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$250/day to $8/day to $500/day

Over a 3 week period of time

     
1:04 am on Oct 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I am so happy to say that my "big" site is back online and doing great! My site was hijacked... a malware attack that attempted to re-direct my visitors to another website. I couldn't keep them from coming back until I just took the site down and re-built it with lots of added security. During the down-time I still made a little money, I guess by visitors viewing their cached version.

The lesson I learned is "Back to the Basics". When I first got the site back online it was still blacklisted from Google SERPS... listed as "may be harmful" and telling people to go back and choose a different site from the search results. During that time I fine tuned the site until I had more than quadrupled the eCPM by removing ads from all pages that were not performing and completely removing many of the non-performing pages. I also made some other changes to up my eCPM. At this rate I should be making over $600/day within a couple weeks, or less, since I didn't finish fine-tuning the site when G unbanned it from SERPs. I'm really excited and will be working 24/7 to get the rest of the pages fine-tuned and updated.

Thank you to whoever hijacked my site, it really made me re-think my site design. ;-)

7:14 am on Oct 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Any idea how you got hijacked? Do you use a common CMS?

PS: congrats on those dreamy earnings.

11:13 am on Oct 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I love it that you eventually benefited from the hacking. Great job!

Your comments about having gained income through dropping ads on low-paying pages intrigues me. I've read of this effect many times before but never had the trust in it to follow through with an experiment. For one thing, I can't see why Adsense would be set up in that way. It's obvious why Google would want to penalize publishers (by smart-pricing) for low conversion rates but why penalize for low CTR? I'm prepared to believe the effect is real but what's the logic behind it from Google's point of view?

1:04 pm on Oct 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

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A big congrats on your revenue.. thats my dreamy earnings :)
1:17 pm on Oct 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

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$500/day, that is $15k/month, awesome! way to go man... congrats..
what kind of website you have (if you don't mind asking)?
2:08 pm on Oct 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I also made some other changes to up my eCPM.

Could you specify which changes?

2:22 pm on Oct 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Any idea how you got hijacked? Do you use a common CMS?

Yes, on a side note that would be interesting to hear and it would be a great contribution.

$500/day, that is $15k/month, awesome! way to go man... congrats..
what kind of website you have (if you don't mind asking)?

ditto, what kind of widgets do you write about?
2:32 pm on Oct 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I've also noticed that ctr affects Epcm drastically.

Don't tell anyone here your ideas unless you enjoy competition and sharing your earnings.

2:53 pm on Oct 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I've also noticed that ctr affects Epcm drastically.
Don't tell anyone here your ideas unless you enjoy competition and sharing your earnings.

So following what you just said everyone on webmasterworld should just shut up on everything because that might increase their competition.

What's the point of these boards then?

4:43 pm on Oct 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I've also noticed that ctr affects Epcm drastically.

There's a revelation.

4:58 pm on Oct 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I've also noticed that ctr affects Epcm drastically.

Nothing like the clicker's location though, that's the critical one.

6:24 pm on Oct 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Deja vu? [webmasterworld.com...]

Congrats!

10:17 pm on Oct 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Thanks and, yes, I passed the 10k mark but then had some ups and downs. I am looking forward to surpassing 15k next.

I don't use a CMS, I believe they got in through bad and outdated PHP scripting that was written when I had little knowledge of PHP. I have since gone back to my original way of doing things, just plain 'ole hand written, rock solid html code on static pages. All my dynamic pages are gone now. Also my site has been online since 1996 so there were really outdated pages and old scripts just sitting on the server... these got completely attacked and corrupted. After they entered through the unsecure, badly scripted dynamic pages, it spread to even my static html pages, adding a sniplet of code to the bottom of each page, breaking my code and attempting to re-direct visitors to a .com website(pro**log.com - the ** stands for 2 letters that I omitted before posting the URL) that then re-directed to a .ru website(******.**quotient.ru). The site they were funneling through, the .com site, was an innocent bystander that was also attacked by the same folks. The malware could somehow spread from site to site and they even started using my site to funnel the malware to other sites. As soon as I realized this, I completely removed my site from the Internet. That's when I re-vamped the site, going through each page with a fine toothed comb to make sure the coding was perfect, no loopholes they could slip back through.

The pages I removed were old and outdated and made hardly any money. I wouldn't want to advertise on those particular pages so it makes sense that noone else would want to either. If a page doesn't make you money, it's a waste of time and money for advertisers too. Might as well just remove the pages. Removing them ups the value of your site as a whole thus causing an increase in revenue from fewer pages.

The attack started with attacking every .index page on my server, but then spread to non-index pages as well, making it nearly impossible to fix the old site so I had to rebuild everything. Google never de-listed my site from the SERPS, they just added the "this site may be harmful" speil and wouldn't let visitors click over. In Firefox, even direct entry visitors only got a big red warning page instead of my content. G lifted the warning without me having to go through the usual review process involved when your site gets attacked like this.

The advertisers that I now see on my site are much better sites than I saw with the old design. I'm really glad that this forced me to make changes and really make my site secure. Many, many all-nighters, pot after pot of coffee to keep me awake and now I am reaping the benefits. YES!

5:24 am on Oct 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I'm glad to hear things worked out for you, spaceylacie. That is quite an impressive increase in earnings.
1:56 am on Oct 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

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The pages I removed were old and outdated and made hardly any money. I wouldn't want to advertise on those particular pages so it makes sense that noone else would want to either. If a page doesn't make you money, it's a waste of time and money for advertisers too. Might as well just remove the pages. Removing them ups the value of your site as a whole thus causing an increase in revenue from fewer pages.

Imagine that, putting up web pages for some other reason than to make money.

4:53 am on Oct 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

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A great post, spacey. Went and dumped some garbage right after reading it. Thank you for writing.
3:26 pm on Nov 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Just curious... how many pages within your site... and do you have more than one site..
4:27 pm on Nov 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

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So following what you just said everyone on webmasterworld should just shut up on everything because that might increase their competition.

What's the point of these boards then?

There's a big difference between sharing some coding help and giving away your unique ideas. Most people here enjoy helping someone but no one would want to create a direct competitor either. Come up with your own ideas.

4:45 pm on Nov 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Well, people share much more than "coding help" on these boards (from SEO to marketing strategies), that's why they're so useful.

And btw I don't see how sharing how he increased eCPM might increase his competition.

7:15 pm on Nov 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Well, people share much more than "coding help" on these boards (from SEO to marketing strategies), that's why they're so useful.

Which is also fine, very generalized information.

And btw I don't see how sharing how he increased eCPM might increase his competition.

The follow up questions are what I was talking about.

"what kind of website you have (if you don't mind asking)?"
"ditto, what kind of widgets do you write about?"

These have nothing to do with general strategies such as increasing eCPM, they are just "Since you make a lot of money, what do you do so I can try to do the same thing?" questions.

7:23 pm on Nov 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I agree StoutFiles. I am interested in the general, how do you get this much traffic in order to make so much AdSense money. I don't want to copy anyone, just curious as to some techniques that SpaceyLacie uses. It won't increase competition, since we do not know what he or she's topic is about.

Thanks SpaceyLacie, for this thread, it gives us hope that maybe we too can make some decent money.

8:08 pm on Nov 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

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The interesting part of this thread is the idea of removing the actual pages that don't make good money, and not just removing the ads from those pages.

To me, this does not make sense from a usability perspective, since you may have folks out there looking for that information, regardless of whether it converts a sale of a product.

I have always tried to remove ads from pages that just were not earning (and dragging down my overall CTR). But never had I thought of removing the actual pages. Interesting.

I don't think it is the best approach, but curious what others think?

2:21 pm on Nov 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Maximilliano's.

Personally I don't agree with the approach. Assuming the pages were still being read by somebody and didn't contain tons of misinformation, then removing the ads would have been a better approach, at least for the user. IMO.

I hate having to delete pages and do so very rarely and only if I absolutely have to.

4:14 am on Nov 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

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"If you want a job working for Google, major in statistics"

I didn't have to record it, I didn't have to write it down in notepad or word, or with a pen and paper, I just remembered it, the speech, from a WebmasterWorld conference. A google rep was the speaker. He was addressing the many college students wanting a job working for Google when they graduated when he said this. Stated above is his exact quote.

This one sentence explained a lot to me, I hope it expains a lot to others as well.

10:57 am on Nov 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

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To me, this does not make sense from a usability perspective, since you may have folks out there looking for that information, regardless of whether it converts a sale of a product.

If you really want to go by the "cool urls never die" principle, just make the content static and de-link it from your main website. That way people could still stumble across it from old links. I notice the BBC puts up "this page is no longer being updated" on old content.

I can see this sort of thing being more of an issue as the web matures. Sometimes you just have to dust the cobwebs, and let go the fire hazards.

9:11 pm on Nov 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

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This one sentence explained a lot to me, I hope it expains a lot to others as well.

I didn't hear that speech but I think some of the current books on data mining may make a similar point.

10:01 pm on Nov 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

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"If you want a job working for Google, major in statistics"

This one sentence explained a lot to me, I hope it explains a lot to others as well.


Actually it makes sense in a lot of ways, specially on the "do what you enjoy doing and get paid" evolving to something like "do (write) about what others enjoy reading..." yes... I know, but do you want to enjoy writing? or make money (I'll say to the ones who would complain before finishing reading the sentence)

Thanks for your story, as other stories I have seen here it kinda motivate us all.

That way people could still stumble across it from old links. I notice the BBC puts up "this page is no longer being updated" on old content.

A lot of old content brings traffic so old readers find new content.

I have a website with old widgets, including out of business and no longer existing places. I received complains from people asking me to remove those pages, but on the other side, a lot of people consider those pages as some sort of historic documents allowing them to see places and widgets that have changed a lot with time.

I think old content is part of documentation for some procedures, also historical documents and a view to the past. I believe old content means traffic for other kind of readers.

4:32 am on Nov 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Most of my old pages now have newer and better updated versions available if folks enter through the main page and use the simple navigation. Maybe better to keep the pages online but no longer linked is a good idea, but, then again, a nice custom error page would direct them to visit the main page of the site to find their way to the newer info. Something to think about.
12:00 pm on Nov 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I am glad that people such as lacie make $15K a month with Adsense but this is an exception and not the rule.

An average Adsense publishers sometimes lingers on for a month or two to make the threshold of $100

12:21 pm on Nov 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I think there are more high earners with Adsense than you think. Most folks just don't care to share their successes on boards like this for obvious reasons.

They simply lurk around, picking up valuable pieces of information, and they lurk back into their money den where they nap on mattresses filled with 100 dollar bills. ;-)