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Adsense Arbitrage – A Case Study

Posted on May 21, 2007 by Tim Schroeder

I thought I would share with you a small Adsense Arbitrage experiment I conducted back in January of 2007.

Since I’ll be talking about Adsense Arbitrage every once in awhile on this blog I wanted you to realize I’ve actually tried it myself! Lastly, I do not consider myself an Adsense Arbitrage “expert” and I presently DON’T DO IT AT ALL (nor do I endorse the practice). Nevertheless, you can learn from my past and if I experiment more with it in the future.

How I setup my first PPC arbitrage page:

First, I did keyword research via the Google Adwords keyword suggestion tool and discovered that “weight loss” keywords generally command pretty high CPC rates to get the top positions in Adwords.

Secondly, I created a webpage and placed Adsense ads on the left, top and bottom of an article about losing weight (note that this page was not exactly pretty and was quickly setup just for an experiment).

Then I used SpyFu.com and the other keyword research tools to generate a list of 800+ keywords related to “losing weight” in a matter of minutes. Remember, SpyFu.com allows you to spy on competitor’s keyword lists! I used these keywords in a new MSN Adcenter pay-per-click campaign.

Here are the results of my very first try at PPC Arbitrage:

The time it took to setup the landing webpage: 5 to 10 minutes

The time it took to research and generate the keyword list: 10 to 15 minutes

The time it took to setup the MSN Adcenter ads: 15 minutes (mainly because you can only add 200 keywords at once)

The money spent on this campaign in January 2007: $223.04
The money made on Adsense clicks in January 2007: $369.14
(with about a 74.8 % ad CTR).

Total Profit: $146.10

Now we are not talking about a huge amount of profit from this but it took me well less than an hour to setup this campaign. Suppose I setup 10 other pages making a similar amount! Suppose I setup 100 additional pages each making similar amounts of profit each month!

Is this specific Adsense Arbitrage still profitable? The short answer is no. I’ve paused the MSN Adcenter campaign. After a couple months the PPC amount I was getting from Adsense on that page dropped substantially to where it was barely breaking even. Why? IMO, the page eventually was given a low quality score (no outgoing links except Adsense and poor content on the page). Does it mean Adsense Arbitrage no longer works? Of course not. Hundreds of people are still making loads of money through this practice. This was only one small test.

Also be sure to read my What is Adsense Arbitrage post where I talk about how some Adsense accounts may be getting shut down for using this practice. Lets face it, while it might make you some money, it’s not worth getting your account banned. It also may not create much value for the advertiser depending on the setup of the page your are sending traffic.

Have you ever tried to run a profitable Adsense Arbitrage campaign? Please share with us your results!

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8 Responses to “Adsense Arbitrage – A Case Study”

  1. SEO Reloaded

    - 24th May, 07 05:05am

    I recently came across a few posts on several blogs and also discussions on forums that Google is banning Adsense Accounts for sites that use Adsense Arbitrage. (Actually not banning but closing). Do you still think it’s a good idea to do something like this?

  2. Tim Schroeder

    - 24th May, 07 11:05am

    Hi SEO Reloaded. Thanks for visiting eMonetized.

    I’d probably recommend against trying traditional Arbitrage to make money at this point unless you can manage to get a second Adsense account.

    You could try and make the Arbitrage landing page look more like a traditional website with helpful content. Then just use one or two Adsense ads but in very prominent positions. In other words, don’t make it exactly “look” like an Arbitrage website and you might be ok.

  3. sam sanders

    - 8th Aug, 07 02:08pm

    I agree that you may have to make your webpage look more “traditional” and less like an MFA page, but then wouldn’t your CPM drop since you aren’t highlighting the Adsense ads as much? I guess the blackhat way to do this would be to just keep signing up for Adsense accounts, basically as throwaway accounts. If you get banned, so what.

  4. Shane Board

    - 8th Nov, 07 04:11am

    These kind of sites drive me insane because to put it simple, I get a visitor which I lose to a 1 cent click and then the site they find through the ad has more ads on it which makes that site more, I work hard for traffic and it angers me knowing I lose visitors to these MFA sites which are basicaly making money from the work I put in getting the traffic.

  5. peter

    - 29th Jan, 09 05:01pm

    Just currious, do you think arbitrage still works even after 2 years since this article was writen I am new to this.

  6. Roshan

    - 16th Jul, 09 05:07pm

    I tried it few times with low value keywords but after few minutes, the ad stops running with poor quality score.

  7. Terry

    - 9th May, 10 12:05pm

    It still works BIG time, but advertising on MSN does not work. Also you are missing the key thing here (no offense)

    My wife have doing this for 5 years now and Google has no problem with the practiice as long as there is some good content on your web site. Lots of good content.

    So aritrage is dead IF you use a throw-away web site (or page) and you use MSN Adcenter.

    In short – to succeed at this you need;

    A good site with lots of content
    Advertising with the right PPC company
    Must be a high paying niche by Google
    Patience

    Google has no problem with this model. What do you think Yahoo!, Bing and Ask are doing when the advertise in Adwords! Paying for traffic just sees a bunch of links to sites they have set up for you to click! Get it? It’s the Same THING WE DO.

What Do YOU Think?

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