|Is Google AdSense a Waste Of Time?|
Thinking about trying again....
Hello everyone, it's been quite awhile since I've been on this forum.
I went from a solid four figure income every single month for several years until the middle of 2011, it started dropping down to where the last year and a half or so, it takes two months to get the minimum payout, so yeah, things have been bad.
So, when this happened, I removed AdSense from my biggest earning sites because my sites went from being number one and two for many search terms to way down on the results. I was told at this time, it was because Google had changed the algorithm and visitors were asked something about if they felt sites they were visiting had too many ads on it? Once that happened, it just wasn't worth having the ads on my site any longer.
So, my question is, has anything gotten better with that situation? I think it's ridiculous the way Google did this. One department (search) does not communicate with another department (AdSense) and you get screwed over for using one of Googles products (AdSense) because someone who uses another of Googles products (search) does not like the ads....
Now, like I said, I haven't been keeping up with AdSense any more as it makes me so little money right now, it hasn't been worth the effort.
What say you?
I've been told that when an adsense guy and an adwords guy carpool to work, not even then do they discuss their respective departments. They are completely separate.
It all depends on your traffic. If you have good quality traffic, then adsense is definitely worth it.
Welcome back. As Ember said, it's entirely a matter of traffic for some of us. I really can't complain about AdSense as such, but many of us have been Panda'd to death, why? I don't know nor can anyone else say with certainty.
Hey WolfLover ... May 5th/6th 2011 was when the Panda first shot me with its bamboo, subsequent iterations of Panda saw my earnings drop from then until January 2012 by 60%. At the end of January Google decided to rip-off all image galleries with a new image display, my income has dropped 50% since then, so since May 2011 my income is down 80% ... Compared to the glory years I am down overall 95%!
I'm very image intensive, if you are I would say don't even bother, Google doesn't give a damn about whose copyrighted material they steal.
I suppose Adsense is fine as long as you've got the traffic.
'Twas the Great Panda update of Oct 2011 that done for my traffic and thus adsense earnings (was averaging £130 per day), Penguin was the nail in the coffin of my remaining long tail traffic.
I wouldn't mind if the new results are better than my site(s), but in all honesty they aren't, they're a mess.
C'est la vie!
Maybe one day they'll be released from the Purgatory that they've been condemned to. But I'm not holding my breath.
It's all about traffic and niche.
AdSense is fine if you don't quit your day job.
I left a 70k a year day job 5 years ago when Adsense surpassed it. I should have kept the day job and still earn Adsense on the side. However, I have no regrets, my Adsense earning is still fine.
The great thing about Adsense is I control my own hours. I can choose to have a day off whenever I want.
The downside is it's not secure. The powerful google can disable your site or account if they so choose.
Adsense is big money if you know what you're doing. If your goal is to earn a few bucks a day, then don't waste your time. Go find a day job. To be successful with Adsense, your goal should be to earn at least $100 per day. How to achieve that? Imo, you must have 2 important things:
1. A niche you love which you update regularly
2. A professionally well designed site
It also helps if you have great marketing skills. What's the use of a great site if no one knows about it? I'm lucky because marketing and advertising are my forte.
In my case, not yet a waste of time.
My group of sites had an ugly duck making most of the money, as Huskypup, that site was strong on pictures, the rest of sites were strong in content. Enough traffic I guess on both. I call that site "ugly duck" because no matter what I tried it didn't earn more money or performed better in traffic than with a simple design, after a few attempts I left it that way forever. Then G pulled the strings and two sites went dead, the ugly duck went down (not dead) and my content sites went up. My traffic was growing since the beginning but this time it was more than evident. The roles changed and I was making like 1% more.
Funny because of the nature of the sites if all of them were the same, my earnings would have been just dead, instead, one group of sites rescued the day, month and year.
Traffic? I remember years ago 200 visitors meant something, then 1000, then 2K. Now? I'm curious, now we come across many cases with 3K, 4K and 10K unique visits per day earning nothing or near nothing. There are posts around stating they have really low earnings but same or more traffic (yes, others have less traffic).
My sites were born due to several reasons but money was not the main goal. That's what still doesn't make GA a waste of time but when they went up, the costs went up. Now my sites have more traffic and I'm intrigued because doesn't seem like a good match (earnings/traffic) so I'm researching but when earnings were the highest in my case... G pulled the strings again, Panda, Penguin. Yes, the same dates. I just had to kill 2 sites due to almost zero conversion.
What? all was built around white decent practices, original content, original pictures: that's my treasure but it became a difficult battle with scrappers, they need pictures!. All the advice from this forum helped me to build the sites, still researching but I'm seeing far too many good webmasters struggling, it worries me.
It's like someone said around here, now you seem to need like 3X the traffic to get the same money. I guess some niches have it easier.
|I left a 70k a year day job 5 years ago when Adsense surpassed it. I should have kept the day job and still earn Adsense on the side. However, I have no regrets, my Adsense earning is still fine. |
While there are always outliers, it is not advisable for anyone, especially today, to give up a good paying job for a website fully supported by AdSense. All the signs point to diminishing returns going forward, and each year out of the work force makes it harder to get back in at a good salary.
|For the exact reasons they publicly don't tell the truth at any other time. They are not in the truth business. They are in the secrecy business. It's not much of a leap from "we cannot tell anyone the truth because we have to protect our system" - to - "we are telling something misleading to protect our system". |
If that's what you believe about Google why would you ever think of doing business with the company?
Hey StoutFiles ... 2k posts ... Congrats
|it is not advisable for anyone, especially today, to give up a good paying job for a website fully supported by AdSense. |
So very true. I gave up my day job in a time when money was overflowing. I really thought I was invincible. Just like so many people in the US at that time who bought houses they could not afford only to get foreclosed.
I don't think I am being truthful when I said I have no regrets for leaving my high paying job. In reality, I live in fear every day despite my good Adsense earnings. I fear Adsense will just take everything away.
|The great thing about Adsense is I control my own hours. I can choose to have a day off whenever I want. |
After 30+ years of being a small businessman, in various enterprises of my own account until I retired, that's the only thing being self employed has going for it. That and the ability to walk away when something doesn't suit you. As an employee, you don't have that luxury.
|The downside is it's not secure. The powerful google can disable your site or account if they so choose. |
That can be said of any business. Always highs and lows. You're either equipped with resilience or you're not.
AdSense came along well into my retirement as an unexpected bonus. That was long after I had an established web site primarily founded to explain complicated things to friends in my genre of interest.
The ability to take the complex and make it quite simple, apparently has no value to Panda...
Nice. Focused on the OP: "Thinking about trying again...."
Maybe you should, I don't see why it could be that hard to just try and see how it goes, specially if you have a good CMS allowing you to insert this here and there.
Perhaps things changed for the good due to Panda-Penguin. Really? yes. My group of sites has lots of images on one side and more content than pictures on the other side. The champion was an ugly duck, I call it that way because no matter what I tried, it brought better money on a simple design. Anyway you get it on the difference among my sites, and while G changes killed two sites (with original content) and weakened my ugly duck, the content sites went up like a rocket in traffic, not so much in earnings but the roles changed and the earnings stayed almost the same, like 1% higher. What I'm saying is there are cases where sites went down, others went up, you won't know where you are until you try.
Sadly, more changes on G caused the earnings to go down overall on my network, so I'm below my average but working on recovering earnings. GA still not a waste of time for me. Facebook became the waste of time! (and of course many of you agree) no ROI or zero, yes I know some cases work. But besides working on my stuff, I work on a media company, and despite the absolutely garbage ROI from Twitter and Facebook, the higher powers insist on having fanpages and lots of fans, more more likes, "we need more likes", that-really-sucks. Back on the main subject: if you are not critical about your sites or income, and if any advertising option pays bills, then it's not a waste of time.
What has been a waste of time in my case is trying to understand Google Adsense :( I'm working harder on figuring out and while money keeps coming, no idea on what impacts on what (some other forum member mentioned this too).
|Ian: The ability to take the complex and make it quite simple, apparently has no value to Panda... |
My sites were born due to several reasons, money was not one of them. It brought work, people interested on what I did and that was a good occasional income. Then GA helped to pay expenses as the sites were growing, some traveling here and there too. But I can't get this idea off that the new generation doesn't put value on good content, not only Panda.
There are posts that go beyond my understanding, lots of money daily weekly, monthly, I don't judge them just saying I don't fully understand where they are, where they were, how did they do that? one man band? a team? gazillion unique visitors per day? how many sites? I remember a few posts around stating "adding like 300-500-5,000 pages per week" ok like... from where? how? don't get this on a negative context, it's just that I'm a one man band and I don't understand the size of the team or work the big winners are on.
I'd be afraid to base a team on AdSense. There's only two of us, and we are branching out to as many channels as we can support. And we both have day jobs (although I'll probably be leaving mine this year, except for a couple of legacy clients who won't let me go)
It's worth it for me, because we (so far) have done very well and we plow almost all the AdSense money back into infrastructure and developing other sites and other channels. I *could* live off it, but I won't.
My wife wants me to try other networks, but my sense is that they rarely pay as well (when Adsense *does* pay) or are too exclusive for most publishers. Looking for general guidance. Are they a waste of time as well, if Adsense is too undependable? I've requested an invite from Bing/Yahoo, no reply yet. Been using Chitika when the page is long enough to support another ad, as well as Amazon, for about 2 months. They are worth adding, but couldn't support the site. (My site isn't product centered enough to sell much with Amazon, just general Amazon banners.)
Chitika has only one type of ad that I would put on my site, the rest are too slimy for me. Current traffic is about 6k/dy, should go up in the next few months.
|I don't think I am being truthful when I said I have no regrets for leaving my high paying job. In reality, I live in fear every day despite my good Adsense earnings. I fear Adsense will just take everything away. |
I didn't leave my job...it left me. At the time it was a $100,000/year job. I was up to my eyeballs in debt...and terrified. Actually had some small panic attacks late at night. Thankfully at that time I was earning enough with AdSense to cover some of the bills and decided I was going to try to earn more...I didn't have anything to lose because I was already knocked down so bad. Since then I am earning a living by dedicating all my time to my sites.
I have paid down a ton of debt and soon how to be completely debt free. When this happens my fear of AdSense will be less. I don't expect AdSense to last forever which is why I have paid down the debt and diversified my advertisers to a small degree.
|While there are always outliers, it is not advisable for anyone, especially today, to give up a good paying job for a website fully supported by AdSense. |
I'm an outlier and this is good advice...if you have a good paying job keep it and use your website income to pay down debt and build up funds in case the good paying job ever goes away.
I'm not really a webmaster, or deeply into Adsense.
I just somehow came across this site, and this thread.
I run a few little sites through which I sell some stuff, and as a side thing I was a bit interested to get my Adsense earnings from an old site.... from the current balance of ï¿½51.78 where it's been for a few years now to up above the ï¿½60 payout threshhold.
Anyway, your thread topic. As a surfer, ads never bothered me. I'd click on what interested me. Which seemed to me to be roughly par with the Google ad stated philosophy of presenting ads that '... we think will be of interest to you..'.
Fine. Except that now.., how it seems to work is that if I go to a site on a certain topic, have a bit of a read, then move on... I get that flipping site following me around with their ads for what seems like ever. It's really annoying, and I've been growing rather resistive to clicking on other ads.
Well, I don't know if that contributes anything, but I just thought I'd say it.
It's a numbers game. Without a certain level of traffic, you're unlikely to earn much from AdSense.
Also, in my experience, some topics are seasonal (as they often are with other types of advertising). Right now, for example, my AdSense earnings are about half of what they were a couple of months ago, and I'd guess that's mostly because this is the time when people are enjoying what they researched and purchased before summer arrived. (That, and the fact that some advertisers and media buyers have gone on vacation.)
|All the signs point to diminishing returns going forward. |
Not necessarily. My revenue keeps increasing (knock on wood).
Mine revenues double every month... and I have pretty low CTR... but I'm just starting out.
Traffic = you making money. Simple as that. You just need traffic and Ad sense is awesome.