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AdSense And Amazon Affiliate: How I Use Them Together On My Website

On my Elephant 🐘 Website, I use both AdSense and Amazon Affiliate as its monetization methods. Recently I was asked in the comments whether it is Ok to have both AdSense and Amazon on the same website next to each other. Let’s see!

What Is Elephant 🐘 Website?

But first, here’s a quick intro about what this website is and what’s its niche.

This is the fist website I bought and I own it since the middle of October 2015.

The website is about a popular brand. Its traffic is seasonal with peaks in spring and fall and a low season in winter while summer hangs somewhere in between.

Visitors come to the website while searching for more information about the brand as well as to buy more products and replacement parts for the said products.

Can You Have AdSense And Amazon Affiliate Next To Each Other?

So, is it Ok from the point of view of Google and Amazon to have both platforms present on the same website?

The answer is yes, and here is why.

What Amazon Says About It

Here, the proof is indirect. I could not find anything in the Amazon Associates Program Operating Agreement about not permitting to run Amazon links next to ads.

And I am not the only one.

The question has been raised multiple times in the past and has been answered by many bloggers who specialize in niche websites.  Just Google it and you will see yourself.

What AdSense Says About It

What about Adsense?

While I was doing my research half a year ago, I also could not find any information in the Adsense policies saying that using Adsense with affiliate links on the same page is forbidden. Neither could I find the opposite that it is permitted.

While writing this post, I did the search again and this time, I found a concrete proof.

In AdSense policy, it is clearly said that it is allowed to use the ads on the same web page with other ad or affiliate networks. Here is a screenshot of the official Adsense help page:

Adsense and Amazon Affiliate on same web page: Adsense Policy

Amazon is an affiliate network, thus it is true for their links, too.

How I Proved It In Reality

My guesses were proven in reality, too.

Elephant 🐘 Website was the website I used for applying for both Adsense and Amazon accounts.
Thus said, I submitted it with my Amazon application and with the Adsense one.

For Adsense, it went through right away. I am not sure if the Adsense team does any kind of review when they approve the application. When my application was going through the approving process, the website did have Amazon links including the pages where the ads were set up.

For Amazon, it was my second attempt.

The Amazon staff working with affiliate applications do look at each website submitted along. Initially, I used Rat 🐀 Website to apply and later added Elephant 🐘 Website. Once Elephant 🐘 made the first sale, my application got reviewed… and got rejected because Rat 🐀 Website was not good enough for them 🙁 I re-submitted the application with Elephant 🐘 Website, and this time, it passed. By that time, Adsense ads were up and running and the Amazon reviewer did not have any objections.
If you want to know more details about the Amazon approval process, read my post about how I became an Amazon affiliate.

Can You Mix AdSense And Amazon Affiliate On The Same Page?

Now you know that it is perfectly fine to have both Google ads and Amazon links next to each other on the same website.

But can you mix them on the same page in the same piece of text?

Of course, you can.

But should you?

From my experience, I can tell that this is not a good idea. But only, of course, if you truly want to get the most out of your content.

General Guidelines

General guidelines for placing Google ads and affiliate links are pretty simple:

  • Put an Adsense ad block above the fold and in the text
  • Put another block in the side bar – the total number of blocks should not be more than three
  • Add some affiliate links to the text, preferably in the form of a call to action
  • Monitor your earnings on both platforms
  • Tweak and adjust the placement of the ads and the links to see what increases the revenue

And these are good guidelines! Especially the last one.

My Experience

When I bought Elephant 🐘 Website, its AdSense revenue used to make about 85% of its total revenue (now it’s 65%)

I was keen to increase the Amazon revenue (while keeping the AdSense one on the same level, of course). In general, I prefer Amazon to Adsense; I feel like it can generate a higher revenue.

However, as the practice showed, it is not always the case.

What I did was adding Amazon affiliate links to one of the most popular pages that had only Adsense ads. I have added maybe 5 links and left them sitting there for a couple of weeks.

Then I looked at the numbers.

The results scared me. The  overall Adsense revenue dropped by about 2o%. While Amazon links got clicked on a lot, none of the visitors bought anything. Essentially I traded 20% of Adsense revenue for 0% of Amazon one.

It looked like the people were just not getting what they were looking for!

By simply placing Amazon affiliate links next to the ads, I started losing money.

I immediately removed the Amazon links from the page, analyzed the cause, and came up with a different strategy.

What I Learned

I learned that in some cases, Amazon cannot satisfy my visitors in such a way that brings me a revenue.

The important difference between Amazon and AdSense is that Amazon pays only when a click is converted into a sale while AdSense pays per click regardless conversion.

My visitors were landing on the website page in a search of particular products. They were seeing the Amazon links and clicked on them to continue their search. However, on the other end of the link, they clearly could not find what they were looking for. And they left Amazon without conversion.

When the Amazon links were not there, the visitors were clicking on the ads instead. While I do not know what was happening on the other end of the ad, I could see one thing: Every time a click occurs, I get my revenue.

It all depends on what your site visitors are looking for - and whether you can give it to them Click To Tweet

Here is my conclusion.

If you can find something on Amazon that 90-100% fulfills the needs of your visitors, go ahead and use Amazon links to your page.

If you cannot find well matching Amazon products, remove the Amazon links altogether and replace them with ads. It is quite possible that you will see your revenue growing.

Ultimately, you can run the page without ads but with the links, then with the ads but without the links, and then with both – and see what brings in more money.

This can be a good experiment if your niche is not highly seasonal or the time frame of your experiments is short enough to fit into a period during which the income is more or less stable.

My Improved Action Plan

This is what I did to achieve my goal of growing Amazon revenue without impacting the AdSense one. As you remember, it grew from 15% to 35% of the total revenue without impacting the AdSense one.

  • I removed the affiliate links I added before making my discovery
  • I took the existing pages that had no ads on them but only Amazon affiliate links (they were created by the previous website owner)
  • For these pages, I did a research to find more products
  • I added the new products along with a description of 100-200 words for each product
  • I decided to stick to the schema of having dedicated pages for Amazon and dedicated pages for AdSense without mixing them together

I still have an ad block in the sidebar that shows up on each Amazon page. However, I found it does not distract visitors much and thus does not affect the Amazon CTR.

TLDR; Conclusion

Having both AdSense and Amazon affiliate links on the same website pages is allowed by both platforms.

While Amazon does not forbid it explicitly, AdSense implicitly allows it.

However, when you start mixing them in the same piece of text on the same page, you should test it thoroughly. You may be missing a potential revenue by distracting visitors with ads and/or links.

What I found works the best is to have dedicated pages for each platform without much overlap. A page should be optimized for a certain type of monetization the same way it is optimized for a certain group of keywords.

In the end, it all depends on what your page visitors are looking for –  and whether you can give it to them.

 

What are your thoughts, guys? Do you mix Adsense and Amazon – if so, how? Tell me in the comments!

BTW, here is an interesting study about the same subject. Jacob tried to remove Adsense and other ads and see whether it affects his affiliate sales. check it out!

Featured image by brando.n

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