Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from

Forum Moderators: incrediBILL & martinibuster

Message Too Old, No Replies

dumb mistakes resulting in loss of adsense revenue



2:39 pm on Oct 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ann is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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'?



1:45 am on Nov 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member swa66 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Not registering my niche's widgets.com domain back in 1994 over concerns domainnames would stop to be free. Now I'd love to buy it, only the current owner is neither interested in the domain nor using it for much, not willing to talk. But has paid for it for many more years to come.


5:05 am on Nov 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ann is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Thank you all who shared and please everyone...keep on sharing! :)


cosmokid, I love cats too!


4:20 pm on Nov 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

What about this one? managing a group of dif websites I ended up confusing the "template" dir for the site I was updating with a new design...

1. So, I puttedd the templates for a medical website on a travel site.... can you imagine that?

2. I created a "catch all" email adress. It worked pretty fine to get all the emails sent to the wrong address... Until somebody (maybe my competitor) found out... and started sending emails to tons of people from "whatever[at]mynameweb"... FIRST, everybody received spam, second, I received lots of replies and "mail delivery" errors, coming back to my email. So, after the weekend, I got 500 emails and my account suspended.

Too bad hu?


4:17 pm on Nov 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have come to realize that by far the biggest mistake i made was to help one of my oldest and best freinds out. He generated little revenue from his site, actually none untill i suggested he try AS. My traffic was half his but i made ten times the revenue he did. After a year or so, since he was always complaining of making nothing, I suggested he diversify and try a few popular categories, my main categories. I started having immediate second thoughts since his is a more established site with way more inlinks, several of them .edu, a DMOZ listing.
So a year after being assured not to worry , that I would have a front page link to keep my PR up in return, he pulls the link saying my link to him is'nt from the front page and thats why he dropped a position or 2 in the serps back in June. Could that be true?! Its been like that for almost 2 years and we both enjoyed good serps.
The last 2 months have buried me, last sept went up 50 %, this Sept went down 50 %.
I am no longer self employed, and we no longer speak.
The road to hell IS paved with good intentions.


8:37 pm on Nov 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

My dumb AdSense mistake was putting it on a site for scale model cars. Despite using the special AdSense tags telling it what to ignore and what to concentrate on I mostly got ads for a different type of model. The human kind. I didn't think AdSense even allowed that type of ad. My members certainly didn't appreciate those ads. After several months of complaints and virtually no income I dropped AdSense.

I had a similar experience last year. My website is all about tech stuff. Now, my wife and I were going on a cruise, and one of the stops was Honduras. There's a children's orphanage there, and I decided to make a post on my site's front page about how visitors could donate. See, there's some weird rules about being able to receive a lot of mail there, I think they have to start paying for it after a bit (so you might pay to ship it out, they may have to pay again to receive it). People coming by plane have weight and size restrictions on their luggage, but on a cruise ship as long as it can fit in your cabin you can bring as much stuff as you want (and if they're really nice, will let you store that stuff elsewhere). So, I got quite a few PayPal donations which I used to buy supplies, mainly at Sam's Club. Met a guy in Florida who donated a lot of supplies. Got on the ship, made sure it got to the orphanage, and everything was great.

Fast forward a bit, I dunno, maybe a month or two. I have ads blocked on my site, but occasionally check them out. I notice there's a ton of ads about sperm banks, egg donors, and everything relating to that! I go through, find the urls of each one, put them on the block list, but more keep popping up! It takes several days for me to realize that google is seeing the word "donate" and thinks my site must be about people wanting to donate sperm? Ewwww! I reword everything, tell google to ignore the entire block of text relating to our trip, and eventually the ads disappear.


9:52 pm on Nov 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I told my former girlfriend about my website right when it was just starting and I had few visitors (but did have adsense ads).

She clicked on the ads over 10 times (she was interested in the subject though).

I got banned by Google for her actions, but than got reinstated on appeal thankfully.

Learnt my lesson and never tell friends, coworkers, family ets... about my website (especially since all my coworkers share the same IP as myself).


10:05 am on Nov 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Here's a new one (oh, boy! sigh!):

If you are using a database driven site, not checking the integrity of your backups regularly and of your backup software.

I was happily about to add about 200 new pages to my site uploading them with phpMyAdmin and, whoah! corrupted. Then, about to recover from backup copies. Whoah, corrupted! Then in panic, I ended by screwing the local copy.

Everything corrupted. Last sound copy was from middle August.

Now, I am in my way to restore content since August scavenging uncomplete sql files, Google's cache (thanks, thanks, thanks...) and rewriting some of the lost content (not 'very' much).

Oh, and besides, I am changing the way I make my backups (never using phpMyAdmin for that again) and I am about to buy an external 80 Gb drive to make regular images of my hard drives.

As some one said: "The powerful weed of knowledge is harvested in the dull and sour fields of experience" :(

PS. And all this when I was making my tiny way up with Adsense...


11:37 am on Nov 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ann is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Thanks to all for contributing but I feel there are even more stories out there. :)

Keep them coming.



11:51 am on Nov 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Our worst mistakes have been when not checking the live page after uploading changes. Page goes missing because of silly mistake, earnings too :(

Otherwise, simply not tracking what we're doing with adsense and ending up going with a sub-maximal adsense setup instead of something better.

I wish I had more to offer, but that seems to take the cake


3:31 pm on Nov 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

>>Our worst mistakes have been when not checking the live page after uploading changes. <<<

One of my biggest mistakes have been not using my link checker after major changes. I have gone in an changed the link to the contact form before and forgot a " in the tag. Went so far as to update the sitemap, and resubmit to google, then later browsing the site saw the error... Caused google to ignore 100+ pages...

Slowly it is coming back, thank God is was not my main money maker site...


3:58 pm on Nov 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

Registered a nameserver a couple years ago and moved 16 websites to it. I made one little tiny typo in changing the DNS and all 16 websites went "poof" and disappeared from the net. This was on Friday and I try to get as far away from this computer as I can on the weekends so it was Monday morning before I noticed the mistake. Found the mistake, corrected it and then had to wait another 2 days before traffic levels got back to normal as the sites came back online.

I essentially shut myself down for 4+ days because I was in too big of a hurry to doublecheck my typing.

Sure made customer support easy for a while though. No websites - No customers - No support.

Dabu The Dragon

4:06 pm on Nov 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Well, the dumbest thing I ever did in relations to AS was not changing or adding content. I got lazy after a few months of good conversion. When the dust settled I had less than a quarter of the traffic I had originally.

I've learned to stay lean and have diligence.


4:40 pm on Nov 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I've had quite a few huge mistakes, my most recent was forgetting to thouroughly check headers after a change in htaccess. I only realised something was wrong when adsence showed no income for that site for a few days. The entire site had a 403 forbidden error! :o

My worst and most embarrasing was I'd been making notes about what I planned to do for promotion, including listing what competitors had done (both good and bad.. with some rather harsh comments) and many personal notes included.

Somehow I accidently overwrote an inner folders index page with those notes.. didn't notice for days... others did though. Was up long enough to be cached by Google. :(

Moral of the story.. always, always, ALWAYS triple check any changes after upload... with a clean cache.

[edited by: LunaC at 4:41 pm (utc) on Nov. 20, 2006]


5:57 pm on Nov 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ann is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

This one could have been a disaster!

When Google first started I found My site in their engine, thought about being listed in such a loser with such a lousy name that I became incensed. Fired off an email to them to tell them I did not want their listing and remove me immediately! (forgive me please Mr. Google).

Well thank God they ignored that "crazy woman's" email and deleted it....whew.,.,.,.


11:38 am on Nov 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Funny ^^

Just found today: A site has seen traffic and revenue drop off, figured it was seasonal. Turns out we accidentally snipped off some content when changing the database from latin-1 to utf-8. Less content, less traffic, less revenue :(.


7:33 pm on Dec 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Changed a DB password recently. Forgot to change it in a PHP script and didn't notice that I had a PHP error up for half a month, instead of content. PHP error was even indexed by Google.



12:34 am on Dec 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Got lazy when creating a new page. Used an existing (major) page and filled it full of garbage, intending to save it as a different file name. Urgent call of nature made me "save" instead of "save as", which resulted in all that garbage being saved and uploaded. Only found out after it appeared in Google listings 2 weeks later! Oh gaaaawd! The embarrassment...


1:59 am on Dec 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hello ann :)

My biggest blunder was leaving a BODY tag off a page AND making a relational link ../ when it should have been ./

Funny the browser was forgiving of this, but my link checker alerted me to the problem. It caused one of my minor sites to get dropped by G. It is back in now :) but it was a hard problem to find!

This 78 message thread spans 3 pages: 78

Featured Threads

Hot Threads This Week

Hot Threads This Month