I saw a post on WebmasterWorld.com where members scoffed at the marketing advice in a Google AdSense newsletter. The newsletter recommended they advertise with AdWords. I thought, “Hey, what do these twenty-something AdSense Googlers know about web publishing to advise US on how to market our websites?” I have visited the AdSense offices in Manhattan, Mountain View and San Francisco several times and have met the workers there. While those in charge are generally over thirty, surprisingly many of the actual workers tasked with outreach and developing AdSense initiatives are in their twenties. That means that many of these AdSense advisers cranking out marketing advcie to webpublishers were in the eighth grade when many of those same web publishers were building their online businesses ten years ago or more. Publishers have good reason to doubt the advice coming out of Google’s AdSense program because there is a deficit in real-world marketing experience from those at Google who would advise web publishers on how to promote their business.
Website marketing advice from Google
This is the result of a combination of Google’s hiring practices and their trust in data. I doubt few in the AdSense Department have ever created a site and successfully monetized it. If they did they likely would not be commuting to work at Google every morning. I know that some Googlers publish sites on their own. That’s great. But unlike many of us, when they lay their heads down to sleep, their earnings security comes from their day job, not their web publishing adventures. I may be wrong, but I doubt even Matt Cutts understands what it’s like to be on the other side of Google publishing web sites and growing communities. That’s not a bad thing, I’m not faulting Matt. It’s simply not possible. He’s on THAT side of the search box. Web publishers are on THIS side. An advanced degree in computer science and petabytes of data do not give Google the insights into what web publishers do on a daily basis on the OTHER side of the Google search box. Googlers do not understand the challenges we face every day making sure the business is monetizing well. How could they?
This is why it is important to question marketing advice when it comes out of Google. I’m not saying to discount it or scorn it. That would be foolish. I am simply saying it is wise to look at where the advice is coming from, who it’s coming from because we publishers have good reason to be skeptical about marketing advice given from Google. Those at Google handing out the marketing advice from blogs, videos and newsletters have never been on our side, successfully marketing their own ventures, their advice does not come from experience and experience is the best measure of the validity of the advice. One cannot become an expert at playing baseball by reading about it in a book. Neither can a Googler become an expert marketer by reading a manual.
The best sources of marketing advice
The days are over when a publisher simply creates a site, submits to a few directories, web rings, reciprocal links and purchases a few text links to promote a site. Sitting around waiting for traffic to come has never been a viable strategy. Inertia eventually catches up to everybody, regardless of niche. If you want to be successful, if you plan to leap ahead of your competition or improve your situation then advertising, mindshare building, social media relationship building and traditional public relations marketing (media and email list trading), giveaways, listening to your site visitors needs- they’re all on the table. Those are the kinds of things you learn from books written by experts, colleagues, mentors and experienced marketers. But you’ll never hear any of that from a Googler because they lack the experience that we have.