The “Software-Generated Website with Adsense” Opportunity...

The Internet Never Stands Still, Dammit!

Boy, keeping this page up to date is almost a full-time occupation because the world changes so frequently, and the overlap between software generated junk, software generated white-hat, software supported "authority" sites is narrowing all the time.

When I first wrote it, this page was about a very clear strategy, distinct from the main-stream marketing approach - about legal deception of the Search Engines using software to create sites that in all truth are mostly junk; about ways to use software to create the illusion of valuable content without doing the work that would normally be required to actually create that content. This can be very quick, very easy and very substantial money ... but it's arguable whether it's a long term business, it's NOT for everyone; and it IS getting tougher all the time.

These days it's about just one tactic in the broader strategy that includes software generated sites and software-supported generation of sites, and the difference is getting greyer all the time.

Even though this slice of the market is far less attractive than it was I'm leaving it in for now, because it DOES still work if you do it right. But there is a price to pay.

Also, when I first wrote this page Google was the sole provider of the Adsense-type program. These days Yahoo is on board and Microsoft is heading that way, and there are many other "context driven" advertising programs available that you can use to make money with. But Adsense is still King.

Edging from White-Hat to Grey-Hat to Black Hat

We're going to wander just a little bit away from the "white hat" approach to making money here; we'll edge a little into a grey (but still entirely legitimate) money-making approach, then wander a lttle bit further to something that is right on the border of "black-hat" (meaning, you're doing something that the Search Engines, and Google Corporation in particular, will be unhappy with ... if you do it so poorly that they find out). 12 - 24 months ago this was a sure-fire money-maker; today, the opportunity is still real but you have some decisions to make.

In its purest form, what you're doing here is to use a computer program to take a list of hundreds, even thousands of keywords on a topic and in just a few minutes generate a web site with 1 page per keyword, and with Adsense on each and every one. In their original environment, these pages were attractive to Search Engines and gained good rankings, quickly. Which led to fast, significant income.

But be aware up-front that what starts out looking like a very simple opportunity (to read some of the sales letters it seems that all you have to do is exactly what I've just described and you’ll make money) can prove, in practice, to require more investment, and more time, than at first seems apparent. And, many on the 'Net consider that what you are doing is in effect polluting the 'Net for personal gain (and gain for the advertiser and, arguably, for Google).

Is it worth it?

You make your own moral call. Financially ... well, I recovered my entire investment in the first month, and I've made thousands since, so you can understand if I have a fondness for this approach.

Even so, I've almost abandoned it today. If I'd invested the same time that I've spent learning about and building junk sites on building white-hat, even authority sites, I have no doubt I'd now be a financially better off. Building junk sites means you end up with money in the bank but your site eventually (and sometimes quickly) ceases to be an asset. And you have to always keep up to date with the latest deception techniques, and constantly be generating sites.

Let me explain, then you can make your choice.

A Flight Check Before We Start

First, a quick flight-check to make sure you understand the fundamentals, before I dive into the details.

In the GoogleCash section of this web site (click here if you want to view it), I explained the concept of Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising, and explained in some details the particular form of it practiced by Google, called Google Adwords. Essentially, advertisers can place ads on Google’s Search Engine results pages, and they pay Google every time someone clicks on their ad (and is taken to their website).

In the Adsense Opportunity page I explained how this had expanded to a program called Adsense, where people with their own Web Sites can also show Google's Adwords ads, and Google pays them a share of the Per-Click value every time a visitor clicks on an ad.

And on the page (page? More like a mini-eBook!) where I discuss Adsense on Content-rich pages, I mention that a content-rich theme site carrying Adsense ads can take dozens of hours to create, even if you are working with content written by others. Now, over the past year or so this time HAS shrunk as I explain there also ... you can create decent white-hat sites in minutes these days - genuinely valuable, even if not of a good enough quality to be considered "authority." Check InfoGoRound for an example.

The Marketers Looked for a Fast Web Site Builder

But when it took days to build a decent site, Internet Marketers looked for a programmed solution to shrink the time to get an Adsense site up and making money; and they found one. More accurately, they found several. I go into some added detail in my Tools of the Trade page, but two of the popular ones were called Directory Generator and Traffic Equalizer. They're still around, DG is going through a major upgrade for 2007, and the current versions are still making people money but please ... by all means click on the links to check the sales pages, but don't buy these until you've read the rest of this page!

(Incidentally, if you're techie-oriented take a look at a product called ArticleBot which is an amazing piece of software. I talk about this much later in this page).

Anyway ... for a while these were an Internet Marketer's dream come true. After first being used by the experts to make their own bucketloads of money, these software packages were released to the public, and hundreds, perhaps thousands, bought-in.

When I started, I generated my first sites with a lot of frustration and cursing because the software I used – Directory Generator – had inadequate documentation. It may still do, but thousands of dollars later I don't hold a grudge.

Also, there are several elements of know-how that have to come together to make this work; and more, to make it work for more than just a short time. But after all the cursing and re-work, I watched as the income from the first small bunch of sites moved above $1000 within a month. I think my daily income from this first, small, fumbling group of sites peaked at $120 a day. And I reached the point where I could go from zero to an on-line site in about 4 hours.

Even today, I still get some income from these initial sites - greatly reduced but still measured in hundreds of dollars a month. And, I haven’t lifted a finger to touch these sites since the day I built them (that's a mistake, by the way).

At one time, a few people were reputedly making $20,000 and even $30,000 a month from these types of sites. One guy at least still makes 6 figures from his sites ... per month. But he's got (literally) thousands of sites, perhaps even 10,000+.

But as I say, the world has changed since then; some people found their income dropped from tens of thousands a month to a few hundred bucks a month, almost overnight. The Goldrush is over; but there's still money to be made if you know how.

So let's take a look at the opportunity in some detail.

The Search Engines Get Shirty

First of all, to earn income from Adsense sites, you need to have traffic visiting your sites. And the principal means of getting that traffic for these types of sites is from the “free” Search Engines … mostly Google, Yahoo, and MSN.

The problem is that if you go with the fastest, easiest approach to generating these sites, with very little “customization,” the Search Engines have become increasingly efficient at identifying these sites as “generated” sites of little value to searchers, and they give you a corresponding low ranking for the relevant search term.

Generated sites aren’t illegal, or anything, so you don't get banned or suspended or shot at dawn, it’s simply that the Search Engines consider these sites, with some justification, to offer very little useful content to someone who’s searching for information. So they rank them low. Low rank = little or no traffic. And little or no traffic means little or no money.

When Google figured out how to identify generated sites, well ... that's one of the elements that led to the plummet in the Adsense experts' incomes.

Another was that Google gave advertisers the opportunity to pay less for ads that appear on other people's sites. Some advertisers don't know about this, but some do.

And then Google introduced Smart pricing ... basically, they can pay less to the owners of some web sites than to others, depending on their vie of the "quality" of the sites.

The total of these was a dramatic drop in Adsense revenues for many folks using the machine-generated approach. One of the top guys - he owns Directory Generator - says he makes on average $10 per site per month. Contrast this with the peak, when I had individual sites making $50 a day on occasions, and I'm an amateur.

The Answer - Content, or a Good Facsimile Thereof

To respond, you find yourself in a dilemma.

If you want speed, you need software generateds sites. But if you want traffic, if you want a good quality score, you need a level of quality that doesn't pop out of a pure software generator.

The answer? If you want to stay in the game, you have to provide some useful content on the page. Or at least, you have to provide what the Search Engines THINK is useful content for their searchers. (I'm suspending judgement and just being pragmatic, here.) And, you have to do other things to make sure there's at the least an illusion of the site being a quality site.

So … how’d you like to hand-write 1000 pages of content? Even 100?

Right. Me neither.

So, marketers determined to squeeze the most out of this opportunity started to employ a combination of tactics which still work today.

Minimize the "Footprint"

Directory Generator and Traffic Equalizer provide templates with the software you buy. If you don't customize these, it's very easy for anyone (let alone a Search Engine) to identify you as a DG site or a TE site. So you're better off to start from scratch; design your own template, and graphic header at least, choose your own format, make it look as different as possible from the standard template. That implies some ability to work with html code, of course.

Arguably, keep the sites small

When Directory Generator and TrafficEqualizer were introduced it was common to build sites of thousands of pages. One page per keyword, in fact, and with the right tools it's not hard to find 10,000 keywords on some topics.

Some experts will tell you it's still OK to do that if you use the other techniques (including custom page designs) to minimise the footprint risk. Other experts maintain that Google is smart enough to recognize that 5000 page web sites don't emerge overnight by human input ... so you're bound to be identified if you do that these days. So the recommendation is to build sites of 100 pages or so (and ideally, grow them a few pages at a time).

Add a Blog

In addition, one of the first things you're going to do is to put a Blog on your site, as an addition to the main pages "section." And you're going to keep the Blog updated with “Posts.”

Most people these days are VERY familiar with Blogs ... sort of an online journal, where people can record random thoughts, point out useful sites or articles, discuss issues … and other people can add their own comments. From a Search Engine’s perspective this is wonderful … fresh, new content, just what people who are searching for information on a topic might want. So the Search Engines are happy; or at least, happier, when they find a Blog on one of these sites. It's not enough; but it's one easy element.

The Blog Topic is going to come up a few more times throughout the rest of this section; I go into some essential Blog know-how in the Tools of the Trade page, and it's also worth scanning the page "Adsense with Blogs," which is about using a Blog instead of a Website as a vehicle to earn Adsense. But today, the decision to use Blogs for anything other than "pure" use almost inevitably means using a piece of software called Wordpress, because it’s a good piece of software but best of all, it’s free. You can download it from the WordPress site. Blogger provides free sites, too, and is waaaay easier to set-up than WordPress, and is ownee by Google so you'd suspect Blogger woulkd be the way to go, but there's a problem ... Blogger kills Blogs that are used mainly to promote other sites. 

So, WordPress it is. 
However, WordPress is NOT simple, and not as useful straight from the box as it can be with some tweaking. So you DO have to learn how to use it properly; "properly" meaning a) get it to do what you want, b) do it so the Search Engines are happy, and c) don't waste time with it. 

There is a lot of information on the ‘Net as to how to install and use Wordpress, but I eventually gave up and bought Brandon Hong’s video course. I learn best when someone walks me step by step through EXACTLY what I need to do, on their own computer, and this is exactly what these videos do. They saved me hours. I'd already wasted hours before they came out, so I needed no persuasion to convince me that it was worth learning from someone who knew what they were doing.

But … what if you have several sites? Dozens, even? Doesn’t the Blog tactic mean you have to write a gazillion posts a day to update every Blog at least once a day?

Well … it might … if you didn’t buy some software called RSS2Blog; this is an ingenious program that finds relevant content and posts it to your Blog, automatically, every day! So from a Search Engine’s perspective it looks very much as if someone who really cares is conscientiously writing to the Blog on a regular basis.

You can set up RSS2Blog to make posts to as many Blogs as you want, as often as you want. And, the automated posts WILL make sense; they're not high-value to someone who stumbles on them but they're on-topic, up-to-date, and would genuinely be of interest to someone reading the Blog. And to the Search Engines, which is 99% of what matters with these sites, they look perfect. (If you want to use articles, or Private Label articles, to include in RSS2Blog's inventoiry, that's fine too).

(Incidentally, if you do invest in RSS2Blog, then of course it also opens the door to making automatic posts to Blogs which are stand-alone (rather than being in conjunction with a website) and also contain Adsense ads; as I say, scan my Adsense and Blogs page sometime. And you can even use the Pro version to create Affiliate Marketing Blogs using datafeeds ... a topic for another day.)

Now, at this point you may be thinking that this is beginning to look like work. And, some investment. And you’re right. So … be prepared to treat this as a business decision, when we’ve finished.

Because there’s more here yet and I will not hide the costs from you. One thing that ticked me off was how, after making an investment that I considered a sizeable one in software, I was then faced with another expense that no-one had warned me about. And then another. And another.

So, when I have built the whole picture here for you, I’ll walk you through the business case for the different options that you have.

Recap: No Customization MIGHT Work, but You Are Taking A Chance

So let me recap … you can build a Directory Generator (DG) site with Adsense in minutes, with no customization, and -- even today with the more discriminating Search Engines -- if you’ve done the keyword research right and chosen an appropriate topic it MIGHT still generate you money, possibly for weeks, possibly months or years. “How much” money is a function of many different factors.

BUT, without customization the site is likely to generate less money than it could from the get-go, depending on when the search engines recognize it for what it is; and, it is likely to be dropped in the Search Engine Rankings whenever they do recognize it for what it is. And it could even be still-born, failing to get any position in the engines and failing to get any traffic of consequence.

This might be enough to turn you off the Opportunity, right here. In fact, many who previously focused on these generated sites now have moved over to full-fledged content-rich theme sites, as I describe in the Adsense with Content page. I'm mostly through that shift myself.

Strategies to Give You More Staying Power (In the Search Engines)

If the negatives and caveats haven't put you off then recognize up-front that if you want more than peanuts from your site then you're going to have to do those things that give your site more sticking power in the Search Engines. The first was, customize your templates or even better, start from scratch. The second was, start small and grow. The third, add a Blog to your site, and use automation to keep the Blog "fresh" with the least possible involvement of your time.

You should also make sure that the site includes a robots file, a 404 error filer, a privacy policy page, a "contact us" page and an "about us" page and ideally a site-map, of course. ALL quality sites have these. Most junk sites historically have not.  

But ultimately you have to find a way to add content to the Directory Generator (DG) pages themselves – while recognizing that you don’t want to spend several lifetimes writing hundreds of pages of content for these sites, because they're not worth it. Nor do you probably want to pay someone else $5 to $8 an article to write a few hundred custom articles for you (a tactic that DOES make sense for a different type of marketing, Affiliate marketing, where the income is more assured, the site is likely to be profitable for years, and also where the site is also much smaller, typically). 

If this seems like a dilemma … it isn’t, really.

Sources of Content

You have several options:

Content option #1: Just as I describe in the Content-Rich Adsense opportunity you can go to any one of several on-line article directories, such as Articlecity.comor or and search for on-topic articles, and download as many articles as you want. Then manually plug these articles into your Directory Generator pages using some editing software.

You are not violating copyright here or anything; in fact the article authors want you to use their articles on your site because the articles contain a link back to their site … and if lots of other people seem to have links to the author’s site (because they are using one of the author’s articles), the Search Engines think, wow, this must be a really important site, look at all these other relevant sites that link to it … so they give it a higher ranking. Which has lots of advantages for the article author.

The “pro” here is pretty good; you get useful content, typically using a lot of the right keywords to make the Search Engines happy, and … 100% free.

But there are some “cons.”  

One is that there aren’t always many articles on a given topic. There are dozens on some … few on others. Not a big deal, to be honest, you can just re-cycle them. On the type of pages you’re building, no-one is usually going to go from page to page and therefore recognize that you have the same articles. In fact, you don’t even want them to; you want them to visit and click on a Google Ad. And that’s it. In a perfect world you'd build Adsense sites with NO content other than the ASdsense ads, and no links away from the pages other than via the adsense ads, and you'd even want to disable the "Back" button on your browser! But you can't do that ... although some Adsense marketers get close, this would be in violation of Google's terms of service.

So the content on these sites isn't actually for people to read; it's 100% to keep the Search Engines convinced that you offer useful content and aren’t one of those hated Directory Generator sites.

Another “con,” also minor … if you honor the terms of use of the articles, as you should, on every article there’s a link from your freshly-generated page to the article author’s site, so in theory you’re giving the visitor a chance to leave your site without either clicking on an ad or visiting another of your pages where there are more ads. But on a Directory Generator page there are typically MANY links anyway, so in reality an additional one isn’t a big deal.

The biggest “con” is simply that some of these sites are pretty large, 100 to 250 pages is recommended these days although historically sites were thousands of pages in size, so if you are going to be conscientious about it ... it takes a long time to manually insert the articles into the pages. And remember, you're whole purpose at the outset was quick money. If you're going to plug the articles in 1 by 1 you might as well be building sites to be proud of, using the Adsense with Content-rich pages strategy. (You COULD just plug one article in, of course, to the template ... But there are serious negative consequences to your site performance if you do this.)

So …

Content option#2: you can buy a clever piece of software called RSS Equalizer.

Now, you may not be familiar with RSS technology and I’m not going to dive too deeply here, but think of it like this; every news site on the Internet, many web sites, and many Blogs offer a “feed” of the latest story or latest posting or latest change to a web site, usually in the form of a headline and the first few lines of text. This enables people to view the feeds on their own PC, identify what’s new and interesting, and click on the article if they want to see more. It saves people from spending half an hour each day wandering to their favourite news sites, Blogs and web sites to see if anything’s new since the last time they looked.

What RSS Equalizer does is to identify articles on the feeds that relate to your keywords (you have to do some initial set-up to choose the relevant feeds), then automatically post the headlines and first paragraph as text onto your web page. Now, you choose how this appears on your web page… but you might have (for example) 5 or 10 or more RSS articles being posted to your website, and (again you choose) updates every 12 or 24 or more hours.

The result of using RSSEqualizer is that your web page appears to have a lot more content (because to a Search Engine the RSS material simply looks like solid, on-topic content), and this content changes … which may be good or bad from a Search Engine ranking point of view (even the experts argue this one) but the argument is largely irrelevant. The most important thing is, it appears to a Search Engine to be “content.” And makes your Directory Generator site look a lot less like a Directory Generator Site. I was one of the initial subscribers and it still seems to work like a hot damn.

Content option #3: You can pay a monthly fee to have access to a service called ArticleBurner.

Earlier, I mentioned the availability of articles for public consumption, but that it took time to slot the articles into a big site (unless you just wanted to use a single article for all pages, which has a lot of disadvantages). 

Well, what ArticleBurner does is enable you to download a bunch of those articles into a "pool," then to automatically pop one of those articles on to your web page ... but ONLY when a visitor visits the page, or when a Search Engine visits the page (to check you out and ultimately decide whether to give you a decent ranking or not).  This way, you might have only 10 or 20 articles in your pool, but if someone visited your site, browsed to a page ... they'd see one article. If they browse to another page, which is unlikely ... they'd see another. And if some Google snitch reported your site to Google and they sent one of their humans to view the site, they too would see different, relevant, valuable content on every page, at least for as many views as there are articles.

So you get solid content that helps to disguise a Directory Generator site; and you get it with a minimum of labor, which is the whole point. All you do is pop a little bit of code you get from Article Burner on to the template you're using, then go ahead and generate your 200 to 2000 pages as before. To be fair I have to tell you there have been some glitches; sometimes a site is slow to load, for example, and the service was even "down" a few times. But it seems pretty solid these days, and it still does a good job for me.

Content option #4: Ah … now we’re moving a bit closer towards “Grey Hat” (not as bad as "Black Hat!") Search Engine optimization … sort of. What I mean is, up until now everything we’ve talked about has been legitimate forms of adding genuinely relevant and even valuable content onto a framework of a less valuable Directory Generator site.

But another option is to take a single article that you write or acquire from a Private Label  provider then use “mutator” software to rewrite the article in a thousand different ways. Same article, but almost unrecognizable in each different variation.

There are several ways to generate the different versions of the article. One is to use a piece of software called Unlimited Domain Hosting Only $9.95 a Month" target="_new">Para Builder; you set it up, put a piece of code on your website, and it generates a version of the original article to display every time someone visits your web site (or when the Search Engines come a’visiting). A "Black Hat" specialist whose knowledge I respect reviewed the software and said it does exactly what it’s supposed to do.


In an entirely different League is a piece of software called ArticleBot. This, too, acts as a mutator of any written article; but it can do far, far more; it can even be used without Directory Generator to generate sites used to earn Adsense income. Available for a monthly fee, this software has many more possibilities than are needed for just this purpose.

From Theory Into Practice; the Generation Routine

OK, with all this background and the confusing options … how does this whole thing work in reality?

  1. Open a web hosting account. For reasons I explain in depth in the Adsense with Content page, and also in Tools of the Trade, I suggest you look at my previous preference "1&1" or, my current favorite, for this Hostgator with Unlimited Domain Hosting Only $9.95 a Month. Once you've done this with the correct account type at 1&1 or Hostgator you can register new domains and add new web sites as often as you want, whenever you want.

  2. After some research, you choose an appropriate topic, and register your own domain name (again I suggest "1&1" to do this so you remain anonymous!).  This is simple and quick … when you know what you are doing or are following instructions.

  3. You find out exactly what search terms people are using to search for information concerning that topic. What I’m about to say may seem unbelievable at first sight, but with the correct tools you’ll find it very easy to come up with 500 to 5000 keywords (the term “keyword” is used for single words or phrases). There is software (some free, some not) and services (some free, some not) to help you do this. I go extensively into the keyword research topic in Tools of the Trade and on the Googlecash Opportunity page. If you find 1000 good keywords, consider building 4 sites with 100 pages to start, and growing them to 250 pages each; it's a safer strategy in many ways. But ... experiment. I have sites from 100 pages to 2500, still active.

  4. You develop the home page template and directory pages templates for the software, if you're working with Directory Generator. You add the RSS Equalizer code,  the Article Burner code and your Adsense code to the appropriate places on the templates.

  5. You feed the list of keywords into the program, give the software a few other bits of information and click "go."

  6. The software then generates you a single web-page for each search term. So, for example, if you find 1000 common search terms for the market of your choice, and feed them into Directory Generator, then in a few minutes Directory Generator will have produced 1000 web pages plus a home page. In theory, each page is “optimized” to be attractive to the Search Engines for the specific keyword, so you get a good ranking. This (again in theory) means that people who are searching for that exact term in a search engine will see your page ranked highly, and click on the link to visit your page.

  7. You “upload” the web pages to your website … again, very easy once you know how.

    And now you have a 1000-page (or whatever) website with Adsense … all it needs is visitors. Also known as, “traffic.”

  8. So that becomes your next task … take action to get traffic to your site.

Getting Traffic with the Mimimum Effort: Prepare for War

The starting point is to get the pages on your site “indexed” (recognized, sort of) by the  Search Engines. Later, the Search Engines will rank them against other pages of other sites competing for the same keywords.

Getting indexed is not always as straightforward as it might seem … this statement is probably not a surprise to you by this time, right? If you wait months, you will most likely be “discovered” eventually by the Search Engines and traffic will slowly begin to build.

To speed things up, you can "submit" your sites to the Search Engines; you can even buy software to help you do this. A lot of experts will tell you, this is probably the worst way to try to get Search Engine attention. I know that sounds odd, but my own experiences back that up. Google recently urged people to generate a very specific format of sitemap and submit it to Google; without exception, every site I've done that on has disappeared from indexing for months, even those that already had some indexing; while others get fully indexed in weeks.

There are techniques, however, to get your new site indexed in a hurry. In fact, new ones arrive on the scene every month, it seems. The problem is, some of these techniques become over-used and less effective as the Search Engines wise-up to them.

By the way, are you getting a sense that there's a kind of war constantly going on between the Search Engines and Internet Marketers? That it's almost "us against them?"

You wouldn't be far wrong. Some people ignore the war by simply doing the basics well, not doing anything dodgy at all, focusing on quality content and well-optimized sites. But even these folk often get clobbered by changes the Search Engines make from time to time. But outside of these goody two-shoes types :), there are others who make their living trying to "beat" the Engines, especially Google.

While at the same time Google has some of the smartest people in the world trying to avoid being "beaten" ... or more accurately, trying simply to make sure that anyone searching on their engine is going to be served-up genuine, high-quality information sites that match their search.

Here's an example of the problem, in the form of 7 family sites; all content-rich, with one exception I'll explain in a minute.

Five were launched almost simultaneously; two were launched a year earlier. The five launched simultaneously received a minimum of "boosts" from my favorite techniques, but what they received, they ALL received. The results?

One month after the five-up launch, one site had all its pages indexed by Yahoo, none by MSN or Google. Another had them all indexed by MSN, none by Google or Yahoo. One had good indexing from Yahoo and MSN, none by Google. One had poor indexing by them all. Of the two that were launched a year ago, one was fully indexed by all 3 Search Engines until 3 weeks ago; a beautiful site with ongoing activity, today it has zero pages on Google, lots on MSN, and 7 (of 35) on Yahoo. Why dropped? Who knows. There's no dodgy stuff whatsoever going on with this site. But get this; a site we built as a "demonstration" model for a family member, with mostly blank pages, and where the ones with content usually have just a para or two of jokey nonsense, and where we made NO effort at Search Engine optimization, is fully indexed on Google, Yahoo, and MSN.

This is the Search Engine insanity that drives some marketers nuts; it's why many hate to depend on the free traffic from Search Engines, and consider the pay-per-click traffic to be much more desirable because it's consistent, and can be turned-on and off. It's controllable. Whereas every month, and especially after Google's periodic reshuffles, the forums are filled with agonized "All my sites got dropped!" wailing by dozens of baffled people.

Blogging & Pinging; Still Worthwhile

One technique for getting indexed in a hurry is to let the Search Engines stumble over your site, so to speak. Find another site, one with a good ranking that gets visited regularly by the Search Engines, to link to your site (normally in exchange for you linking to their site, in a practice called Reciprocal Linking).

The problem is, the only people who are likely to be willing to link to a software-generated site are also owners of software generated sites, equally desperate for traffic. Someone with a good site receiving lots of traffic and with a good Page Rank would be stupid to link to your software-generated site, unfortunately; they could actually be penalized for it, if the Search Engines take a dislike to your site. So this is a great technique for "proper" sites, but not always practical for software generated ones.

One technique that DOES work for getting software generated sites Indexed relatively quickly is known as Blog and Ping. It's not as effective as when I started using it but still works, especially with the Yahoo Search Engine.

Now, you CAN do this thing called “Blog and Ping” by hand … it only takes a few seconds per page, but you should only do a few pages per hour, so it’s a nuisance to do manually if you have, for example, 250 pages.  So there’s real value in using software.

If you buy RSS2Blog (which we discussed earlier), then you can do the Blog and Ping work directly using this software (it does much more than just Blog and Ping, of course; B&P is just a beneficial side effect). I bought into a service called Blog Burner when it first started up, it still seems as good as any other B&P tool for the basic Blog and Ping activity. But that’s ALL it does (at the moment, at least); it doesn’t have the versatility of RSS2Blog to post “content” from various sources into Blogs at different time intervals (and more). Many Internet Marketers consider RSS2Blog one of the essential tools, incidentally. It's just so versatile; you can even use it as a basis for creating an Affiliate income.

As I say, the Blog & Ping technique is not as effective as it once was (I went from 0 visitors to my websites to over 4000 visitors a day in a 6-week period using only Blogburner) but I still use it today on new sites, with no hesitation. It usually gets me in Yahoo pretty quickly. (Not MSN, not Google; but many Adsense addicts find they get a very satisfactory income just from Yahoo, and anyway there are other things you’ll do to get Google and MSN to index you.)

A Mini-Net of Blogs Works Just Fine, Too

Another way to get the Search Engines to stumble over you by accident is to set up a mini-net of Blogs that connect to each other. Set them up correctly for Search Engine optimization, post to them regularly using RSS2Blog, and make sure your posts occasionally mention your site or sites ... and the Search Engines WILL pick up the Blogs, will follow the links, and will therefore encounter your site(s). I bought a WordPress Video Course to teach me how to do this.

Getting Indexed is the start. Then you want to get a good rank with the free Search Engines; and, bring traffic in through any other low-effort techniques.

In the Adsense for Content-rich sites page I go into more detail on other techniques you can use; but realistically, some of the most powerful of these are of limited value for these low-quality software-generated sites and they also take effort, which is better used to get traffic to long-life sites rather than these.

If you're interested in filtering-out those that apply versus those that don't, there are a LOT of traffic generation techniques available to Internet Marketers.

Corey Rudl’s excellent Insider Secrets to Marketing Your Business on the Internet is probably the most comprehensive introduction to Internet Marketing you'll find anywhere, and the books and CDs include 6 chapters on Search Engine tactics to get good rankings, and 6 other chapters (50+ pages) on other ways to generate traffic. Rosalind Gardner’s book, the Super Affiliate Handbook, goes into Traffic generation in some depth. (There's a section in her book called “9 Ways To Get Traffic To Your Site For Free” and another “11 Ways to market Your Site Offline.”) James Martell's Affiliate Marketing Handbook is another useful source.

Submit Your Site To Directories

There are literally hundreds of web site directories out there; if you have a decent site and apply to a hundred, you'll get accepted by several - perhaps as many as 40%. This is an incredibly tedious task and you shuld consider using a for-fee submission service, but once your site is accepted by a few directories you'll definitely find the SE spiders come a-visitin'.

Find Relevant Blogs and Leave Intelligent Comments

If you visit Technorati you'll find many blogs on the same topic as your site; and, some of these will welcome your comments on the posts they've made provided your comments are not "spammy." If you post a few comments on people's blogs, especially blogs that have a Google Page Rank of 1 or more (the higher the better), with a link to your web site, ... once again, it won't be long before the SE spiders come and visit your site.

There's software out there that finds such blogs and makes automatic posts ... that, in my opinion, is not acceptable. If you build a junk site ... well, you're allowed to. It's your site! But when you post spam on someone else's blog you are abusing their blog, and either diminishing the value of it in a user's eyes or else causing the blog-owner additional work to clean out your crap. Don't do it.

Take Out a Membership in Article Underground

Article Underground is a superb service, pricey but worth every cent ... if you can get in. They are often sold-out.

The main value of Article Underground is to give you Private Label Resource articles that you can use for anything you want (well, almost ... check the terms of service). These are intended to be the core content for websites and even newsletters and ezines.

But one added service is worth the money all by itself - access to almost 30 Blogs, all with decent Page Rank. You can post to the appropriate categories of the appropriate blogs and get links back to your site in a hurry ... good to get you indexed, good to get links back to your siute that elevate your profile with the Search Engines.

Taking Stock of Where We're Up To!

OK, now we’ve come a LONG way, and I need to review the big picture again. (Yes, I know … again. But we really have covered an awful lot of ground.)

Recognizing that there are a lot of arguments for investing your time in white-hat sites rather than these grey-hat sites ... it's your choice, and the minimalist approach, very fast, no maintenance, is:

  • Register a domain (US$5.99 at 1&1).

  • Open an account with a web host; you can go with a free one … but I don’t recommend it. Try Hostgator where you can get Unlimited Domain Hosting Only $9.95 a Month, for example. I talk a lot more about the whole web hosting issue in the Tools for the Trade section.

  • Buy software such as Directory Generator (US$247); build pure Directory Generator sites; and upload them to your web hosted site. Then wait for the Search Engines to find you; or, do some link exchanges (manual, no fees) or write articles (free) or do manual Blog & Pinging (free) to get traffic.

You might do well at first, but the time will come when the Search Engines give you a low ranking and your traffic dwindles … and along with it, your Adsense Income. You might find you never even get a chance to be knocked down, though: with a minimalist approach you don't invest much time but your site might be still-born in terms of Search Engine interest. 

The other extreme is:

  • Register domains as before …  for example, at US$5.99 each with 1&1.

  • Open a web hosting account that lets you host an unlimited number of domains, for one monthly fee. Again I recommend Hostgator, with Unlimited Domain Hosting Only $9.95 a Month. . I have several Hostgator accounts, each with hundreds of sites hosted.
  • Buy Directory Generator … US$247.

  • Buy RSS2Blog … US$247.

  • Buy RSS Equalizer …US$97.

  • Consider Article Burner … US$67 a month.

  • Modify the basic Directory Generator templates, or design your own.
  • Add 404 and robots files, privacy policy page, 'contact us" page, "about us" page.
  • Set up a Blog on every site using Word Press (Free! But you might want the WordPress Video Course, $57).

  • Set up RSS2Blog to post to the Blogs every day or so.

The expensive route adds up: a quick bit of arithmetic suggests a US $600 minimum investment, plus domain registrations, and US $77 a month if you go with Articleburner (plus the hosting fee). More if you buy XSitePro to develop templates.

Plus, this way demands that you spend more time getting each site set-up … tailoring the template, adding the code for Article Burner and RSS Equalizer, adding other pages and linking them in, setting-up RSS2Blog, adding a Blog to each site and setting it up correctly, etc.

However; the chances are these sites, once created, will rank much higher in the Search Engines (and so get more traffic, sooner) and stay alive much longer in the Search Engines. Translating to more money early, more money per day on average, and a longer duration of earning money.

It’s a business decision. You choose for yourself.

Here’s my take on it; but this is NOT intended to claim you would do as well as I postulate here.

I made approximately $9,000 in 6 months with my first few sites. Now they have declined (because I didn’t use the strategies I describe above, when I set them up) to the level where they give me less than $100 a month, from a monthly high that was close to $2,000. I can’t complain; that’s still a contribution to a car payment, right?

So, let's assume that with no promotion, a new site gets $10 per month.

if the effort with Blogging and RSS2Blog and the use of Article Burner increases the traffic by 2X and the daily revenue by 2X, or extends the site's peak earnings significantly, or both, you'll have some contribution to a return on your investment.

However, if you’re intending to only build a single site or two … then you might want to think about it. It could take a long time to recover your investment, even years, and the nature of Adsense is that it is Google's program; Google could take the money flow away any time it wanted. But seriously ... why would you buy Directory Generator software in the first place if you weren’t intending to get a whole bunch of sites up and running, in a reasonably short time?

With a couple of dozen sites, and provided you make the effort to get traffic, you should recover the investment fairly easily ... but again I'm not promising anything because there are too many variables, your effort and behaviour being the biggest.

So ... yes, there's risk. And unless you build a LOT of sites, you're not likely to see a serious income. But with some initial practice 80 hours could see you with 20 sites, even at just $10 per month per site that's $200 a month, over a year that's $30 an hour, if they last 2 years that's $60 an hour, and these numbers aren't outrageous.

With All That Work, Why Not Build A "Real" Site?

Well, that's a good question.

It is true that the level of effort to give Directory Generator and Traffic Equalizer sites some staying power is moving away from the "instant" site model when they were introduced, and there is a strong contingent of knowledgeable ex-users as well as those who always looked down on the generated-site opportunity who suggest that if you have to put that level of effort in, you might as well simply aim for a genuine content-rich site in the first place, one of which you can be proud, one that you can show friends, one where you're not looking over your shoulder and waiting for Google to hamstring you.

And I'm now one of these.

But there's no doubt that when you get the routine down, machine-generated sites can be a source of income. And if you're prepared to invest the money in domain registration and pay someone overseas to actually do the keyword research, someone else to build the websites, someone else to promote the sites to get traffic ... in short, if you're p[rep[ared to treat it as a business it can become a serious source of revenue.

But you should still beware of Google; a change in their policies could still cause you severe damage, overnight.

So if you DO take a serious run at software-generated Adsense sites (as distinct from the higher-quality software-supported white-hat sites), don't have all your eggs in this basket; build revenue streams from other sources, too.

Some Realities, Hints, Tools, ... and an Opportunity, if "Black Hat" Stuff Doesn't Scare You

Finally, some things to be aware of:

  1. The Internet changes all the time.

    The Blog and Ping technique worked incredibly well … now it’s still better than not doing it, but less effective. Currently, Articles are the hot technique to get links back to your site … perhaps that will change if the Search Engines decide that links from articles don’t count, or something silly. Search engines love Blogs … at the moment. Perhaps that will change as more Internet Marketers fill Blogs with useless rubbish. Directories (such as the ones generated by Directory Generator) have always been well regarded by the Search Engines … but the massive explosion of software-generated Directory sites in the past couple of years seems to be slowly turning them off – at least from those they can clearly identify as software generated. Directories per se are extremely valuable and valid web sites and should always be regarded as such by the Search Engines, in my opinion.

    So who knows what will change by the time you read this?  All I can tell you here is what’s worked for me, and how things have changed for me over time. And encourage you to stay in touch with what’s going on, by getting involved in appropriate forums online. If you’re in the business for more than just pocket money, you need to stay on top of what’s happening in the Industry. Especially trends in Adsense and Adwords and Search Engine optimization.

  2. One of the biggest obstacles I hit when I started generating sites was the difficulty in generating what’s known as the header graphic.

    If you're competent with good graphics software (such as Adobe Photoshop, for example) or if you go with the packet of templates that include some pre-designed and professional-looking graphic headers, you don't face the same obstacle. But if you're not, or you don't go for the graphics template ... I strongly recommend a fantastic piece of software called Easy Web Graphics. It makes it very easy for even a complete Klutz like me to generate very attractive graphics. I go into much more detail about this software on the page that describes the Adsense with a Content-rich site opportunity.

  3. Be aware that Directory Generator is only one of several web site generators out there. One of the most popular has been Traffic Equalizer;  I never tried it because it had the reputation of being “found out” very easily by the Search Engines, and many people discovered that overnight they had gone from thousands of visitors a day to a trickle.

    I have heard others say that, provided you don’t go with the standard template (just as I recommend for Directory Generator or any of the generators), it works fine. 

  4. As I keep stressing, there is a large overlap between software-generated sites and software-supported generation of sites. There are some memberships costing hundreds of dollars a month, with initial fees of hundreds and even thousands of sollars, for which you get the ability to generate sites very quickly ... and you know that people aren't paying those types of bucks for something that doesn't work.

  5.  I haven’t (so far) dealt with the issue of, how to upload your website to your web hosting account. You need software to do this, called FTP software. If you go to any of the popular download free software sites you’ll find some excellent software (SmartFTP, CuteFTP) that gives you a free 30-day trial but then asks for payment. One totally free FTP software package is aceftp. Another, FileZilla.

    Personally I use commercial software called WS-FTP Pro, simply because I bought it years ago, love it, and I'm content to pay for the occasional upgrade (optional, not mandatory) in order to stay with something I can use without thinking. It’s fast, easy to use, handles very large uploads and multiple simultaneous large uploads very nicely – and in the page-generation game that’s very useful, of course.

  6. If you are inclined towards the slightly “black hat” approaches, remember the software called Unlimited Domain Hosting Only $9.95 a Month" target="_new">Para Builder. This software is to enable you to take a single article and “mutate” it into hundreds, or thousands of different variations. You’d do this as a quick way to provide hundreds or thousands of pages of content intended to “fool” Search Engines into believing there’s a lot of unique content on each page. You wouldn’t want to do this if the site has to be viewed favorably by humans who will read several pages, because they’ll see the familiarity between pages (and the often-stilted English that the mutations take on) and wonder what the heck is going on. However, with something like Directory Generator, typically a person will visit one page only, then click on an Adwords ad (bless them) or go elsewhere. So you can often get away with it.

  7. Articlebot, though capable of the same mutations as Para Builder, is an entirely different kettle of fish, and I don’t think even the developers are aware of it’s full potential. It’s not cheap – I've been paying more than $30 a month - but this is VERY powerful software. For example, it can mutate not only text but also the tables on a web page, colors of text or background, and so on. But there’s much, much more to it if you’re prepared to learn.

  8. On the subject of Articlebot … the first Internet Marketing guide I ever purchased was from Neil Shearing, and he has proven to be consistently trustworthy, with very well written, very understandable material that provides genuine value. His Internet Success Blueprint is one of the best Introductions to Internet Marketing there is, and without doubt the best value for money.

    Recently he came out with an eBook called Auto Income Secrets that describes in baby-step-by-baby-step detail (with a staggering number of screen shots to leave no room for error) how to use Articlebot to generate sites that capture a respectable level of Adsense income.

    In other words, he's using Articlebot to generate sites much as Directory Generator or Traffic Equalizer did ... except these would be sites filled with content, and with no footprint whatsoever for the Search Engines to find! They'd have different colored backgrounds and borders, different graphics, even different size columns etc.

    As a reference point he pointed to a trial site that had just generated $150 in the previous month. Now, that’s a half a car payment, for approximately 4 hours work. If you’re interested, take a few minutes and read Neil's letter for Auto Income Secrets. But be aware! This is definitely moving towards “black hat” technology. You see, just as if you were using ParaBuilder to generate hundreds of mutations of a single article, you're doing the same here. Which means that if anyone actually read what was on the page then turned to another page and read that, too, they'd likely recognize that the two pages had very similar content, and probably were written with stilted English.

    The Search Engines would NOT recognize this. The pages would indeed pass the tests of being dissimilar. But your vulnerability comes if another marketer, a Googlesnitch jealous of your site climbing higher than him or her in the Page rankings for a profitable keyword, reported you to Google. They would have a human check your site out, and possibly find fault with your site. Or not, of course. 

    In fact, as I’m writing this I hear that Auto Income Secrets has proven to be a very popular course and I just heard he has an option to also buy some “how to do it” videos to take any last chance of confusion away. I haven’t seen these but have no doubt they are excellent.

    But here's the thing: 10 - 12 months ago, Directory Generator sites were cast-iron certainties as money generators with Adsense. Their value has diminished because it now takes longer to build the DG sites in such a way that they overcome the Search Engine's recognition of the DG footprint. Ditto with Traffic Equalizer. BUT THESE SITES BUILT USING ARTICLEBOT HAVE NO FOOTPRINT. I believe that as long as Adsense continues to be a viable program, this is the new cast-iron certainty for income to the level of $10 to $150 a month, from approximately 4 hours work per site.

    No, I CANNOT promise you'll make money. But the odds are very good, provided you do everything the eBook tells you.

    One last thing: to take the safest advantage of this opportunity, I would do three things.
  • Apply for a different Adsense account than you use on all my white-hat sites. I would NOT lie on the application, that would be a very foolish thing to do. But if my main account was in my business name, for example, I'd open an account for myself as an individual, with home address and phone number etc. Or apply for one for my wife or my brother or... something. With a different name and a different address and different phone number and different e-mail address than your standard application.
  • Register my domains to be used for these sites as Private registrations with 1&1 web hosting.

  • Then I would open a new hosting account with Hostgator just for these sites.  

Why all this? Paranoia ... from two fronts. First, if Google takes exception to your sites it could, under extreme circumstances, lead to your host's IP address for your sites being "tainted." So that no domains on that host IP stood a chance of getting a good ranking. And second, Adsense Terms of Service are explicit that you cannot have a site solely for the purposes of generating Adsense income; the idea being that if you took Adsense away you'd still have a useful and interesting site. If every page contained little other than a variation of the exact same article ... they could try to claim that the site existed only as a skeleton for Adsense. And they could, in theory, suspend your Adsense account.

Now, I've NOT heard of any of this happening in reality; I just try to provide cautions where I think they are justified. Paranoia can be useful.


  1. Whether you use Directory Generator, Traffic Equalizer, or ArticleBot, you are going to need to do some editing of your web pages; hopefully just a little bit, but if you also develop your own Templates then you need more than just a minimum.

    In the Tools of the Trade section you'll find I tell you how to get two free WYSIWYG html editors,  WYSIWYG meaning “What You See Is What You Get.”

    I personally have Microsoft’s HTML editor, Frontpage, and also Dreamweaver, which tends to be a favorite with professional web developers.

    But you'll see in the Adsense with Content page that I go into some detail to sing the praises of a new piece of software called XSitePro.

    The reason I love it is that it is designed for people who are into Internet Marketing. It’s much more than just an html editor. I can create an attractive professional-looking site quickly and easily, it provides a basis for organizing a  lot of essential data that often gets spread all over my hard drive – for example, Affiliate account information including url’s to go to check account status, log-on id and password; Webhost information including url, log-ons and passwords; domain registration details including url, log-on and password, domain names, due dates for renewal, and so forth.

    But if you're reading this page you are exploring the software-generated option, so be mindful of two things when you read the discussion on the "Adsense with Content" page:

    First of all, while XSitePro is the cream of the crop as far as I'm concerned for building templates and building web pages and whole sites for Adsense income and Affiliate income, and while it has the ability to inhale (for example) 250 pages created in ArticleBot and plop each of them automatically into a formatted XSitePro page in a few seconds for the lot ... it cannot edit templates developed by other software. So if, for example, you download and intend to use and (strongly recommended) modify the template package for Directory Generator we discussed earlier, you will need one of the two free editors in the Tools of the Trade section, or else one of the commercial editors such as Microsoft FrontPage or Macromedia Dreamweaver. My advice would be to build your own template in XSitePro, then export it for use with the page generator; and use one of the other editors for further editing.

    And second, while Site Build It is also excellent for building Content-rich Affiliate or Adsense sites, offering far more than just editing, it is not useful for working with Directory Generator or ArticleBot pages.

OK, I'm going to summarize the resources I've referenced in this section. One of them, of course, is Adsense ... if you have a site or a Blog already and want to open an Adsense account, just click on the button at the bottom of the page. Google make it very quick and easy.

Directory Generator generates a "Directory" type website very quickly, one page per keyword.

Traffic Equalizer also generates pages rapidly, seems to get clobbered by Search Engines more than DG. 

ArticleBot generates pages that have no footprint, a very powerful tool. 

Brandon Hong’s video course teaches all key elements of Wordpress Blogs, terrific time saver.

RSS2Blog finds content and makes timed, automatic postings to Blogs as if from a person.

Articlecity, Goarticles, EZinearticles are directories of Articles you can use for content on your site.

RSS Equalizer automatically places RSS content on web page, appears as regular Content to Search Engines.

ArticleBurner allows a small pool of articles to be presented as content for large web sites.

Para Builder creates content by "mutating" an article into thousands of unique variations.

1&1 for domain registration and 2nd choice for web hosting.

Unlimited Domain Hosting Only $9.95 a Month at Hostgator is my first choice for hosting.

Super Affiliate Handbook by Rosalind Gardner, comprehensive coverage of site building.

Affiliate Marketer's Handbook by James Martell, comprehensive coverage of site building & linking.

Insider Secrets to Marketing Your Business on the Internet, by the late, great, Cory Rudl.

Internet Success Blueprint by Neil Shearing, an inexpensive introduction to Internet Marketing.

Site Build It, a comprehensive site design, site building, traffic-getting, monetizing, service.

XSitePro, recommended Affiliate site building and management software.

WordPress, free, powerful Blogging software.

Easy Web Graphics, superb quality graphics tool that speaks "graphics dummy" language. 

Aceftp and FileZilla are free FTP software (with no ads) to upload your web pages to your web site.

WS-FTP Pro is commercial FRT software to upload web pages to your site.