I was recently looking over at Ben's SEO blog and he mentions that normally he caters to noobs whereas with his SEO blogs he targets smart internet users. Maybe, I should take a page from pro-wrestling and call them smark fans? Now, he doesn't run any ads on the blog but he does hype infobarrel a lot and constantly drops his affiliate link(with infobarrel's affiliate program you get 2% of your refferals google adsense adviews). Now, after the google destruction where a lot of sites were de-indexed, he hasn't posted since. I take it he wasn't making very much money with infobarrel refferals? He even had a hook too(100 infobarrels in 100 days, and sign up using my affiliate link so I get 2% of that).
So Ben failed to make money with his high quality SEO blog and made the majority of his money writing about random products which targeted internet noobs. Most of the internet marketing guru's recommend targeting low hanging fruit with buying keywords. There are tons of long tails for each product: Cereals, board games, make-up... I just typed in "Where can I buy Count Chocula?" and the number one ranked site was Amazon so apparently it's not a very profitable niche. Now I type in "Where can I find Dilbert Calendars?" and now I get a clear internet marketing site called freeality which is nothing but a bunch of ads.
Anyways you type in any conceivable long tail product keyword and there are sites there looking to profit on it. But if you type in more intelligent questions you don't get very much or you don't get what you're looking for(usually a wikipedia entry).
Now my website has some of the best information on growing taller myths and it doesn't rank very well for non-scientific terms relating to height increase. I'm the authority of the science of height increase but if I rank so well for all science + height increase long tails shouldn't I rank somewhere in the trenches of the height increase keyword as well? If my height increase method is not a success then I can't make any money to support height increase endeavors.
The search engines only care about shopping. They only care about internet marketers who compete with their advertisers who take 60% of the ad clicks for thin buying keyword sites. The search engines don't care that irrelevant wikipedia pages take up the first few entries when you're trying to find hard scientific information. The search engines set their priority for buying keywords versus informational keywords.
Can anybody make money from informational keywords? The search engines don't bother doing it. Scientists charge a lot though for their four page "e-books" off of pubmed. You don't see scientists using adwords to advertise their articles though...
If people can't make money by targeting intelligent people then all we'll see is 100s and 100s of crap articles targeting the same interweb nobs. You have to provide a lot of value to make smart people take notice whereas for noobs you don't have to provide nearly as much.
I don't think there's a way to make money on the internet unless you find a cure for cancer or a way to increase height(the too are related by cellular proliferation by the way).