Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Review of Google Cash by Chris Carpenter

I owe Chris Carpenter and his GoogleCash ebook a great debt. Google Cash was the catalyst that enabled me to leave my day job and become a full time internet marketer. The book was published online in 2004 and has spawned a couple of imitators, but it's also spawned an entire army of people using the Google Cash system to make money online. I'm not sure the Chris Carpenter was entirely aware of the effect he would have on internet marketing.

In brief, here's the Google Cash plan of action: you create Google Adwords promoting companies that have affiliate agreements. You send the traffic directly to your affiliate link, rather than having a link to the affiliate merchant on your website. You track your ROI very closely. You absolutely must know how much you're making per click and how much you're spending per click so that you'll be able to maximize the profitability of your ad campaigns. It's a good system, and on the surface, it seems pretty easy.

But some things have changed in the internet marketing world since the initial publication of Google Cash. One major change is the increased amount of competition on Google for keywords. When GoogleCash was written in 2003, it was fairly easy to find a profitable product to promote where you could get on the first page of Google results paying only a nickel a click. Now that several thousand people have read Carpenter's ebook, your competition for profitable niches has become much higher.

Another major change in the industry is Google's new rule about showing a particular display URL more than once in their sponsored results. At one time, you could find 7 or 8 ads all for the same company in the results of some searches. That's no longer possible, since Google's new policy is to only show each URL once for a search. If multiple ads are running that go to the same URL, the ad with the best click-through ratio times cost per click is the ad that gets shown, and the other ads are not shown.

This is not to say that Google Cash is no longer a workable system. In fact, there is quite a bit of support at Adword Mentor in the discussion forum there. The system definitely requires some tweaking now. For one thing, if you want to make sure that your ad is going to show up, you'll more than likely need enough web knowledge to at least be able to create a landing page for the program that gets high click-through's and conversions. A couple of hours spent reading a basic Frontpage tutorial should be enough to get you through this part.

Another thing to keep in mind is that most profitable niches are extremely competitive, so in order to make money, you really need to focus on creating a huge list of what are called "longtail" keyword phrases. You're going to be much better off and make much more profit with the Google Cash system if you have 1000 longtail phrases picking up 5 clickthrough's a month at a nickel each than you will if have you 10 competitive keyword phrases picking up 500 clickthrough's each at a dollar a click. (Do the math and you'll understand why.)

The only real criticism I have of Google Cash is that they make the same mistake that so many other ebooks make: they make it sound like making money with affiliate programs is super easy and requires little effort. In fact, affiliate marketing can be difficult and frustrating, and it can require a lot of effort in order to be worthwhile. There is less hype surrounding this "get rich quick" mentality with Google Cash, but there are still enough hints of it surrounding the book that it's worth mentioning. I also think that, like most ebooks, it's overpriced at $49, but at the same time, if you learn one distinction or one new technique that you weren't already aware of, you could easily make that $49 back in a day or two.


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