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This 68 message thread spans 3 pages: 68 ( [1] 2 3 > >     
So it's true. Ugly pages DO perform well with adsense
I Will Make It

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3008224 posted 10:01 pm on Jul 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

I was reading on adsense blogspot, and I found one article which really got my attention. There was some talking about optimization, followed by a few pictures.

Now, this is what really made me open my eyes:
"AdSense revenue nearly doubled, to $650 per day."

[adsense.blogspot.com ]

I clicked the link, and got to -what I call- an ugly site.

(If the owner of this site reads this, I'm very sorry to call your site ugly, but in my opinion it really is, and by the way, I guess I can call your page whatever I want, as long as you earn $650/day.)

I have to say I'm confused. How on earth would this be possible? I've spent about 3 months now on a new site, brand new design, which is good.. Yep, I'm making a great looking page, which also is very userfriendly. But I'm thinking: Should I just drop my design, start all over, make a crappy design, or a "none-professional design", and just don't give a damn about what my visitors thinks of it?

I still remember the discussions we had over this guy who makes what? $10.000 / day with adsense, this dating-guru from Canada.. Everyone was talking about his badly designed page, and I agreed. It was simple, and kind of ugly.. But still! $10.000 a day!

Does anyone of you have any comments on this?
Do you know of more "ugly" sites which brings in tons of silver for the owners? Please let me know, so I can have a few more ideas for my new page-design.

Best regards
IWMI

 

OptiRex



 
Msg#: 3008224 posted 10:32 pm on Jul 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

I clicked the link, and got to -what I call- an ugly site.

As many of us dislike Alexa, did you check the traffic for this site?

If I had this much traffic and was still earning pro-rata, then they'd be featuring me bigger than Markus007's dating site!

Goes to show that if you choose the right topic that the traffic is there...and yeah, it's butt ugly down to the font sizing on the info pages.

Ugly but effective comes to mind:-)

loganz

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3008224 posted 10:38 pm on Jul 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

optirex is right. if you have the traffic, it doesnt matter how your site looks. in my adsense beginnings, i spent a lot of time trying to make my site 'nice'.. then i figured out if i dumb-down my site, to the basics, basic formatting, not so much graphics, it will load faster, which in turn decreases server load, and increases the amount of traffic my site could handle.. which increased revenue. but that is only if you have high traffic, i was running about 15 millions page views a month then.

netmeg

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 3008224 posted 10:46 pm on Jul 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

The one site I have that has AdSense on it - I wouldn't call it butt ugly, but it's certainly nothing to write home about. Not a single graphic on the entire site, except for the numbers on the search counter. Mostly greys and white, with a touch of red - and I did that deliberately because I learned that people wanted to print the results of their searches, so I wanted to make it easy to print. I don't particularly like the looks of it myself; I have much better looking sites for other purposes. But when it's in season, it gets the traffic, and the clicks. Not approaching the site you mentioned above, but it does pretty well, and when I tried sprucing it up a bit, people complained and the clicks went down.

ann

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ann us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3008224 posted 10:54 pm on Jul 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

No secret to that. It could be a beautiful page and it would be just as popular....everyone looooves puppies and cats. :)

Ann

huummmm?

arikgub

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3008224 posted 4:17 am on Jul 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

The site has so many ads on the home page that it looks like a spammy MFA on the first sight. IMHO, that's what it makes it look a bit ugly, not the design ...

WolfLover

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3008224 posted 4:31 am on Jul 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

This is EXACTLY what I've been saying about my own site. My site is not ugly, but to make the most AdSense money, it just does not work when the ads are smaller and put in places that make my site more attractive. The main difference with my site however, is I only have one large rectangle on all pages and some departments have one more rectangle. I tried the more ads, but it all resulted in lower eCPM overall, so in my case, one large rectangle is what is working best. My eCPM is quite good and CTR is quite good. If I could get more traffic, I'd be making a killing!

Anyone know the secret to more traffic without having to pay PPC? I'm at the top for many keywords, have lots of content especially for an ecommerce site, just need some tips to increase traffic. Thanks!

I Will Make It

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3008224 posted 8:22 pm on Jul 18, 2006 (gmt 0)


The site has so many ads on the home page that it looks like a spammy MFA on the first sight. IMHO, that's what it makes it look a bit ugly, not the design ...

I agree fully on that one! But I wouldn't even call that design a design.. it's links and ads on a boring background. But if that's what it takes to be able to quit my job, that's what I'll do!

I'll go to open my Word.exe now.. time to earn some money doing web publishing.

humblebeginnings

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3008224 posted 8:48 pm on Jul 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Oh dear, you think that's an ugly site?
I have seen much, much, much worse...

Hobbs

WebmasterWorld Senior Member hobbs us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3008224 posted 8:52 pm on Jul 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

EEEK is all I can say,
How in the world did he get enough links for a PR6?
I wouldn't link to this site even if it belonged to my own mother!
Give me a break, content framed within AdSense ads, and featured as a success?
I'd rather starve than own such a site.
I adore puppies, but I would give this one the fire hydrant treatment!

Frank_Rizzo

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3008224 posted 9:26 pm on Jul 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

The reason why revenue doubled is because the ads now no longer look like ads - they look like menu / feature boxes for the rest of the site.

At a guess I'd say that many users of the site are clicking the ads without realising they are ads. They see a bit of text on the right hand side which says "how to clean a shiatsu" and they assume it is an article by the dog site rather than an ad for shiatsu cleaning lotion.

I wonder if the advertisers see 'ad / site blending' as popular - have the advertisers seen their returns double....

[edited by: Frank_Rizzo at 9:28 pm (utc) on July 18, 2006]

bedlam

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3008224 posted 9:44 pm on Jul 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

At a guess I'd say that many users of the site are clicking the ads without realising they are ads

I think this hits the nail on the head. Whether it's deliberate or just inept, the strategy in use here is 'make the actual navigation so difficult to find that users have no choice but to click all over the damned place'.

-b

rick92

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3008224 posted 10:27 pm on Jul 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

LOL lol LOL lol LOL

That site has 8 years and they still use frontpage.. i started a site the other day with dreamweaver and i havent even finish it and it already looks better than that one...

The reason of the revenue could be because the site text looks like adsense ads and ads like a menu...

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 3008224 posted 10:34 pm on Jul 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

That site has 8 years and they still use frontpage.. i started a site the other day with dreamweaver and i havent even finish it and it already looks better than that one...

What does the authoring tool have to do with it?

Garbage in, garbage out.

exseo

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3008224 posted 11:17 pm on Jul 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

In the bottom nav menu on that ugly site, look at the link that says "DBI Traffic."

2,750,000 visitors and 15.5 million pageviews in Jan.'05. It's now a year and a half later. I wonder how their traffic is now?

Lets assume their traffic only increased to 3 million monthly visitors and about 16 million pageviews. That's 100,000 visitors a day and a little over half million pageviews.

$650 a day is like (approx) $1.17 ECPM

That's pretty freakin good for a high traffic site.

Ugly or not, that's some nice play money. I'd uglify my sites if it meant a purse like that at the end of every month.

-P-

MarkWolk

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3008224 posted 11:24 pm on Jul 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

So it's true. Ugly pages DO perform well with adsense
It has been true with advertising in general since it exists. 15 years ago I worked for a national television channel and our viewers were complaining about poorly made commercials (ads) for washing powders; these ads were indeed so appalling that we were ashamed of running them. After consulting the washing powders companies and their advertising agencies, it turned out that they knew how to make nice ads, but their studies had shown that ugly ads are more efficient, so they were sticking to them.
rocker

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3008224 posted 11:29 pm on Jul 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

How in the world did he get enough links for a PR6?
I wouldn't link to this site even if it belonged to my own mother!

Somehow they managed to get 20 dmoz listings.

gamiziuk

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3008224 posted 12:03 am on Jul 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Somehow they managed to get 20 dmoz listings.

TWENTY?!

Site must belong to a DMOZ editor.

TypicalSurfer

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3008224 posted 12:37 am on Jul 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Blend the ads so they look like site navigation and increase clickthru.. woo hoo how ingenius. No wonder advertisers are turning off the content network.

Click through increased two-fold but I'm sure conversions for the sap advertisers didn't, pretty lame example by google, I'm surprised they even show it.

Scurramunga

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3008224 posted 5:44 am on Jul 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Did anybody notice the adword ads displayed on the close-up screenshots? Take a look at them especially the second one. Ebay ads, mfa's and scam sites and phone number ads must pay well!

I guess with the kind of traffic that site enjoys, you can't go wrong.

Hobbs

WebmasterWorld Senior Member hobbs us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3008224 posted 10:53 am on Jul 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

2,750,000 visitors and 15.5 million pageviews in Jan.'05

No
I measured his Alexa reach against mine, and I am doing many MULTIPLES higher traffic than he does, my estimate for him is nothing over 300k monthly visitors.

One more thing to observe,
He says his earnings doubled by just removing ad borders
So this review is about blending
Now imagine his page with ad borders!
(sorry had to go throw up, I'm back)

So here's what we know :
- He does tons of ad views
- He cannot be converting at all with those kind of ads
- His CTR can never be high with all those ad and link units per page

So my conclusion again is that this is only a blending case study..

He used to make $100 to 300 daily max
Did blending, had a traffic boost for one month, earnings shot to the roof, got contacted by Google, did the interview..

Right now he is most probably suffering from a SmartPricing bite below the tail, and struggling to make $100 daily again.

Or should be if there is any justice in the world.

Alioc

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3008224 posted 10:53 am on Jul 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

I guess with the kind of traffic that site enjoys, you can't go wrong.

THAT is the point!

rj87uk

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3008224 posted 11:03 am on Jul 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

The link didn't work.

Scurramunga

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3008224 posted 11:04 am on Jul 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

THAT is the point!

If I allowed similar quality ads to remain on my site I would earn next to ziltch

[edited by: Scurramunga at 11:06 am (utc) on July 19, 2006]

rj87uk

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3008224 posted 11:24 am on Jul 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have took the borders off the ads on one of my sites. I will let you know know some stats in 7 days time.

I Will Make It

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3008224 posted 11:44 am on Jul 19, 2006 (gmt 0)


I have took the borders off the ads on one of my sites. I will let you know know some stats in 7 days time.

I eager to hear about the results from that!

Scurramunga

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3008224 posted 11:45 am on Jul 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Right now he is most probably suffering from a SmartPricing bite below the tail, and struggling to make $100 daily again.

You are probably right, it was probably a good month's spike.

TampaLou

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3008224 posted 6:51 pm on Jul 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

I think the lesson here isn't so much about ugly sites, but that content is still king on the internet. Based on the traffic, it seems to me that it has content that plenty of people want, with a topic (dogs) that has plenty of would-be advertisers.

MrStitch

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3008224 posted 8:34 pm on Jul 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

Like it or not, that person made a smart move to earn some cash. If i had the opportunity, i'd do the same thing. Afterall... some of us have kids to feed.

I wouldn't say that site is ugly tho. To a degree, yes. But i've seen much MUCH worse. Case in point, the site i'm refering to is #1 for it's search term. But if you look at the visits vs. page views, you can clearly see that people come in, and leave.

I was hoping that Google would somehow add this into their algorythm. A site with X amount of sub pages should have at least 3 page views to be considered valuable... or something like that.

A site that appears non-profesional, non user-friendly, and has the obvious traffic numbers to prove it; should then be taken down a notch in the SERPS, imo. Otherwise, in the end, Google is supporting a site that offers nothing to the public, except optical tumors.

I'd post a link to the site, but I don't wanna get in trouble.

JoeS

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3008224 posted 9:29 pm on Jul 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

My site design is horrible. I really haven't changed the main page in five years. However, the click-through rate is about 10% so I don't want to mess with it.

I think a bad design can confuse the reader and they will accidentally click on the text ads.

This 68 message thread spans 3 pages: 68 ( [1] 2 3 > >
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