Why Does a Pakistani Website Earn 32 Times Lesser than any American Counterpart?

This is no mystery that a website with Pakistani traffic earns in pennies as compared to hundreds of dollars for website with US or western traffic.

When compared the numbers of visitors and revenues for several Pakistan targeted websites and similarly the ones with US traffic (can’t reveal the names, owners asked for anonymity), we came to a conclusion that a Pakistan targeted website/blog earns 32 times lesser than a website of same (traffic) size that serves US audience.

We spoke to several Pakistani webmasters, who are serving local and international traffic, they were of the opinion that advertiser is the real cause behind this extremely low return for Pakistan targeted websites.

Haris Nadeem, who runs a successful blog for international audience from Lahore, opined that low number of advertisers in local market is the main cause. He said if companies start advertising in Pakistan, which they should, local webmasters will earn lot better than what they are earning now.

On other side, Hamad Dar, who covers Music Industry of Pakistan at Koolmuzone.com, said that even if advertisers’ issue is resolved, Pakistani webmaster will remain deprived of Digg and Stumble effect, social media websites. He claimed that he attracted 1 million visitors in just one month on his newly started blog Smashinglists, thanks to Digg – which was otherwise not possible. “I don’t see Digg effect coming to Pakistan any time soon”, said Hamad.

Zeeshan Shafquat, a leading Digger from Pakistan commented that we should not wait for Digg or Stumble’s arrival. Instead Pakistani webmaster should realize that it’s a third world country, with half million broadband users at most. We must realize the ground realities and should produce results with available resources, instead of comparing ourselves with Americans.

Saad Hamid of Sizlopedia, a renowned blogger from Islamabad commented that the fear of our local brands to advertise online deeming to receive unsatisfactory output along with the lack of awareness in people to use online ads effectively are two of the many reasons.

He suggests Pakistani brands to understand the value of online ads and the people should become more diverse in their thinking of searching for products and services through online ads.

So what stance should we carry? Should Pakistani webmasters sit and wait until advertisers start flowing in? Should they keep rolling with these low revenues?  Should they give up the hope and wrap up their businesses?

What is the solution? What’s the Future?

Though things are not very positive, but don’t worry guys we are not going to disappoint you. You are definitely not watching a talk show where politicians come in, they speak and then they leave with no conclusion, decision or direction.

Here is the solution to all these problems (of a Pakistani webmaster), and in fact a potential for hundreds of other businesses of all domains. And the mighty solution is called “Ecommerce Infrastructure

Let me explain you why

No Ecommerce Infrastructure means, no online business – means no affiliate marketing, sales and transactions at all for any webmaster.

Let’s assume we have Ecommerce Infrastructure in place, and people can buy products via credit card / ATM card.

In such a scenario, let’s take an example of ProPakistani, which serves 95 percent Pakistani audience, it serves around 10K unique visitors a day, right?

If ProPakistani partners with Service Shoes, and help them sell 50 pairs of shoes each day (that’s 0.05 percent of traffic) through special discount coupon, for instance, out of which let’s say ProPakistani get Rs. 300 commission for each pair – how much ProPakistani would make?

PKR 15,000 per day? That’s correct.

This amount counts for one affiliate partner, and it may not stop here, ProPakistani would sell mobile phones, SIMs, top up etc. ProPakistani may keep hunting for best margins on affiliate programmes, and will partner with top paying companies.

As you can see, this won’t benefit ProPakistani only, but Service Shoes would sell 50 pairs with no cost at all. By the way, commission is given to company distributors/retailers as well.

Now, Service is not partnering with ProPakistani only, they are partnering with, let’s say, 100 other webmasters too. Let’s recalculate the equation; it suggests that Service Shoes may end up selling roughly 5000 pairs per day – with no retailer involved.

If question arises in your mind that how in this world, Service Shoes can sell 5,000 pairs each day? Then let’s go to them and check numbers of pairs they sell through their shops – you will be amazed to know that they are doing even better. Moreover, Internet will take their online shop to those far flung areas, where they won’t reach otherwise – meaning that more prospects, more business.

If businesses serving in Pakistan do realize this potential, then they will have to, and they must, push the Government, PTA, State Bank and commercial banks to get us Ecommerce Infrastructure.

Getting back to webmasters, let’s again assume that Ecommerce Infrastructure is in place, meaning that there are several dozen businesses selling their products online, and each sale earns them money – they will pay higher for Adwords, its natural.

As of now, advertisers in Pakistan are paying for clicks; in return they get visitors but not the sales. Imagine, if each click has a potential of converting into sales, won’t these advertisers bid higher for Adwords? Meaning that more CPC (cost per click) for webmasters?

When will this Dream Come True?

In 2 years, at most. We got Raseen and PTA working on Ecommerce Infrastructure, but looks they are pretty sluggish in that. Raseen had plans to deploy and execute their gateway last year, but they couldn’t.

On other hands we don’t see much of development on PTA’s end, as of now. Though they have met the banks, but usually they talk about Mobile Banking, and not the internet banking. PTA is for sure aware of the dire need of Ecommerce Infrastructure, but you know its Government Body, things take time.

Nevertheless, I see this happening by 2012/2013 at most – by same time, there will be around 5 million broadband users in the country, meaning that tons of traffic.

So guys, this is the recruitment time, keep focused and don’t lose the hope. Keep serving the local audience as rewards are going to be huge, very soon.

Tech and telecom reporter with over 15 years of experience, he works as founder of ProPakistani.PK

  • Many websites focused towards US/Canada traffic make thousands of dollars even without Adsense by just serving Affiliate Offers. Sadly, no top tier affiliate network approves Pakistan, even if this case happens Pakistani webmasters can start making a lot of money because there are hundreds of digital affiliate products present in their marketplace which would surely interest an average Pakistani netizen. But lets hope that “Ecommerce Infrastructure” gets deployed soon, good days are ahead guys!

    • Bring in Paypal my friend…..our Govt is doing nothing in this regard. we have to bring in some companies here to get this rolling. I made a paypal payment from Pakistan(my account isn’t Pakistani based and i can make payments from any country) and the transaction was block BECAUSE PAKISTAN IS IN LIST OF SUSPICIOUS COUNTRIES. they took 5 days and involved my bank to verify that i am same guy who owns the account.

      we need to bring a few such companies here and others will follow, but again Govt need to do something in this regard.

  • Brilliant article Aamir.

    So here is the thing, the only reason that there is less money with Pakistani audience is because of the fact that Pakistani users don’t shop online. If major changes happen in this sector (lets say,give 10% off for the ones who pay electricity, phone, gas bills online….private companies and even schools should give the same options to parents who go to banks every month to submit their kids school fee, need of some good funded online local shops that advertise on main stream media to attract people for online shopping and has some sort of affiliations with banks or Govt etc to give people confidence when buying something online).

    we need to get out Pakistani people to buy online and only thing we can do in this regard is to minimize fear of online fraud, give them more options to buy online, special discount on online shopping. Govt can offer support for big local brands to go online.Once our people start buying online… Google, my friend, will be here by next flight. Local brands will follow people where they are.

    hell, i can do much if i was an IT minister ;)

  • Why do you want more money, most of you complain that Big Business is making too much money. As long as it is going into your own you want 32 times more. Get real and get a proper job !!!

    • bro you made me laugh – okay here is the answer:

      We used ProPakistani as an example in this post, to elaborate things. And by the way earning higher isn’t bad – if its legal, through proper means and is taxed.

      Let me give you other examples of very useful websites, which are maybe not earning much, but they are well sustaining. Those websites catering with classified ads, they are helping us get the right products, mobile social networking websites, we don’t have legal music websites – coz ppl can’t buy it online, and there are so many others.

      Also notice, this way, it won’t be beneficial for webmasters only, but businesses will be benefited out of it as well.

    • I do not agree with you on this . I have been using Adsense on my “Pakistani Website” since 2006 and they never banned me.

      Problem is at your end, you must violate their terms and conditions.

  • We need some strong legislation in place to curb the online frauds. That is the only way people might think of buying online.

    What if some online seller shows an item and sells something of lower quality. Or accepts money and vanishes. Where will the buyer go? I know of few cases where such issues happened and theres no place seller could launch an appeal.

    Theres got to be some special e-commerce legislation and more importantly its implementation. I know theres Cyber crime wing but its in preliminary stages. Are they in a position to handle lets say even 100 cases per day.

    In ideal circumstances, things are different and the practical needs to take care of large number of scenarios.

    Its hi time our policy makers study the case of developed ecommerce states like USA or UK and formulate a practical strategy in this regards. Online users should be given some confidence about the online transactions, strong CBMs are required from policy makers.

    And besides this, importantly, as mentioned already in comments, paypal should be brought here. That would be a break through for sellers who are looking in global scenario.

  • The reason is that we Pakistani’s don’t want to go the hard way.We always want money come to us by any means instead of earning it.We don’t want to face the reality.

    You all know most of our sites are the same old concept entertainment sites with illegal songs,wallpapers,chatrooms and some other crappy stuff.Iam not saying that these site should not exist but when it comes to originality it doesn’t count there.How would you earn something if all of the sites are same and flooded with lots of ads and annoying Popups.

    Why are you comparing yourself to US or any other foreign country you must look at yourself first.They have twitter,Facebook,Myspace,Google,Hotmail,Yahoo etc etc.I know at Pakistan we do have social networking sites but hey they are still copy(rip off) of Facebook or any other social engine.

    Pakistani Webmasters should innovate should bring new concepts then they would be recognized and will earn money also.First look at your neighbors China they have several Web Projects Social Networking sites like tencent,Search engines like Baidu and many others and they are big enough that they have shares in their stock market and still they serve their local audience only.

    Look at India they have Big Adda,ibibo,Zapak etc etc.See whats common in all of them their original concept and hard work.If not original at least original concept nor any rip off.

    So first comes the Content and then finance marketing etc etc.

  • Who said pakistani web sites are not making money? i am an ex-employee of an Urdu portal (UrduPoint.com) and their monthly adsense revenue is around 10,000 USD. They also make thousands of $ from geo target ads. Same is the case with the other companies.

    • No one said that Pakistani sites are not earning.They are earning but when you compare them with US sites this 10000USD is nothing.

      • 10,000 a month is not possible for a pakistani website u were just an employee of urdupoint not the owner so its just rumors … i have been doing job for many companies and i always thought companies make millions but its not the case

        • propakistani has a higher rank than urdupoint … ask him does he make that much of an amount … well i have met the admin personally and i know how bad situation is here with pakistani ads….

          • propakistani has no rank. this website is nowhere. just few users. and look at this crap website. advertisements everywhere. even video ad loads without our permission.

  • very nice
    this topic should have been covered and is discussed now
    we would love to earn more $$

    I wish paypal also worked here :(

  • @Ahmed urdupoint is in top 100 websites of Pakistan and this is shame that they have to use adsense to make money. Do u think $10,000 is lot of money for site with this much traffic? if it was US/UK/Canada site, webmaster would never need to use adsense to make money. even this big site do not run any local affiliate program (to target Pakistani traffic, a few private ads and lots of adsense to stay in business).
    The take away from this post is that if a site with same traffic was in US/UK, they should make 60% + more from this traffic (even adsense pays pennies from Pakistani originated clicks).

    • it’s not the traffic alone. its about conversion rate. How many of those viewer become buyers. that determines how much you can charge for the ad service.

  • I Agree with Aamir 90% he is totally right Aamir Facing that problem becuase propakistani.pk is pakistani website and asian traffic does not monitize as compare to us traffic. Its becuase due to lake of online purchasing….

    Once i visited my blog using team viewer in my US friend there where showing US local ads which pay me $2 for a single click…

    and also same as i earned about $1.5 to $1.8 from France….

    by my experience Asian Traffic is not well for monitizing your web….

    “Aamir Bhai I’m Farooq From Rwp I want your Number i have Missed placed your number 0333…..

  • No wonder why Pakistani websites earn less. Simply put, there are far less internet users in Pakistan as compared to West. And companies are well aware of this fact that is why they prefer print media and tv ads. This business will take decades to grow not years!

  • There are many reasons why Pakistani website arent making enough money from the traffic. Lets say, I develop a blog on Supply Chain Manageement where I publish casesudies and news about the local, regional and international updates, then when the website is opened in Pakistan I will get 2 cents per click and if the same website is opened in Europe, I will get 40 cents per click as based on their IP, the adsense will show ads relevant to their area which are highly paid.

    Regarding affiliation – we can still work on some manual solution when a sales is generated, we can pay through check.

    eCommerce is the manutured stage of online transaction. US/West started wtih Catalog and then they came on eCommerce. We have to do some ground work before eCommerce could be implemented.

    eCommerce infrastucture is available with all banks and we have RBS which has WorldPay, world’s most renown transaction server, all we need is an initiative from State Bank. We already have Cyber Crime in place and it will matured with time.

    So ideally speaking we got what we require, all we need is lets work on it. And I would urge the young grads from renown university to take initiative to implement eBusiness at work as Uncles sitting on senior postion they have no idea about technology and they are just scared of cyber crime and security – which is merely words of old dictionary.

  • Dear Folks

    Google adssense also treating pakistani websites in a discrimantional way. they blocked the account without intimation and on appeal no sound evidences provided. indeed, this is also proven evident that developing countries do nto come up on main straem.

  • Adsense do not deal correctly with pakistani websites they do not give exact amount of per click on ad they $.05 some time more or some time less actual amount is $.25 per click I have a very good mp3 website http://www.musicxite.com but i still in trouble to adsense.

  • but question is same, how much propakistani.pk earns right now,

    @Aamir can you make your earnings public?

  • In our society, there is no issue to ask someone’s income anyways I asked from Mr. Aamir not from you. You guessed, I think Mr. Aamir can give the exact figure, I also believe (Staying on propakistani from years) that Mr. Aamir has open mind and will have no issue to disclose his income.

    • Best Sense: thanks for staying with us for years :- ) i value it, here’s the deal, i have mentioned somewhere before, that we earn from 2K – 3K USD.

      Zohair did the right thing, as such things are not made public, however, the kind of relation we have here with out readers – i guess revealing income isn’t a big deal.

      • good to see ppl like you exist…
        bcoz if it was someone else they unravel this bcoz they dont want any more competitors =)

  • @ Aamir Salute to you, you are really a pro blogger. It took a lot for you to reach at 2k to 3k USD,
    Henry Pual

  • We wish that this dream will come true soon when we will have direct advertisers / affiliates for our websites rather serving adsense ads on our sites. which may disable the account at any time without any violation, the only reason behind this is the billing address is belong to pakistan.
    So Sad of this :(

  • @Murtaza..i don not agree with your comments dear, because i am also pakistani, i have website since a year and i earning some times 2-3 dollars per click. i visited your site. your site it self is in trouble with very poor layout. your mp3 website is nothing else google adsense ads floods. first correct your site, its contents, minimize its ads, place the ads in right place then you will earn beyond your exceptions. I have only total 3 ads in my site (2 banner 1 text). i have very good traffic and earning from my site.

  • Assalamualaikum.
    Q: How can we convince people of Pakistan to adopt ecommerce?

  • Well the Internet does not limit anyone, no matter what country you are in, you can cash your site anyway. All you just need quality and targeted content (information) your site will flow or i should rather say visitors will flow to your sites from any part of the world.

    Solution is simple :)

  • No doubt the earnings from Pakistan oriented traffic is very less. It is 100% true. However, still i think that if affiliate programs will Pakistan oriented, it would pay us far less than any western affiliate sites.

    You can earn more than Pakistani sites from revenue sharing sites of USA in which traffic comes from western countries!

  • Well your article was good but why do you think we can’t do anything because of lack of ecommerce infrastructure in Pakistan. We can easily have ecommerce functionality on our website by using services such as 2CO, AlertPay and others. Though these service provider too at times play with you so you have to be aware of their terms of service.

  • In my opinion, it will take a long time for Pakistan to get into trend of online advertisement properly. It is not easy to convince industry giants about the benefit of online marketing and affiliate programs as they are unaware of all such things.

  • Brilliant article! There is also another phenomena that i came across on one of the social media website where bloggers were looking for non .pk domains for their new blogging start-up and this only because they assume/believe that .pk domains are low ranked at some point. The discussion led to partly concluded comments that .pk domains do have low ranking but it can only be increased by putting good website on them and run them for some good time. It cannot be ranked higher by avoiding or waiting for miracle to happen itself. Good job done here. Keep it up!

  • look at dunyainfo.com , my friend website
    ,rank also better but earned just 35 dollars from last 5 months..

  • I totally agree with aamir, but mostly big companies rely on facebook and third parties. They aren’t into affiliate programes, as they don’t want to share their profit but investing alot on advertisement on facebook whose future is a question mark. Who knows when Supreme Court will ban facebook in Pakistan because of their so called freedom of speech but companies in pakistan are investing for fans and have created facebook pages with millions of fans. They should concentrate on SEO, Google Adwords and Affiliated Programs for long term results, plus these 3 platforms give guarantee of your sales.

  • My take on internet marketing in Pakistan is that we should concentrate on Affiliate marketing like amazon affiliate rather putting all our eggs in the basket of adsense. And for this our community should promote and write tutorial about micro niche websites which is the best strategy to earn online.

  • yaar kisi tariqay se Facebook ko Pak me ban kardo :D phir traffic bhi aayegi aur jo log fb pe advertisement karte hai wo adwords pe ayengay, advertisers ziada hongay aur cpc high. I have 33K daily pageviews (90+% Pakistani) and 6K visitors but earn only 420$ monthly, phir bhi shukar hai, hum ne konsay gadhay kheenchay hai

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