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I've got an 18-month-old web site with a PR7, 187433 visits and 425712 page views in August (the biggest month yet and always growing), and thousands of pages of highly linked and linkable content that conform to a well-known data type but at the same time cover a wide variety of topics. It's benefitted greatly from using domain names that I used to use for a popular blog started in 1999.
I'd like to begin AdSense on the site, but I've always felt that in order to make it worth the trouble of reconfiguring the pages, managing the AS account, and changing the tone of the web site--turning it from strictly no ads to some ads--I really needed to reach 500K unique visitors a month or a million page views. Those are kind of arbitrary goals, but they seemed like good targets since managing AS is going to be complicated. The topics covered are all over the map: some pages will do very well with ads, some pages will do nothing at all, and I'll have to keep an eye on that.
The thing is, I keep seeing claims of people making big wads of cash on traffic that's a tenth (or less) of mine. While it's certainly true they could have chosen a great topic (like asbestos lawsuits or alternative cancer treatments or what have you), those claims are hard to believe because they come with so little corroborating information. However, no matter what my level of disbelief, they make me think that I'm cheating myself out of potential revenue by setting my start-point for AS too far in the future. Although I do not expect to get rich from this (I like my day job, anyway), I do want my site to be a revenue-generator.
It's hard to get people to share enough information so that their great-sounding numbers are believable (the guy who says he made $10K last month understandably never says much more than that: no URL, no topic, no time span, no tactics, nothing) so I thought giving up some details of my own might solicit solid opinions. Also, many of the numbers on these forums are given by people who found a profitable topic and then built a site around it, rather than built a site for the site's own sake and then added ads later, so I suspect they'd be different beasts.
Recognizing that there are many variables (site designs, site topics, etc.) that must be considered when comparing site revenues:
If you were me, would you consider my traffic sufficient to begin using AdSense?
When your site was at about 425712 page views a month, how much revenue were you generating?
Thanks for your guidance and wisdom.
Find a spot in the HTML that all the pages have in common to insert the adsense code say after a </h2> tag, do a search and replace on the site, [</h2> Adsense Code], FTP, voilą! You can get it done in half an hour. Let it run for a day. If you don't like it, take it off as easy as you put it on.
And some kinds of sites, like forums, can be notoriously hard to wring a dollar out of via adsense. People apparently have done it, but from posts here it doesn't seem to be the norm.
So we're left with the "dififferent sites perform differently" picture.
Nevertheless, with the kind of traffic you are getting, I'd be inclined to try it. Can you try it on a section of your site without reworking the whole site? If so that might be an option.
Hurry up and get the ads on there!
Also, you suggested that people in here don't give out to much information. There are many people in here that are very helpful, but it all gets a little boring if the secret recipe really isn't secret.
If you can get yourself a PR 7 and that many page views, you will be able to work out Adsense yourself :)