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Prosper with Virtual Real Estate and Digital Assets - Part 2

Copyright (c) 2006-2020 DBA AdPro Media Sales, All Rights Reserved
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In the first article part of this article, we described the burgeoning virtual real estate market (VRE). We explained that this industry was spring-boarded by Google's business strategy to allow website owners (resellers) to get a cut of the commissions from pay-per-click (PPC) ads displayed on their sites. This program is known as Google Adsense(tm). I also alluded to the fact that Google generates almost 40%-50% of its $7.5 billion ad revenues from the Adsense(tm) program. We quoted from Business 2.0 magazine that Adsense(tm) is projected to do about $4 billion in revenue in 2006.

With close to $4 billion being generated in ads posted on publisher's websites, Google's Adsense program is more than just a cottage industry. In fact, it is probably the first true sales channel in which Internet advertising will see its share of the $175 billion ad industry traditionally composed of television, radio, cable, and print advertising.

Despite its potential to further its profit, at least on the surface, Google seems to have ambiguous feelings about the rapid growth of VRE sites. In its canned corporate responses on this topic, Google forbids creating sites just to make money with Adsense(tm) revenue.


The Dueling Souls of Google

Borrowing a social construct from W.E.B. DuBois (the first African-American to earn a PhD from Harvard), Google's corporate culture seems to have two dueling souls. This duality became especially apparent after the IPO went public.

On one hand, Google is the "do no harm" company that wants the web to be an innovative place to facilitate the research, organization, communication, and retrieval of information. In this, the company is one of the Internet's and world's most respected and almost deified brands. Its fan base is often intensely, almost rabidly loyal.

On the other hand, Google is the iconic business powerhouse that dares to shape the world to its image and will. Google is full of arrogant hubris when it comes to issues of privacy, copyright, and business issues. Many feel Google is becoming the next Microsoft. In my opinion, Google is far more of a potentially intrusive business concern than Microsoft.

For example, the New York Times reported that the US and other national governments throughout the world had to seek relief from Google Earth showing aerial photographs of their capitals. They feared terrorists could use these readily accessibly photos in their plans.

In addition, organizations of publishers and writers are currently involved in disputes with Google over their scanning efforts of books and other copyrighted information. Google is challenging their rights to scan certain works under fair use legal loopholes. But more to our immediate concerns, Google is becoming a challenge to web marketers and even their core advertisers by attacking pop-up ads with its toolbar and by restricting advertisers' use of such pop-ups.

Even one session of pop-ups that used a cookie to regulate them was a no-no for Google. Any net marketer knows that pop-ups, used in a responsible way, are the most effective way to acquire new subscribers. Although many people were abusing the pop-up ads, there were many advertisers who used them only once per session. However, Google and its supporters argued that long-term site usability would benefit from killing pop-ups ads. With no one to advocate for pop-up ads but web marketers, the general net objections are muted. I don't like TV commercials either, but I know they are the price I pay for free or cheap content delivery.

In the past year, Google has made SEO, blogging, and RSS visibility in its search engine more difficult. It is really cutting down on duplicate content and has strengthened a time-based delay filter commonly known as the dreaded "Google Sandbox"-designed to halt the get-rich-quick mentality of many Adsense(tm) entrepreneurs. For example, if you start a new site, it will usually take you six months to a year to get a decent ranking on Google.

Finally, Google added insult to injury with the latest modification to Adwords criteria. This latest round of restrictions cut to the core of some of the most profitable practices of web marketers. In a round-about way, Google is attempting to marginalize the squeeze page, the sales page, and Adsense Arbitrage sites. These sites are effective ways to generate site revenue, increase e-mail lists, and get visitor conversion.

The squeeze page is a page where the sole focus is to get a site visitor to opt-in to an e-mail list before they can obtain information. Google doesn't like this type of site because it makes their search engine less user-friendly and relevant.

The sales page's, or mini-site's, primary focus is to sell a product (usually an info product) with the secondary focus of getting people to sign up for an e-mail list. Google doesn't care for these sites because they offer little useful information to searchers and primarily exist to sell products.

Adsense(tm) Arbitrage sites bid on low-cost search terms to draw traffic to their sites and show more expensive ads there in the hopes site users will click on those ads. In financial markets, arbitrage is the practice of buying undervalued or under-priced stock or assets and reselling them for a simultaneous profit in other markets. Google doesn't like this practice because it encourages the development of low quality magnet sites that draw traffic but offer little, if any, useful content. Why would you create useful content if you only want people to click on ads?

Google's resistance to these sales and money-making tactics raises the question whether VRE, info-product, and affiliate sites really have a future for new net marketers and website business owners. But Google isn't the only player to consider in the lucrative VRE market.

Despite the YPN network's late arrival to the contextual ad potential of the online real estate of millions of partner reseller or affiliate sites, it is making up significant ground.

John Reese rumored that from his own testing and from others in his circles, YPN pays a better percentage than Google. Since both these companies cloak their payment policies and refuse full disclosure, it is hard to verify these facts. However, it is something you should test on your own pages.

Although an Internet business can be started cheaply, it is very time consuming to build and develop your site into something profitable. This is especially true given Google's tough filters and algorithms. Despite a lot of Internet hype to the contrary, most people won't run a business on the Internet that makes a fortune overnight.

Since Google is such a schizophrenic business partner and YPN is still such a newbie in the VRE space, is the ad reseller path worth going down for the average website owner? Sure, people with long-standing websites might make a fortune with VRE sites-like Joel Comm. But what about the average new website owner, can they ever make significant income doing VRE sites? As I illustrated, building profitable VRE sites will not be easy. Especially given the major search engine's vigilance in protecting their most prized real estate-the first three pages of the search engine result pages (SERPs). Google and other search engines are increasingly viewing VRE sites as a threat to the integrity of their search results. We will explore these and other critical questions on our journey to find solutions to build profitable VRE sites and digital assets.


About The Author: Shop Amazon - Top Gift Ideas
Kamau Austin is a stay-at-home dad and Searchpreneur(c). He is the author of "Always On Top How to Get Your Website on Top of the Search Engines Every Time!" See his book at: http://www.AlwaysOnToptheBook.com. He is also a nationally recognized writer who has been featured on the American Urban Radio Network (AURN) and XM Satellite Radio. He has also been featured in both numerous community newspapers and national magazines such as Black Enterprise and Fortune Magazine's Small Business. Find out more about Virtual Real Estate with Blogs, RSS, and search engines at http://www.SearchEnginePlan.com.

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