As the Internet grew, so did the number of people who wanted to make money online, and they were from all over the world instead of down the road. And more than a few of them were damn smart and willing to work a lot harder for traffic.
Since more sites yearned for a page one ranking on their primary keyword or phrase, it became harder and harder to even find yourself in Google’s index, regardless of what you were trying to optimize for. One and two word phrases were impossible to SEO, and even long-tail stuff was difficult.
AdWords wasn’t much better. Big brands started outbidding the small fries for traffic, and the restrictions on what you could (and couldn’t) sell became onerous. No more squeeze pages, no more pop-ups, and absolutely no more direct-linked affiliate offers. The Google-Cash method died overnight, and guys who were making 6-figures a month went down to almost nothing.
Starting in about 2010, the heat turned up extra high and Google began banning advertisers, in some cases for ads they had run five or more years beforehand. They didn’t just kick you out of AdWords either, they actually delisted you from the search index just to show they were serious!
Businesses that had been making money with Google PPC and SEO for years were now toast since the customer acquisition spigot was dry, and most didn’t know where else to get visitors. They had become dependent on the Big G for 100% of their traffic.
If you and Google are tight, count your blessings. You are lucky. But if you’ve been slaped, smacked, quality scored, Pandad, Penguined, or anything else having to do with Google, or if you are worried that you might fall out of favor in the future, I feel for you.
I was devastated when we got delisted, even my own Mom couldn’t find me online!
That’s when I switched from SEO to Paid Media like banners, text ads, PPV, pops, and solo ads, and accidentally discovered an entirely new way of marketing, with huge benefits:
- More inventory: Web 2.0 properties (with user generated content) like FB, Instagram, Pinterest and many others are expanding rapidly, which means that there are even more places to advertise every single month, and even more inventory they need to sell, keeping supply high (good for advertisers).
- Fewer regulations: You can often advertise products (and sales funnels) that are not allowed on Google. Diet products, financial products, gaming sites, even Biz-Opps.
- Lower cost: in 9 times out of 10, the prevailing cost-per-click for paid media is less than with AdWords, especially for highly competitive categories.
- Predictable results: You want traffic, you buy it. Find a source that works, and it’s much easier to scale your campaigns up.
There’s another cool benefit with paid media , and that’s the ability to pick and choose where you want your ads to run. Just a few years ago, if you wanted to advertise on the Wall Street Journal, you called them up and were assigned an ad rep and signed an insertion order and wrote a big check. The process could take a week or two while everything got set up.
But these days, most large sites have 5 – 10 different ways to advertise with them, allowing you to shop around for the right inventory at the best price and the lowest minimum. (Great for advertisers.) There are also traffic aggregators you can tap into that have tens of thousands of sites you can target, and exchanges with “remnant” space for as little as $0.05 CPM.
Paid media is becoming ubiquitous. Ads have permeated every aspect of the online experience, which means there’s never been more available inventory than there is right now. If you have something worthwhile to offer, and you can construct a half-way decent sales funnel, there’s money to be made, we promise.