Are You Selling Your Search Data For Pennies

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When Google introduced AdSense for search (AFS) it allowed many web masters to have a new income source by giving all there search data over to Google. I was one of these webmasters at first… We implemented it on nextpimp and we were making about 200$ a day or so from AFS. Then when we started playing with PPC and affilaite marketing in late 2005/early 2006 I decided to take our own internal search data and see what was actually being searched for.

Just to give you some idea here is a screen shot of all searches done on Nextpimp last month (August)

So as you can see I record search terms and the hit (how many times they were searched for).

In August alone we had over 1.2 million UNIQUE searches for ringtones. This gives us an amazing amount of data to work with on our own ppc campaigns. Also we have all the data 0-second… we are not buying some tier3 list that is 2 months old and everyone and there mom has.

So are you selling yourself short on searches done on your website?

66 thoughts on “Are You Selling Your Search Data For Pennies

  1. Paul Bradish

    Very interesting statistics. I think that we are selling ourselves short by using AFS – but opted to use it because it was the only solution out there that we were able to find.

    Since growing, it’s becoming more and more apparent that AFS is chump change.

  2. king jacob

    Ive never used AFS cause I never though it made sense, people dont search on your sites search to find things in google they are looking for things on your site.

  3. Brent

    Thanks Shoe, I implemented this tip after hearing it once on your radio show (I think) and it’s been awesome. One thing people can do too if they don’t want to implement their own search, is use Google Custom Search and pull the search keyword from Google’s query string. Then you can log searches while still using Googles search w/ adsense.

  4. CPA Affiliates

    any data you can pull and store yourself is of great value… I personally would only US AFS if i was doing more of an arbi site and want to monetize the most form a visitor.

  5. FAour

    Many organizations are clamming that SEO is the future of internet marketing, Do you think that is true? Could you please at least give me three reason WHY?

    Also what does it take for you to reccoment a service or product , Thanks :)

  6. jim

    When you have a huge userbase, those stats are priceless. I think a lot of small time folks use AFS because it’s easy and wouldn’t have enough data to make it worth their while to build track something like that… then again, until you throw it up there you never know.

  7. alphagiga

    Great!I never think of this technique.Quite amazing when you want exactly your readers search for and use the priceless search query data for PPC campaign

  8. CatherineL

    Shoe – I don’t use AFS much as it doesn’t seem worth it. But after reading a lot of your posts, I sometimes think that maybe you could set up in competition with Google, and probably do a better job.

  9. corey

    i find it amazing that more than a million people searched your site for single characters like “r” or “o” last month.

    maybe these people are trying to get a listing of all artists that start with that letter. your results currently don’t do that. hmmmmmm

  10. Ian

    Anyone know of a good freeware search program to use for a website? One that keeps a log of searches? Or do I have to pay to have one coded? Thanks

  11. ShoeMoney

    Anyone can do a good job for a week… or a month… but working with someone for years is what it takes before I will recommend them to someone else. People invest a lot of money in these services and I don’t want my name associated with someone I have not built up an enormous amount of faith with.

  12. Tracy

    Darn, you blew my whole secret strategy of bidding on single letters, I was killing it by advertising make money online stuff with the letter m, now I’ll probably have to drop down to k to compete


    lol true, most people would take the $200 and think nothing more of it. I think Shoe makes a good point though.

    I guess the best of both worlds would be if you could modify AFS and collect the data as well as the cash:)

  14. Nick Sullivan

    Wow, yeh that is a good point. But I think maybe this point.. maybe only applies to ‘big’ sites with huge volumes of traffic like nextpimp. I think with adsense you would be selling yourself short, but maybe adsense is best on the way up until you get enough traffic to systimatically analyse large amounts of data for affiliate purposes.

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  18. lyricsreg

    I recently added an AFS, because the “optimization team” recommended it, but it is displayed only when the user finds nothing with the internal search engine.

  19. Chris Guthrie

    So you opted to go with your own search engine so you could track the search engine data and in turn use it to help with your PPC campaigns for ringtons? (Just trying to clear it up)

  20. ***V***

    Trading $200 from Adsense to try your own thing? Well you must have been making more than $200 elsewhere, cause I personally would have stayed with it, and maybe try some internal advertising on the side.

  21. Aditya Kumar Singh

    You are right dude. I think a better strategy is to first use a PHP script to capture wat the user has entered in the search form, store the data and then redirect the user to google adsense for search . Will that be possible ????????????????

  22. Seo Next

    Adsense for search never payed me much so i removed it .But there are few sites like which will manage to show all our google search results to everyone in world which i dont like .

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  25. Neon

    it is indeed very beneficial to find out what our visitors are searching for in order to do a good ppc campaign to bring in correctly visitors. i didnt realize about this. this is nice tips for me. what i’ve been thinking is just to provide a way of search for visitors since i dont provide internal site search myself.

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