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  1. #1
    SitePoint Zealot
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    The joy and agony of Adsense

    I wanted to start off by saying this isn't a request for help. It's just a post about my experiences with Adsense.

    I signed us up for Adsense a few years ago and added it to a couple of our forums-based sites. Our largest forum site did okay with it and was making about $300-500 per month for several months with a very simple integration and not-so-great ad locations. I was content with that.

    A friend of mine suggested I try and do a better integration. So I added a few different ad units and gave the Adsense ads better visibility. Only a few months later we were seeing anywhere from $1200-1500 per month consistently. With a few more changes we were up in the $2000 per month range and were quite sold on Adsense. This success lasted about 8-12 months.

    We hit our all-time high last November at about $2800 for a one month period. At that point our Adsense revenue dropped sharply the next month and every month after. Within 3-4 months we were down to $500 per month and are now struggling to hit $300 per month without completely flooding our site with ads.

    We've had a few things happen in that time frame that probably attributed to the drop (we had a problem with Google indexing our site, making our traffic drop off some) but I really don't know what the main issue could be other than maybe our site being based around content that advertisers are not willing to spend money on any more. Ad impressions are down to about 1/2 of what they were this time last year, as are clicks and CTR. But the monthly revenue is down to 1/6 - 1/8 of what it used to be, which is obviously not at all in line with the other numbers. It's almost not worth flooding our site with Adsense ads anymore with such little revenue we now get from it.

    In any event, we had gotten used to our Adsense revenue and started making business projections around those numbers. Needless to say that when the numbers dropped suddenly we couldn't know that they'd keep dropping and wouldn't recover. It has hurt us pretty bad. I guess the moral of the story is be careful when using Adsense. Don't depend on it too much because you don't know when it might just stop paying. Don't neglect other sources of revenue because they might have to carry your business at some point. Luckily we didn't put all of our eggs in the Adsense basket but it still will be extremely difficult to recover from this.

    When Adsense works it works great. When it stops working it can be devastating. Beware.

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard cpvr's Avatar
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    What ad units do you use?
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpvr View Post
    What ad units do you use?
    Several, but 468x60 and 728x90 mostly. And we do text/image.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Enthusiast outlook's Avatar
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    Adsense sucks lately.

    Maybe this is the beginning of the end... Unfortunately, there aren't other reliable alternatives
    backlinks

  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Check ads that run on site see if they have adsense or clickbank on the site. If so filter them out. I have a few sites that i have to filter new sites all the time and i am ready to drop adsense if they do not fix the smart pricing soon.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcj662 View Post
    Check ads that run on site see if they have adsense or clickbank on the site. If so filter them out. I have a few sites that i have to filter new sites all the time and i am ready to drop adsense if they do not fix the smart pricing soon.
    Do those sites have a big affect on your revenue? I figured that filtering more sites only hurts your earnings.

  7. #7
    phpLD Fanatic bronze trophy dvduval's Avatar
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    With some hard work, you may be able to work directly with advertisers and make more money. I am at a point where I already have some people willing to spend enough per month to match our current earnings, which like you, were once much higher.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Zealot
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    Quote Originally Posted by dvduval View Post
    With some hard work, you may be able to work directly with advertisers and make more money. I am at a point where I already have some people willing to spend enough per month to match our current earnings, which like you, were once much higher.
    That's what we've been doing to try and offset the loss some. It's still very frustrating to see a drop in revenue as dramatic as we saw and having nothing we could do about it.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard cpvr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by outlook View Post
    Adsense sucks lately.

    Maybe this is the beginning of the end... Unfortunately, there aren't other reliable alternatives
    It's the holiday season, so of course it'll suck.

    Several, but 468x60 and 728x90 mostly. And we do text/image.
    I see.
    Love pets? Why not discuss virtual pets?
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