Google ads help fund retirement for some

October 28th, 2007

This week USA Today had an article, ‘Gray Googlers’ strike gold, on older Americans operating websites that make money on Google ads.

“Jerry Alonzy figured he’d be working into his 70s at least. As an independent handyman at the mercy of weather patterns near Hartford, Conn., he’d always made a decent income that rarely grew. Then he found Google, and his life changed. Alonzy, 57, now makes $120,000 a year from the ads Google places on his Natural Handyman website, and he couldn’t be more thrilled. “I put in two, maybe three hours a day on the site, and the checks pour in,” he says. “What’s not to like?”

Of course, this is not a guaranteed get rich quick scheme. You have to have the right niche that will attract good paying ads, constantly writ new quality content, and build up your pagerank. Note that Alonzy spends about 20 hours a week tending his site — not an insignificant amount of time. The story cites some other examples that are probably more typical of what one can expect.

While the upside of working with AdSense sounds exhilarating, it’s not that way for everybody. Scott says she posted an unsold novel on Google and earns about $5 a month from the AdSense ads on the site. Al Needham, 74, who runs a site about the care of bees ( from his home near Boston, reaps about $250 a month. “Forget about getting rich overnight,” says Alonzy. “It takes time to learn.”