I love AdWords/AdSense arbitrage. It’s the greatest thing to happen to SEO since Florida.
Everyone knows from experience that PPC basically stinks as a traffic source. Sure it can be good traffic, but when it is it suddenly becomes expensive traffic. And when it isn’t, it very slowly becomes inexpensive traffic, and most likely expensive again when the landing page quality idiot says you need to pay more to play. I don’t know a single person who is willing to say PPC is a good deal. Not one.
Now organic traffic, like the kind that comes from a good SEO initiative, is excellent traffic. It’s “free” of middlemen, and when it ceases to be valuable, it is adjustable. There is no quality idiot stepping in and saying “your referrals are good, but your site isn’t good enough so now pay more”. If it doesn’t convert for me, I recycle it as exit traffic for someone else to take a shot at. The waste lies with Google. At least so far.
So why is PPC arbitrage good? Because it is THE high-profile, rags-to-riches dream story that everyone wants to believe. The arbitrage guys flash the bling bling and show the big checks and all the common dreamers hear is “PPC…riches….success…PPC”. Adwords and AdSense and profits….profits…profits. They don’t connect the two. The think AdSense…profits. AdWords…profits.
Every time I hear another big shot bragging about the riches he made in PPC I smile. That’s another few hundred webmasters who will start paying Google for traffic, stop competing in the natural SERPs, and forget about me. And on top of that, if enough webmasters confuse arbitrage with profitable PPC advertising, Google will remain flush with cash and not think about throttling the organic traffic stream it is forced to send my way for free, so it can continue to claim to be a search engine, and take all that PPC money from everybody else.