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Search Engine Monetization Strategies You Should Try

by Chisom Maduonuorah

Publishers can monetize their websites using search engines as a great source of organic traffic. This article will explain search engine monetization and the strategies to follow to get the best results. 

What is search engine monetization?

Search engine monetization involves providing users searching for a keyword the solution to their query and generating revenue from the traffic that comes from it. For example, you observe that people often search for “Best restaurants in Colorado,” and you publish a detailed article listing the best restaurants in this area. When people search for that term, Google can show your website on the search results page and drive traffic to it. Search engine monetization is the strategy you use to earn money from search engine-derived traffic. 

Search engine monetization strategies you should know about

There are many ways to earn money from search traffic. You can choose affiliate marketing, display advertising, selling ad space directly, etc. We’ll dive deeper into these strategies below.

Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing involves advertising a product or service and taking commissions on each action you generate. Let’s go back to that example of restaurants in Colorado. You observe that many people search for “Best restaurants in Colorado” and decide to write a detailed article to match their search results. This process is known as search engine optimization (SEO).

After writing an article listing the best restaurants in Colorado, you approach some restaurants on your list for an affiliate partnership. One of them decides to patronize your advertising services. You talk positively about the restaurant and place a link leading to their reservation page. For every customer who reads your review and places a reservation, you collect a 10% commission. This process is called affiliate marketing.

The key to success with the affiliate marketing strategy is promoting products relevant to your audience, just like in the above example. So your task is to match the product with the request. 

Adsterra CPA gives you access to dozens of high-paying and high-converting affiliate offers. Publishers can find first-class offers to promote and earn significant sums, with regular payouts encouraging your efforts. 

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Advertising is the most common SEO monetization strategy for websites. Sift through the Internet, and you can find advertisements on most websites. The more traffic a website gets, the more attractive it is to advertisers and the higher rates it can command.

An easy way to implement this strategy is to sign up for an advertising network. The network already has businesses looking to place ads on relevant websites. You can add your website to the network’s pool and get relevant advertisements for your audience. You get paid when someone views or clicks on the ad. The amount you collect depends on several factors, including your niche, traffic, and general demand from advertisers.

Example of a display ad on a website
Source: AdEspresso

If multiple advertisers bid for the same space on your website, you can earn significant amounts from high-paying bidders. The benefit of choosing an ad network is that the network handles all the backend processes for you. You only need to sign up and gain access to the advertising pool.

To attract advertisers, you need to optimize your website to provide value to readers. You can do this by monitoring what keywords people search for on Google, Bing, and the like and publishing content matching those search queries. 

You’ll insert the keywords throughout your posts to help search engines find your site. Keywords can be high or low-density, signifying how often you need to place them in a post. You can research keywords using tools like Ahrefs, Semrush, Google Trends, and Surfer SEO. Keyword optimization gives you search traffic that you can monetize with ads. 

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Selling ad space directly

Another effective search monetization strategy is to sell advertising on your website directly. In the preceding strategy, we talked about signing up on a platform that already has the ads and benefitting from their existing advertising pool. However, an alternative is to bypass the third-party network and sell the ads directly to interested individuals and businesses.

By bypassing the third-party ad network, you can negotiate prices directly and get paid for advertising. However, this strategy is not for everyone. It’s challenging because it involves constantly pitching to advertisers and haggling rates. You must continuously stay on top of industry ad rates and pricing strategies. Besides, there’s no guarantee of getting the best ad rates. 

If you consider yourself a good salesperson, this strategy suits you. Otherwise, you’re better off signing up on an ad network that handles the challenging sales process for you. Of course, the ad network takes a cut of your revenue for their service, but it’s worth it if you can easily access high-paying ads. 

A common way to sell ads directly is by placing an “Advertise With Us” link or something of that variation on your website. This link takes the visitor to a page where they can contact you as an interested advertiser. On this page, it’s advisable to place a “Media Kit” showing vital traffic statistics for a potential advertiser, e.g., number of page views, number of unique visitors, audience demographics, number of social media followers, etc.

Note that this method won’t work for new websites without an audience. It is suited for websites people already visit and get value from. Focus on building an audience first before trying to implement this strategy.

Example of a Media Kit
Source: Later

The Media Kit helps market your website to potential advertisers. If a business looks at the kit and observes that your audience fits what they’re selling, they’ll likely inquire about a potential ad deal. You can negotiate from there and earn income from your website. 

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Internal search feed monetization

You can add an internal search engine to your website, allowing users to query it just as they do on the broader web. Google Programmable Search Engine is the most popular tool, and you can add AdSense ads to your internal search results, earning money when readers click on them.

Sell products

If you garner significant traffic from search results, you can convert the traffic into money by selling products to your viewers. The key is to sell products relevant to your audience. For example, if you run a gaming blog with significant search traffic, you can sell gaming accessories to your readers. There’s a substantial overlap between people reading gaming blogs and people interested in gaming accessories, so you can monetize your audience by selling what they want.


Adsterra is a global advertising platform giving publishers access to relevant ads to monetize their websites. Our platform has over 15,000 advertisers delivering high-quality, high-paying ads to publishers worldwide. On this platform, publishers can monetize different types of traffic and choose from various ad formats, including Banners, Social Bar, Popunders, etc.

Adsterra has a seamless signup process and a nearly 100% fill rate for publishers who are approved to join the network. 

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AdSense is Google’s advertising network. It is a popular platform for publishers seeking ads to monetize their traffic. AdSense provides access to a vast range of advertisers across different niches. However, the eligibility terms are strict, and AdSense doesn’t pay as much as many rival niche networks. Learn about Google AdSense alternatives in our article.

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Amazon.com Associates

Amazon is the world’s largest online retailer. It runs an affiliate marketing network called Amazon Associates. Publishers can sign up and promote relevant products to their audience. You’ll earn commissions for each sale you generate; this strategy can bring in significant income if you promote products effectively.


Search engines are the biggest source of online traffic. Any website not optimized to rank high on search engines is at a competitive disadvantage. We have explained what publishers need to know about monetizing search traffic, including the best strategies and popular platforms that help with effective search monetization.

Above all, ensure you choose a good platform to monetize your website. Adsterra is an excellent example of an ad network to monetize search traffic. We give publishers access to thousands of global advertisers and support different interactive ad formats. With Adsterra, you don’t need to worry about earning money from your search engine optimization efforts.

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How do search engine algorithms impact website monetization?

Search engine algorithms determine whether your website appears on the results page when someone searches for a specific keyword. The better optimized your website is to search engine algorithms, the higher traffic you’ll get, and the more money you can earn by monetizing that traffic.

Publishers must stay updated with algorithm changes on popular search engines like Google and Bing to avoid losing traffic.

What’s the difference between search engine monetization and traditional monetization?

Search engine monetization focuses on making money via traffic originating from search engines like Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo, etc. Traditional monetization involves traffic originating from many other sources, such as social media, email marketing, referrals, etc.

How do ad blockers impact search engine monetization?

Ad blockers can pose a problem if your website monetization strategy revolves around display advertisements sourced from an external network. An ad blocker prevents ads from showing, which affects your revenue. However, you can solve this problem by choosing an ad network with anti-ad block features, such as Adsterra.

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