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This 78 message thread spans 3 pages: < < 78 ( 1 [2] 3 > >     
dumb mistakes resulting in loss of adsense revenue

 2:39 pm on Oct 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

This must have been the month for 'dumb webmaster mistakes'. Or, "how to lose money with adsense without even trying".

My story:

I could not understand why the traffic had dropped so drastically on my middle site...checking stats not site.

Then after 3 days of worry and belaboring the adsense stats I visited my own site (heh, instead of WW) and the index page wouldn't load! Bottom bar said done but nothing was there. No 404 as the poor thing thought itself loaded.

Anyway, I quick opened it up for edit and found some minor changes I had made over the weekend that had somehow resulted in a major mess up of my header tags.....teach me to take that extra moment to recheck the pages I 'fix'.

Anyone else like to share how they bit themselves in the, ahem, foot regarding loss of adsense revenue due to their own 'dumb webmaster mistakes'?




 4:34 pm on Oct 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

Like fi5hbone above, I screwed up when I redesigned the site. For some reason, I thought it would be smart to remove all the old pages from the server thinking that Google, Yahoo and the other engines would pick up the new pages. Wrong. What happened was I ended up losing a bunch of well indexed pages that had been bringing in traffic.

Once I realised my mistake, I put back the old pages and they're once again reindexed even though there are no back links to any of them!

The other big mistake I made was not experimenting with different ad sizes near enough. I recently switched over to a large rectangle from a leaderboard and the response to the new format has been nothing short of amazing - CTR and earnings have doubled and tripled!


 9:18 pm on Oct 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

I put amazon omakase links on my site once and they earned exactly $0.... does that count?

I still don't have AS on my homepage, which accounts for about 10% of my traffic, is that a dumb mistake?

I don't carry any advertising on about 7,000 photo gallery pages, is that a mistake?

I don't show ads to logged-in forum visitors, is that a mistake?

My host had a crash and my most recent backup was 1 month old, and the host's most recent good backup was 2 weeks old... now THAT WAS a dumb mistake on my part.

[edited by: RonS at 9:19 pm (utc) on Oct. 25, 2006]


 2:48 pm on Oct 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

homo hominis lupus

:-) I will look that up and tell you if it is true!

I have no issue with trusting people generally, but the problem in our field is in the "eye of the beholder" the more you learn the more you feel it is child's play, the less you trust your own success.. Also it is an established fact that our barrier to entry is really low, right? Here I am spreading my fears ;-)

Jordo needs a drink

 9:36 am on Oct 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

I bet I win with this one...

I wasn't going to post this, mainly because of embarrassment, but figured maybe others can learn from my stupid, stupid mistake.

So here goes... I actually typo'd by domain name on 2 navigation links. You may be thinking that's not so bad, except for the fact that I didn't catch it, BUT, some smart person did!

Someone noticed I typo'd my domain on the links, and actually registered the typo'd domain. Sooooo, 2 of my navigation links were sending my visitors to another website that was parked with nothing but ads.


 4:19 pm on Oct 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

I could grow tenfold if I did, but afraid of competition, can't get myself to trust a stranger with my proprietary work, a vicious cycle!

Guess you need someone to lazy to develop their own projects. Someone unmotivated who just has the capability to do basic tasks and doesnt understand technical aspects of web design.
Hmmm, where do i send an app? :)

Matt Probert

 6:37 pm on Oct 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

Anyone else like to share how they bit themselves in the, ahem, foot regarding loss of adsense revenue due to their own 'dumb webmaster mistakes'?

Er, like forgetting to remove their Mediapartners-Google disallow reference from their robots.txt, so as to allow the Adsense content robot access to the site to determine what it's about <g>

Heck, anyone can make a mistake!



 6:57 pm on Oct 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

LOL @ probert.

I just found a long standing Duh mistake. I was changing colors and ads around when I hit this one page (on my computer) that was totally blank!

I quick went to site online and yep, it was also blank.

went to my spare copies area-opened it, quick made the changes I was implimenting and uploaded it.

I still have no clue how it happened but it was that way for months.




 9:46 pm on Oct 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

Once, (I don't know why) ended up with a refresh to my domain in the index page. So, after almost cero activity on the website, a visitor calls and says... "everytime I load the page, doesn't give me time to click on anything as it reloads and reloads itself..." too bad huh?


 11:38 pm on Oct 30, 2006 (gmt 0)




 12:57 am on Oct 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

I don't get an "ouch" or a "yikes" for not having a current backup of my site (which includes an active forum, and photo gallery...)?

Sheeeesh, just how dumb do I have to be to get sympathy around here? :)

(Would that be more accurate as "commiseration" than "sympathy"? )

[edited by: RonS at 12:59 am (utc) on Oct. 31, 2006]


 5:23 am on Oct 31, 2006 (gmt 0)


I offer you my warmest sympathies and heartfelt commiseration to one and all who, like me, have participated in the 'I think I must have been sleeping' club!



 8:49 am on Oct 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

This is the dumbest mistake and it was preadsense.
I was working with new windows 2000 server with Remote desktop connection while working with dual lan card on my system. I thought there was too much traffic on my lan card while I was not doing anything on my local system, so I right clicked on it and disabled the card. Ouch! It was actually serverís LAN card in RDC and the server was unreachable with many sites down for 5 hrs until an engineer turned the lan card on.


 12:56 pm on Oct 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

I would never trust ftp for uploading web sites.

rsync over ssh is the way to go. It's secure, reliable, and uses bandwidth efficiently.


 1:57 pm on Oct 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

If I have learnt anything over the years (and something that is demonstrated time and time again with posts in this thread) is to check the live site after making modifications or uploads to the live site. Regardless of how trivial or error free the script changes are locally or how "successful" uploading and publishing files are; their impact needs to be checked live online upon publishing.


 2:28 pm on Oct 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'd have to say the biggest thing that catches me out is forgetting to check changes to pages in IE. That's got me a number of times recently, especially now that everyone I know also uses Firefox or Safari it's becoming increasingly longer before an IE specific bug is noticed.


 3:23 pm on Oct 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

Oh Lord!

Overnight we have become a front page thread.

Well, keep 'em coming, the world wants to know :)

And maybe needs a little help.

This morning I noticed a grey bar on my newest site and went to Google and could not find it anywhere (copy and Paste) After awhile I looked really close at the URL and noticed it had a dot com dot/ at the end. I thought "self, that is not right. Have you ever seen that before(scratches head)". Self replied, "nope, never!".

I searched til I was blue in the face but the upshot of it is: It took that way when I bookmarked it several months ago in IE and that was the only instance of it I could find.

Using the correct URL the PR 4 is showing and all seems good. I deleted that bookmark and did another which works fine....

This confounded web is going to drive me crazy(er)! I hate not finding what caused it but at least I can live with the results. :)

Some dumb mistake I must have made in the beginning and fixed during tweaking.



 3:45 pm on Oct 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

Here's a stupid question....

I have a PR5 site created two years ago, updated several times a week, and while that sounds hunky-dory, I didn't realize at the time that my designer had loaded about a million different sized white "images" as part of the design. So load time for the site has always been an issue for dialup people because each of those white images (invisible to the eye because they just fill in the background on the page) have to load individually. It's fine on Broadband, though.

So over the last two years I've done my best to become a smart web person, learned CSS, Photoshop, SEO, all that good stuff and now have my redesign for the site all ready....a nice clean CSS design, very optimized yet still keeping the personality and content of the old version of the my site. I intend to keep all the original file names and leave the internal navigation of the site the same, just load a new CSS stylesheet and use a different layout on the pages.

The stupid question is...will that screw me up? I had thought that keeping the same file names for all the pages, plus the same navigation, should keep the spiders happy when they view the new page, but I'm still a little superstitious about suddenly losing page rank and all that organic traffic overnight because the site is being served through a completely new design template and things are laid out a bit differently.

What do the veterans think? When I upload the new site, which is more likely to happen:

a) All will be exactly the same with traffic, PR, etc.;

b) There could be a momentary dip of a few months until the spiders get used to the redesign;

c) I disappear from the search engines and end up starting over again, reborn as Ms. Crankypants.

I have over 2000 backlinks, so that's a good thing.

Anyway, just thought I'd throw a dumb question here into the thread because I'd rather not be contributing here in a few weeks saying, "Look at the dumb thing I did!"

Thanks in advance for feedback!



 4:31 pm on Oct 31, 2006 (gmt 0)


That is a very good post but not appropriate for this thread.

Please copy and paste it in the css forum and perhaps you will get help there.

This thread is about dumb mistakes ALREADY made that affected AdSense earnings.

Thank you for posting but that is too far off topic.



 4:49 pm on Oct 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

My dumb AdSense mistake was putting it on a site for scale model cars. Despite using the special AdSense tags telling it what to ignore and what to concentrate on I mostly got ads for a different type of model. The human kind. I didn't think AdSense even allowed that type of ad. My members certainly didn't appreciate those ads. After several months of complaints and virtually no income I dropped AdSense.


 5:14 pm on Oct 31, 2006 (gmt 0)


If that was a good while back you might want to give them another chance...when they get it right :) it gives a good living.



 6:37 pm on Oct 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

It was almost a year ago Ann. I'd rather not run the risk of offending my members again. :)


 12:47 am on Nov 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

Come on people,

I know there are a lot more out there.

tell us about them so we can all be on our toes.

*G* try typing with a baby mini schnauzer on your lap!


 1:08 pm on Nov 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

The single biggest mistake was having sites existing and up since 2000, and not trying adsense on them until 2005.

2 years of missed revenue.

I blame it on drinking.


 5:53 pm on Nov 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

Not adsense, but it's pretty stupid..

Two oscommerce sites, one of which was run by a product feed from a backend system, the other was just run by a colleague through the admin interface. Uploaded a product feed one day.. to the wrong website..

The unique ids collided quite a lot so not only did I add a load of irrelevant products and categories, I overwrote quite a large number of products. Latest backup was a almost a week old, and quite a bit of work had been done in the interim. Lets just say I wasn't too popular for a while..


 6:16 pm on Nov 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

Seems like this thread is a very good place to make posts like "I have been banned from AdSense" because those webmasters really did dumb mistakes...


 6:33 pm on Nov 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

Lets just say I wasn't too popular for a while..

LOL That is a good one.

Hobbes: Sorry if that other post came across as making light of a tough situation. I really meant it to be helpful, may have been an ill timed attempt at humour.


 7:53 pm on Nov 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

My biggest mistake was failing to tinker with adlinks when they first came out. Almost a year later, after reading what some people were doing with them, I found a way to integrate one into my home page. Earnings up over 50%....

Lesson? Try different formats and locations. Don't assume that one will work and one won't.

Great idea for a thread, Ann.


 9:06 pm on Nov 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

Apologies for the off-topic post earlier - I will repost in a more related section.

And Ann, typing with a baby schnauzer on your lap must be quite a challenge! It's usually 1.5 cats in my lap, here (more than one wants to get on, but only about 1.5 actually fit on the lap. :)



 11:24 pm on Nov 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

not trying more popular niches...for years. now that I have I'm making more than ever...and it's soooo much easier than building the sites in the niches I was going after before.

my advice, try a bit of everything all the time.


 12:33 am on Nov 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

damn I hate this thread :)

here's one I just found -- A couple weeks ago I started using the psa's to send traffic to other sites of mine (waiting years to do that is one mistake), today I just happened to click on one of my psa ads and guess what? it loads the site *in* the box where adsense is supposed to be instead of taking the user to the site they clicked on in the ad!


 1:45 am on Nov 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

Not registering my niche's widgets.com domain back in 1994 over concerns domainnames would stop to be free. Now I'd love to buy it, only the current owner is neither interested in the domain nor using it for much, not willing to talk. But has paid for it for many more years to come.

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