I'm always looking for new tips and techniques to help increase AdSense revenues and this past weekend I had an opportunity to read a number of eBooks on the subject.
I didn't purchase them myself, someone asked for my opinion on them and I was curious so I gave them a read. Three stood out as names I recognized. Two had Black Hat AdSense tips and one had White Hat AdSense tips. All three covered more than just AdSense
All three eBooks were written by people you've likely heard about if you've researched how to make money online. The things I discovered were quite surprising.
I'm not going to mention the names of the authors or eBooks, but they're plenty out there and most of them are the same. The most interesting thing was that of the three I was asked to read, you could barely tell which were the black hat books and which was the white hat book.
They all had similar techniques except the white hat one would describe black hat techniques in pretty good detail and then tell you not to do it. Sometimes, what the white hat recommended was borderline or already prohibited by AdSense. Some of the borderline techniques can get you into trouble if the rules change and you didn't keep an eye on the current AdSense policies. The black hat books went in more detail about the methods that violate the AdSense terms of service and provided links to tools you could purchase to help you.
You should be careful with your AdSense account, because once it's gone you don't have a good chance of getting it back.
One thing that didn't surprise me is that you don't need these eBooks. Every thing you need to know about making money with AdSense, you can learn online for free. There are no AdSense Secrets. The first place you should start to learn about AdSense is the AdSense Help Center. You should also subscribe to the AdSense Blog and review the AdSense Videos. It's a lot to go over but nobody said this was going to be easy. After you've gotten yourself up to speed, visit the Official AdSense Help Forum to get answers from other AdSense publishers if you need some more help. There are also blogs and forums. Just stay away from the eBooks.
I also noticed that the information was outdated and thus could get you in trouble because Google is better equipped to detect certain things. Some of the information is also incomplete. For example, there was mention of using cloaking along with redirects to send traffic to your accounts from throw away domains. The problem with that is Google has gotten pretty good at detecting cloaking. More importantly, Google knows who owns the domains, even if they use whois privacy services. Since Google is a registrar, they have access to that information. So while they might not ban the site being redirected to, it's a different story if it's the same person that owns both domains. You'd have to set up domains in a bunch of different names with different addresses.
That's just one example and I don't want to go into all the details of what I thought was wrong. The most important thing is that while some people may make money, most won't using the techniques in these eBooks. Think of it this way... Let's say you pitch for your local baseball team. You want to improve your game and find out your favorite pitcher is holding a weekend training camp. So you, and 20 other guys decide to go. At the end of the weekend, are all 20 guys going to be major league material? Probably not. Some of them likely wouldn't have improved much... other than learning a new pitch.
There are a lot of options on how to make money online and these eBooks don't help you narrow down the options. They don't tell you which niches to target, which affiliate products to sell, etc. You're going to have to experiment a lot to find the right combinations. That's where you'll learn the most. You don't need the books to do that.
The most disturbing thing was that it seemed all three still had their AdSense accounts even though they used black hat or borderline AdSense techniques.
My opinion is that these books, probably any make money online ebooks aren't worth it. They are still pretty vague in the most important areas and you should save your money.