Almost any website could be making more money than it is currently. After all there is not ‘upper limit’ on how much a site can conceivably generate. However while that’s true there are certainly websites that are earning well below what they could be in theory. And perhaps by looking at these it would be possible to see how we might also be missing tricks. Here are some examples…
Wikipedia: Wikipedia is of course another site that isn’t making quite what it could. In fact Wikipedia is officially a ‘not for profit’ organization and so has not been ‘monetized’ as such in any real way. The only way that Wikipedia currently does earn money is through its donations, and these presumably will go toward the costs of running the site.
Facebook: Facebook has a difficult balance to walk between staying ‘cool’ and functional and monetizing it’s gigantic user base. It achieves the latter through a very measly amount of advertising that is created mostly by the users themselves and users a pay per click system similar to Google’s. However in terms of the amount of space taken up by ads, and the amount of focus placed on them, there is certainly much more that Facebook could be doing.
Informative/Entertainment Websites: Most informative/entertainment websites – such as IGN (game and film reviews) or Rotten Tomatoes make their money principally from advertising. Now undoubtedly that advertising will be making them a fair amount of money – but what would make them a lot more money would be selling their own products which could be things like a magazine (POD of course) or some kind of movie providing service. Any site that relies entirely on advertising in fact is not making the most money they could be. How is this so? Well basically because they are sending the clients somewhere else where they will make that company more money. If that wasn’t the case then the other companies wouldn’t be willing to pay for advertising, meaning that by providing the ads you are by definition at the bottom of the ladder.