SmallP - 2:17 pm on Nov 16, 2011 (gmt 0)
It sounds like an entire class of sites has became outlawed overnight.
Well said. I agree - that's certainly how it feels right now. The revenue from Adsense ads (above the fold and definitely "in your face"**) allowed me to bring in a number of freelancers to help me create new content for my informational site and improve the site hugely, thereby also growing revenue.
The very tough months since Panda mean that I am down to using only one freelancer now, and for drastically fewer hours each week. I'm taking my ads below the fold as fast as I can, but watching my revenue fall even further off the cliff (is that possible?) as I do so. I run non-Adsense ads too, but they have provided about 25% of ad revenue to Adsense's 75% in the past. Soon we will be surviving on that 25%.
My site provides great quality, original free content to a big sector of society. Or it did. Now rather fewer of them are finding it! I've been bumped off the search results in favour of the big cheese who SELL the same sort of product that I give away. And of course THEY don't have advertising, and they are brands.
It's an interesting time for ad-funded informational sites. In all honestly, I suppose there is a very thin dividing line between the legitimate site with an advertising-led model and the MFA site, and Google seems to have chosen "above the fold" ads as one of the distinguishing factors.
** placement as recommended to me by the Adsense Optimisation Team