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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'?




 2:42 pm on Oct 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

sorry, the thread should say Dumb, not dump. :)


 2:44 pm on Oct 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

sorry, the thread should say Dumb, not dump. :)

Maybe, but there's certainly nothing wrong with dumping mistakes that have resulted in the loss of AdSense revenue. :-)


 3:06 pm on Oct 21, 2006 (gmt 0)



 4:03 pm on Oct 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

I pulled a real Bonehead move a few weeks ago. Managing about a dozen client sites which i have set up to default to corresponding local folders. Apparently i hadnt yet set one of them and uploading an index to the clients site.Another clients index. I proceeded to take 2 weeks off. Googlebot had come by during that time and indexed it.
Obviously quite embarassing (credited client)and it was hosted on my server with a webdesign tag!

Traffic and earnings took a nosedive but imnot sure if it affected me as much as recently losing my best inlink.


 4:40 pm on Oct 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

Good one Walrus,

Keep 'em coming.

While there are some that may think this a whimsical throw away thread then think again. Every mistake a member makes, (and reports it here), on his or her sites will be saving the many in here who read about it a ton of grief.

For those reading here it will serve as a heads up warning to others, newbees or seasoned pros to NOT make the same mistakes, or in the case of mine, be very careful and CHECK your pages well before and even immediately after going live. :)



 7:25 pm on Oct 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

My CMS generate a batch file for FTP upload.

It's like

put index.htm index.htm.new
delete index.htm
rename index.htm.new index.htm

This is to minimize the downtime of a page while the upload occures.

But one time, I was in the WLAN of the press center of a big German fair. They had some strange fire wall setings.

The delete command worked
The rename command worked, but returned file not found

But why?

The reason was, that the put command did not work, but unil I found out the reason, all files on my best earning domain had been deleted.

For luck, an other FTP programm worked and I had retored all after about 1,5 hours.


 12:07 am on Oct 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

Due to 'passive FTP/not passive FTP' issues I have, on a couple of occasions, ended up with incomplete transfer of pages, resulting in a blank page being up for up to two weeks on one occasion.

Different FTP tools work differently under different firewall rules and on different servers. FTP can be a pain sometimes. I now check my pages a few minutes after upload (not immediately). Of course this is not uniquely an adsense issue.


 3:10 am on Oct 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

Very wise to do so. That's what I should have done.

Actually it is an adsense issue since you can't get clicks if your pages don't show.

More input please. :)



 3:51 am on Oct 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

Here's a real DUMB one that not only resulted in the loss of revenue but also cost me Cold Hard Cash!

One of my sites was doing really well CTR wise, so I obviously bought extra traffic for it. One fine day, I created, tested, and uploaded a new page to that site. A couple hours later I noticed my stats had stopped dead on the clicks and earnings side of things while the impressions kept rising. I of course came to WW to see if similar problems with Google stats were being reported and it was only 6 hours and $26 worth of paid traffic later that I decided to go check out my site and to my suprise instead of the usual well targetted ads, I was getting ads about "Meade and Celestron Telescopes".

As I may have mentionned before, to prevent clicking my own ads, I use replacement GIF images taken from the AS Ad format page [google.com], while I work on my sites offline. I may have forgot to flick the switch. DUUHHHHHHHH!


 7:08 am on Oct 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

Well, not a biggie but one worth looking out for.

I changed my basic text links menu for a nice, stylish javascript one. What I didn't know is that these lovely menu's can't be crawled by SE bots. I only found this out when I looked at my auto generated Google sitemap to find a total of 8 pages in it instead of a couple of thousand.

Fortunately my site was doing well in serps, and had been correctly indexed in the past so I doubt if there was any loss in the short space of time the menu was there. It's now been replaced by a basic test menu with some css formatting, and the sitemap is properly showing all pages again.

I don't think the loss was much, but had the situation continued a lot of my pages would have dropped out of search, and resulted in some loss of income.

So the message is to make sure your Google sitemap is up to date, and that bots can crawl your site properly!


 8:05 am on Oct 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

Not quite adsense - more adwords. I started a new advertising campaign in Adwords - put my PPC at 35 instead of 0.35p - worse day ever for me! I did get loads, and loads of traffic though!


 11:17 am on Oct 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

You sure made a few adsense publishers very happy that day :)


 11:50 am on Oct 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

This has got to be one of the dumbest:

I put an error page redirect to my homepage so any visitors coming in to a bad url would not be lost and would go to my home page.

Before I knew what was going on I had a dup content penalty because G thought I had 7 copies of my homepage under different urls.

visitors dropped by 1/2 for six months.


 11:56 am on Oct 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

I had a similar dumb experiment this month too. I've had to fly to another country where Internet access was very limited. Checked my sites, they weren't resolving but I thought that was because of the connection because some industry standard sites weren't resolving too. After 3 days, logged into the server control panel and you know what? The dang server was crashed and gone for whole 3 days! The same server running stably for the whole time I was sitting at my desk at home, crashed while I was away! lol

[edited by: Alioc at 12:06 pm (utc) on Oct. 22, 2006]


 11:58 am on Oct 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

You would think that after over ten years as a webmaster, I would be more careful. My most common boo-boo is not checking after I upload updated pages. Assuming the FTP is OK, there are many times when I check days later to find the page is missing. Bad habits die hard.


 7:33 am on Oct 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

All of you are so right, thanks for posting them. This is very valuable info for others to read so, please keep them coming.

About the Javascript menus. I use them BUT before each one is a link to my very complete and updated regularly sitemap page. :)

I was clued early on about that.



 8:26 am on Oct 23, 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'?

Fortunately this was pre-AdSense days when I was pushing Amazon as my principal source of revenue.

I had this "sophisticated" way of includes etc. etc. for a rotating banner ad which called another .htm file embedded within an IFrame.

I was sooooo super smart, didn't want this .htm file to be indexed by SE's so I put in the <head> of that file.

<meta name="robots" content="noindex,nofollow">

Of course, being an include....

Dumb, dumb, dumb. Took days to discover the error, never thought to look at my source from a page loaded from the internet.

A friend picked it up. Dumbest mistake I ever made.


 8:40 am on Oct 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

I did a similar one: I decided to be ultra-kosher and I added a neat robot.txt to my site.

Unfortunately I wrote it wrong, denying access to any robot anywhere.

I dived and dived for 3 months. But that was before Adsense for me too <sigh! />


 2:05 pm on Oct 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

Wow, I feel the pain!

Come on, I know there are plenty more out there :)



 5:34 pm on Oct 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

My dumbest mistake hasn't been a technical error but one of not applying AdSense sites wide from the very beginning of having an account.

Initially I only put AdSense on a few pages and a few sites since I was unsure how the trade would judge them. My first month's earnings of USD 230+ convinced me to try further however it was nearly a full year before I went sites wide and then saw a doubling of my earnings in the first month and well into 4 figures...

That really made me take notice so I started to play with placements etc and within two months doubled my earnings again.

The moral of the story, don't be so darned complacement, keep experimenting and adding relevant stuff...and you really don't want to know how many thousands of Dollars I reckon I missed out on:-(


 7:13 pm on Oct 24, 2006 (gmt 0)




 8:25 pm on Oct 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have to agree with Opti. Being afraid or too lazy to try new things can be one of the dumbest mistakes. A few years ago I kept getting calls from "some pesky sales person" according to my sec. and I just kept blowing them off for something like 6 months. Finally I accidently wound up talking to the sales person. They asked me to let them sign us up to try this thing, 'it's free, and you can try it on as few or as many of your pages as you want and if it makes you money, fine, if not it only takes seconds to remove'. We'd tried similar things and they were a waste of time. Even after I let her sign us up it was a month or two before I got around to actually testing it out finally when I got really bored one Friday afternoon. Loaded the code onto 4 or 5 otherwise unproductive pages and wound up making $67 the very first day. A few more pages and we were shortly up to $100/day. Devoted the next couple months of my time almost exclusively to studying and refining it and multiplied that figure times over. And, well the rest is history. I still think to this day about how much more we COULD have made if I'd tried it 6 months earlier. Of course I'm talking about Adsense, and I still send that particular "pesky" salesperson a very nice Xmas gift every year and thank her for being so persistent.
Oh, another big mistake I made was choosing our former webserver host and staying with them as long as we did, but that's another long story. We pay three times as much now for better hardware and auto-monitoring, but considering how much Adsense income and search engine ranking we lost every time the old one crashed and noone noticed for hours or occassionally even days, because we were out of town without a laptop or a connection. There is no question picking a bad hosting company is a big money losing mistake.
Oh yeah, and ALWAYS make sure to match up your comment start and end flags!


 12:25 am on Oct 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

I use the following code at the bottom of my pages.
<strong><font color="#666666" face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="1">Last Updated
<!-- #BeginDate format:Am1 -->October 18, 2006<!-- #EndDate -->

For some reason, on saving, Dreamweaver will occasionally insert it elsewhere in the file, overwriting a few characters of the existing code. About two weeks ago I started a seasonal Adwords campaign, but I couldn't figure why the Adsense wasn't bringing in the revenue. Checking the page, the Date code had been inserted right in the middle of the Adsense code.

Maybe there is something to this 'check your work first' thing.


 4:46 am on Oct 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

"Never fix what is working."

I had a good income going and decided to convert my existing hand coded HTML pages to a CMS. Totally slipped my mind that it was my old pages that were indexed in the SERPS. Suddenly, 2 years of hard work of backlinking, etc. went down the drain. My listings got _almost_ totally wiped out from the search engines. Biggest boo boo yet.


 10:06 am on Oct 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

My dumbest mistake was replacing the site's root index page with another index page of a sub directory due to an FTP error. My visitors would have got really confused what they see at my home page for nearly 8 hrs.
Always load the pages in the browser after you upload.


 10:10 am on Oct 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

I deleted a 150 page site once (all hand made) by accident with no backup.

I managed to get 99% of it out of googles cache fortunately, but it took a week of work to get it back online.

These things happen...



 10:17 am on Oct 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

I am in a dumb moment, been there for a while:

Can't get myself to let go and hire people to do what I am doing cheaply, 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!


 3:27 pm on Oct 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

Wish I knew how to help you Hobbs but trust isn't a commodity that can be bought and sold. Hope you get it ironed out.



 4:21 pm on Oct 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

You can't. It is in Hobbes' nature to distrust people ("homo hominis lupus") ;P

This 78 message thread spans 3 pages: 78 ( [1] 2 3 > >
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