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Ditching Google Adsense on Vagobond

Google Adsense provides more web publishers with income than any other online revenue system, so why have I ditched the google ads?

Some of you may have noticed that I’m no longer running Google Adsense on Vagobond.com. I wanted to explain to you why I made this decision. It wasn’t an easy decision since I was earning a fair amount of money with the google ads, but here is how I came to it.

As a writer and a blogger, I feel like I have some responsibility to my readers. People who come here are looking for something specific. They are either looking for great ways to travel and save money, ways to begin a life of freelancing, or just great stories of adventure in the wide world of travel.

Over the past year, I’ve watched what ads google was placing on my site very carefully. Many of them were great companies that offer useful services, great travel, or great information, however, since they are robitically driven contextual ads, sometimes they simply had no relevance to anything readers of Vagobond might be looking for. A few examples:

“Gay Men Are Here”
“Magnet Warehouse”
“The Best Fur Coats”
“Holiday Ornaments”

And many more. While there may have been the odd reader who was interested in these things, for the most part, they have zero interest to vagabonds or travelers. I started to feel that each ad that came up out of context was a violation of the unwritten contract between you, the reader and me, the writer. In fact, some ads were exactly what Vagobond readers don’t want. In addition, in researching the companies, I found that there were more than a few scams, rip-offs, and disreputable companies showing up in the google ads. To make things worse, I knew that good companies were being charged for each click from people who make their living clicking on ads. Statistics reveal that something like 50% of clicks on adsense ads are fraudulent and less than 10% actually make a purchase. So, I began to feel that my adsense ads were not only ripping off my readers, but also contributing to ripping off good companies too.

To me, this situation was completely unacceptable. I want each link and each ad that comes on my site to reflect the adventurous lifestyle and to actually contribute something to my readers overall experience. Since ditching the adsense, I have scoured the internet for companies that are reputable, offer quality services or products, and provide something valuable to all of you, the adventurers, nomads, and vagabonds of the world. A few examples are:

Hostel Bookers – The most comprehensive listing of budget accommodation world wide. No booking fees.

Ex Officio Underwear – Picked by many readers of Vagobond as one of the ten items they would choose not to do without, sometimes over a passport.

Expedia – one of the most reputable travel booking services in the world.

Gap Adventures – A responsible company that offers great adventure travel for those who want to have the hassle of planning done by someone else. Great adventures and green too!

O-Desk – One of the top sources of freelance work in the world.


World Nomad Travel Insurance
– cheap, useful, and affordable travel insurance designed for budget travelers. Plus a variety of services such as destination guides and free language MP3s.

So, as you can see, the ads on this site are hand selected, reviewed, and picked on a variety of criteria. Each ad is a service to you the reader.

What do I get out of it? Well, many of these are affiliate links. What that means is that if you choose to book through them, I get a referral fee. This doesn’t cost you anything but comes from the advertisers profit as a way of saying thank you to me for referring new business to them. This money helps to support Vagobond.com and keep it a quality site.

Since ditching the adsense, I have contacted a number of quality companies that offer incredible products or services to travelers. I will continue to do so. I want you to have incredible experiences in your travels just as I have. Just as I carefully research the links that come from other travel blogs, on comments, and in my posts. As I find new companies and products, I will attempt (time permitting) to write a review or post about them to introduce you to why I think they are a good fit on Vagobond.

So, don’t worry about not seeing any adsense. It only means that every link on Vagobond.com is actually worth exploring.

~vago

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Vago Damitio

Damitio  (@vagodamitio) is the Editor-in-Chief for Vagobond. Life is good. You can also find him on Google+ and at Facebook

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