convert better with amazon while other's with adsense.

    Once you get some decent traffic, start switching between the 2 and play around with the ad placements until you find the highest earner.
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  • Profile picture of the author korneld
    I'd rather test one against the other. After all, you want to maximize the amount you make.
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    • Profile picture of the author Black Hat Cat
      Banned
      I keep reading this on the forums - that a site should stick to one or the other, and that the mix results in worse performance for both.
      And you know who tells you that? People who aren't doing this stuff for real.

      Amazon has non-Amazon ads on their site. Ebay does too. Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Barnes and Noble, Overstock, and plenty of other multi-million dollar sites run adsense in addition to the stuff they're selling. What does this tell you? Do you think tgey would be doing it if it resulted in poor performance for both? Doubtful.

      Having said that, the only correct answer is to test. Other folk's results don't define what yours will be, good or bad.
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