I ran across a story yesterday that warmed my heart. Entitled “Google’s Hidden Payroll“, USA Today reports how AdSense is making a big difference in people’s lives in developing countries. There are many examples of people from places such as India, the Philippines and Cairo earning what we may consider in the United States a nominal income but to them is substantial from running AdSense ads on their sites.
One such example is Deepesh Agarwal, who runs a small cybercafe in Rajasthan state, India. About 90% of his income, or $1,500 a month, is derived from his AdSense earnings. It is a princely sum in a state where the average income is just $300 a year. “AdSense has changed my life,” Mr. Agarwal says. “I can afford things that I was not able to before. I am planning to buy a new car. I can save for my future.”
USA Today goes on to report that AdSense is a big revenue generator for Google as well, earning the company some $2.7 billion in revenues last year. Google refuses to disclose the exact percentage it pays out to AdSense member sites, but recent news reports have put that figure as high as 78.5 cents on the dollar. “We do not disclose revenue share for different reasons,” says Brian Axe, an AdSense group product manager at Google. “But it is more than fair. These success stories bring a smile to our faces.”
I know the power of AdSense as well. Before AdSense, we made about $35 a year from ValueClick banner ads which we placed in unsold ad space on one of our sites. $35 a year? Big deal, right? When AdSense came into being, we replaced the old ValueClick banner ads with AdSense and now earn an average of $500 a month or $6,000 a year. What a difference from a mere $35 a year. This on a local Arizona topical site. Just think if we were to expand that to all 50 states! $500 a month is not a lot of money over here but as in the example above where the average income is only $300 a year, $500 a month is a fortune.