2008/01/21

The Truth About High Paying Keywords

I'm sure you've seen headlines that promise you can make thousands of dollars using their list of "high paying keywords." Some promise they'll tell you keywords that make up to $100 each!
Unfortunately, it's not that easy. The following are 6 reasons why you should take those lists with a grain of salt…
1. Figures are according to Overture. Contrary to popular belief, every single high paying keyword list is according to Overture… not Google! Why? Because Google doesn't give exact figures on how much each keyword is worth. But unlike Google, Overture DOES give exact figures when it comes to how much keywords are worth. And just because a company is willing to give Overture $50 per click, doesn't mean they are willing to pay Google that much!
2. Not all Google Advertisers use the Adsense network. A lot of high paying sponsors choose to only advertise on Google's site. Since these advertisers opt-out of the Adsense network, you'll never see a dime of that money. Some high paying advertisers even have a separate ad campaign that is exclusively for AdWords and another one for the Adsense network. They make sure the keywords for the Adsense network pay less. Why? Because there is a fairly high amount of click fraud on the Adsense network.
3. You have to factor in Google's cut. Nobody knows exactly how much Google takes from each click… but we're pretty sure their share is around 40%. This means that even if an advertiser is paying $50/click, the most you'll see from that is $30. So even if those high paying keywords are 100% correct, make sure you factor in Google's cut before you get too excited…
4. Some high paying keywords have too much competition. When people heard the keyword "Mesothelioma" was paying $50/click, everyone and their mothers put up web sites, blogs, and forums that targeted that keyword! Now the competition is so fierce it isn't even worth wasting your time trying to compete with them.
5. Some high paying keywords get little or no traffic. The reason why some companies are willing to pay a lot of money for certain keywords is because it doesn't get much traffic. So even if a keyword is paying a lot of money, if nobody is searching for that topic, you're not going to get any traffic! And "little or no traffic" also means "little or not money". You'd rather have a thousand clicks worth $1 each than 4 clicks worth $50 each, right?
6. Smart Pricing can take affect. Google has a system in place called "Smart Pricing" that protects its advertisers. Google uses smart pricing to determine whether or not the traffic you provide is turning into sales for the advertiser. For example, even if you're getting $5 every time someone clicks on your adsense ads, Google might lower that to $1 if the traffic you send the advertiser is junk and doesn't convert into sales. Unfortunately, nobody knows exactly how smart pricing works. One way that it can happen though is if you try to target a certain high paying keyword… even if it doesn't relate to your page. For example, if you're trying to get ads about "Lawyers" to show up on your web site because you think it's a high paying word, but your site is about Baseball, the traffic won't convert into sales and smart pricing will take over.
Okay, we hope that wasn't too depressing! But there's good news! High paying keywords do have one positive use. You can, and should, use high paying keyword lists to get ideas for niche sites. Just because the amount paid per click may not be accurate, some of the keywords on those lists can be good topics for Adsense sites.

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