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Google AdSense Forum

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When Should A Site Begin to Think About AdSense?

 4:04 pm on Aug 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

Hi. I was wondering what your thoughts are on when would be a good time to start implementing Google AdSense? What would be a good number of visits per month and how many page views?




 9:12 pm on Aug 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

Getting traffic and back links is easier when your site doesn't have ads. If you think you don't need the extra help anymore, and if you think the money you'll be making per day is worthwhile (more than a few cents), then I guess the site is ready.

Just don't be in a hurry to make a few cents in the short term while missing out on longer term benefits.


 11:28 pm on Aug 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

If you plan to put ads on the site the honest thing to do is put them on from the beginning.

Otherwise you're just intentionally misleading (lying to) any sites you ask to link to you.

If you have to lie to potential link partners to get a lousy link, your site probably isn't ready for prime time anyhow.


 12:17 am on Aug 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

If you plan to put ads on the site the honest thing to do is put them on from the beginning.

So you're saying that all these big sites that were free of ads in the first stages like MySpace, Facebook, Slashdot, Digg, Hotmail to name a few and eventually put banner ads when they reached a critical mass were dishonest? Twitter is free in every way now, it doesn't mean it's going to be that way forever. Some form of advertising or premium subscription may appear down the road.

Most serious CPM ad networks won't even accept you before you have a certain level of traffic. Even Adsense kick people out after some time if your account is stale.

I don't see anything dishonest with focusing on traffic and getting your site known first before trying to monetize it, if and when there is some interest.

Getting links nowadays is hard enough as it is when so many webmasters have become PR hoarders.

I understand your point if a site turns suddenly into an ugly MFA, then I'd also eventually remove links to such a site, but for a honest site, there's nothing wrong with taking things one step at a time.


 12:34 am on Aug 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

250 page views a day


 12:51 am on Aug 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

So you're saying...

This is what I said

If you plan to put ads on the site the honest thing to do is put them on from the beginning.

We are talking about

a good time to start implementing Google AdSense?

The intent to put ads on the site at some point is clear.

but for a honest site, there's nothing wrong with taking things one step at a time.

Sure there may be some time before a new site can get accepted by ad networks, affiliate programs etc., but then there would be nothing wrong with at least putting up a prominent "advertise here" link in an appropriate ad spot on a new site.

Why not be honest from the start?


 2:14 am on Aug 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

Why not be honest from the start?

The nature of the question implies that there has been dishonesty. The reality of the situation is that I have not asked anyone to link to my site, it has just happened. So I feel quite alright about putting AdSense on my site. What I was really looking for was some numbers, so maybe if I rephrase the question... I will reach 10,000 visits this month and more than 25,000 page views. Is it the opinion of this forum that those numbers would be worth trying to generate revenue with AdSense?


 2:48 am on Aug 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

I think people are so used to seeing Adsense that you can actually put it on from the get go and be okay, as long as it is positioned well.


 2:56 am on Aug 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

Why not be honest from the start?

IMO, ads are considered a small (but often necessary) irritation by most, I don't see the point of irritating your users already without making any money in return.

If avoiding ads at first makes the word of mouth a little bit easier, it's an easy decision. If you proclaim your site will always be free of ads and then add them when you get the links you wanted, now that would be dishonest.

Your "Advertise on this site here" placeholder is an interesting disclaimer of your intentions, if not a bit on the purist side, but what if you're not looking to manually manage advertisers?

Is it the opinion of this forum

I think it's ready, try it for a week or two, see how it goes. If you're making a few cents per day, I think we can agree however that it is not worth it yet and you should go back ads free.


 2:59 am on Aug 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

The nature of the question...
Sorry about that, it wasn't meant as a accusation. I thought we were talking in general about new sites as opposed to already established ones, not about a specific established site.

I will reach 10,000 visits this month and more than 25,000 page views.

Those numbers are more than enough to justify having ads on the pages in my opinion. How well they perform might depend on the niche of course.

Congratulations on getting the site to that much traffic.


 5:14 am on Aug 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

Sorry about that, it wasn't meant as a accusation.

No harm done at all, and no apology necessary but accepted nonetheless. And many thanks to all of you for your kind advice. I'm going to very much enjoy being a participant here.


 7:39 am on Aug 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

OneThousandArms, what type of site is it ? Is it a forum ? If so, they do not make any money.


 2:30 pm on Aug 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

Why not be honest from the start?

It isn't a question of honesty. It's a question of whether a few pennies a day from AdSense ads justify setting screen real estate aside for those ads. There might be a more productive way to use that space--such as promoting other content on the site--until traffic reaches a level that makes ads and/or affiliate links worthwhile.


 3:46 pm on Aug 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

Is it a forum ?

Lone_Wolf, it is not a forum, just a blog with a targeted niche.


 6:25 pm on Aug 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

Most of my sites survive just on natural links these days and many have Adsense ads, so I really don't think it bothers most people to link to a site with ads. Most major news and magazine sites have spammy ads all over the place and it doesn't stop them from getting links.


 7:19 pm on Aug 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

Having some ads is no problem as long as the core content of the page is solidly worthwhile, and you keep a light hand about how many ads you spread around.


 1:37 am on Aug 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

Getting links without asking for it, (and equally with asking for it I guess) is much easier of you do not have ads on a site.

Putting ads on a site might even lead to some removing the links, so be it if they chose to be like that, their choice.

Calling it cheating to plan to monetize a site isn't right IMHO. It might be called cheating if you use the "no ads" as part of the convincing them to link to you, but as long as you don't lie about the intention to eventually add ads, there's no cheating in my book.

Anyway, ads should not be a factor in getting links anyway, the content should be the factor, but unfortunately all too many can't stand somebody else breaking even, even those who don't have true ads, but live off of donations and the like.

The best strategy I think remains to start without ads and stay that way as long as you hold out and build up traffic, links and a community.

Also there have been numbers linking unique visitors to revenue on Adsense out here of between 1 to 2 cents per visitor (depending on site and niche as measure by adsense+analytics over a significantly large sample)

So building up those visit levels before you get less incoming traffic than you might get without ads can be smart, esp if it only would bring in a few cents anyway.


 8:12 pm on Aug 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

Very good points above, anyway if a site has REALLY good content, one would link to it anyway even if it has Adsense. Yes, a site with ads from the beginning with no traffic is usually a bad sign, but not a general rule.

Just try to avoid spammy look and focus on being serious and honest about your website and there you go.

If you have little traffic AVOID Adsense. Ugly sites or sites with little content or traffic might actually "perform" well with Adsense, but Adsense might be used as a DOOR OUT, people in fact are leaving your site. You'll see there is a paradox on traffic there unless you really have good content-traffic already.

Don't burn your site out.


 2:10 pm on Sep 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

My first site was around for maybe six years before I put AdSense on it.

But it didn't start to get significant links until well after I'd placed the ads (probably because by that time it was getting pretty significant traffic and media attention)

My point being that, yes, if your content is valuable, people will link to you, ads or not.

I myself don't like to put ads on a site until it's been up and gathering links and traffic (and refining my content) for at least six months. Obviously it depends on a lot of factors, but that's probably the average.


 2:58 pm on Sep 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

It's 2009. Anyone with a clue understands that a website represents an investment of time and money. Anyone who begrudges another the opportunity to recoup that investment, if for no other reason than to make their website and/or web endeavors financially self-sustaining, is likely someone who is either pure beyond ordinary reason or who has yet to make the connection between the expense/costs of living and their life.

I would expect that people of reason and life experience, including those who yield the awesome power to linking, will ordinarily ask themselves, when thinking about linking:

  • Is there value here, in this website?
  • Is this site a resource?
  • Is this site somehow better, in some way, that others?
  • Has this person/website wasted my time?
  • Is this website, on its face, more about making coin than making my life - the visitor/reader's life - easier?

My daughter and I have launched a few sites recently, each with what we believe to be a measure of thoughtful, thought provoking or helpful content. When the sites had about 15-20 articles we added Adsense. Lightly. And I plan to keep things that way.

Adsense light?

Yes, in part because the site's focus is, and always will, be the visitor's needs/interests.

Also, based on my own experience I accept that there's a link between ad saturation and a dearth of link love. Sites that live by the heatmap and insist on putting big blocks of ads above the fold cause me to flee, so even IF the site's content is of some value, the ad-revenue strategy turns me away before I begin to explore. Large ad blocks above the fold send me the message that ad revenue is more important than the subject matter.

Lastly, if Google's ad-relevance technology actually works, then by turning down the ad-volume or the ad to signal ratio I believe, the ads that are displayed should those with the highest relevance to the topic of the page/site. Therefore, one presumably filters for the very best or most relevant ads by limiting the ad space to fewer ads or ad blocks, assuming there is decent ad inventory. The lower the inventory the few ads you should consider "allowing" to insure maximal relevance.

If you have 8 ads appearing in 2 large blocks what's the chance that some of the ads will be entirely off topic, marginally relevant, distracting or detrimental in some way?

Keep the advertising light and chances are visitors - and linkers - won't be put off. Make the content as valuable or more valuable than the ads and chances are the clicks that you generate will be valuable to advertisers, i.e., perhaps fewer but more valuable clicks - and maybe more visitors and clicks over time due to the value.


 8:10 pm on Sep 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

I would say webmaster should put Adsense on their website when he/she doesn't care about the site anymore (in terms of taking the site to "the next level").


 8:28 pm on Sep 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

webmaster should put Adsense on their website when he/she doesn't care about the site anymore

I am sure this will draw some intresting comments.

OneThousandArms I have found our earnings do much better with less ads pasted all over the site.

I will tell ya this if I hit a site were the top is adsense be Google, Yahoo, or MSN I am a gonner, or if the conteent is plastered with adsense it is a big see ya latter.

Keep it light and I bet ya do great.


 8:41 pm on Sep 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

Never in a million years I would give/share my visitors/customers data away on any of my sites, and would not reveal my site traffic/usage to any outside ad agency even if I have to shot down the site for not making any money at all.

Especially to the on that controls more that double digit % traffic to my main money maker.

Few years ago we made a deal with several large sites in our niche that we exchanged links for customer benefits of finding more info on products and benefits and that the usage data will not be shared with G, M, Y and such. We are still on page 1, all 6 of us for many keyword combinations on all 3. And the ones that did not went bancrupt or on page 6(no not NYPOST Page6).

No harsh feeling for AdSence/Adwords, would'n know much, Haven't used it since 1/5/2005.



 9:14 pm on Sep 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

Google really should call the program 'Adsense for underachievers'.

If you're at the point of looking at paid advertising, spend the time to find someone with a product or service that's targetted and relevant. Give them a call or send them an email and cut an advertising or affiliate deal.

You'll make more money, and that kind of advertising can possibly make your site more attractive to visitors instead of being a drawback.

Case in point: I've got an arrangement with an advertiser that's cutting out adsense on quite a few sites - and the new advertiser is paying $20-$30CPM. Adsense doesn't pay a fraction of that - but I had to pick up the phone and do some legwork to get that.

I've got another incidental project where I've looked at advertisers, and there's some very cool products and services in the niche. My intention is to gather a bunch of them together and offer affiliate advertising on the site. Even if I only make as much as adsense (doubtful), my visitors are going to be presented with some really neat stuff that's integral to the niche. Well targetted and neat content - the ads then become part of the content and not seperate from it.


 11:54 pm on Sep 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

I think saying Adsense is for underachievers is a bit misleading. For large sites that cover hundreds of thousands of topics it can be daunting to try and sell and manage ad inventory for all the possible niches that Adsense manages for you automatically.

For us, Adsense is our ad partner. They make life easier for a small cut. They do the legwork that as a solo webmaster with a family don't have time for.

I am hardly an underachiever. Well, at least from an income perspective. ;-)


 12:23 am on Sep 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

Maximillianos I suspect your case is mostly unique. Certainly there's more than one adsense millionaire out there so it will work 'well' for some - but I believe that's the exception. But for most of us there are ways to monetize our sites that will pay 10X what Google does.

And I say that as someone who's been earning enough to just barely clear the threshold to get a monthly check from them :) (though it's darn close some months). And yes, all the sites that I run adsense on are the ones that 'I don't care about'. Generally the sites I throw up trash on to testing ranking stuff, sites I'd be embarrassed to show my mother. And for all of them that I can think of, I'd make more money if I picked up the phone and called a few folks.

Why don't I monetize them better? Same problem you've got - not enough time!


 12:30 am on Sep 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

Let me provide a contrast/comparison. I've got a friend's site, they've been making pretty regularly $500-$800 a month from adsense. So you know they get some decent traffic.

I'm working on getting them some advertising that will pay them $4000-$10000 per month. And that's what they get after I take *my* cut.

With that kind of difference, adsense starts looking like an underachiever strategy by about the end of the first month. Or as Incredibill calls it, webmaster welfare :).


 1:22 am on Sep 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

You are probably right about me being an exception. I know there is a good money in direct ad sales for some niches. But in my arena, G does not appear to be taking that big of a cut. At least from what I've experimented with. And they are the perfect partner to deliver the hundreds (perhaps thousands) of different advertisers to my readers. Not many other ad networks have the client base they do.

For one of my smaller sites, they generate next to nothing. And for those sites I could probably use the expertise of someone like yourself to help find some creative ways to monetize them. ;-)


 5:51 am on Sep 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

I place adsense on a site as soon as it has quality content, which is generally from week one.

The locations are pre-determined so not placing them on the site immediately would leave holes in the template. I've started earning money on sites less than two weeks old, thanks in part to quick Google indexing.


 8:26 am on Sep 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

Interesting debate. I worked at a publishing company until May this year. One site worked really well with direct advertisers...we are talking fairly large deals to sponsor just the homepage header. You would never be able to make that sort of money on just one page with AdSense. I am not knocking it though, it can work well, but it does depend on the type of content and volume of traffic generated.

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