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Page Views and/vs Earnings

over 400,000 page views returning pennies

11:34 am on Jul 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

To start with I am by no means an expert on any level of webmastering, SEO, keywording, etc...in fact I don't even bother with it. Like most people I put up a site, post, and let the winds blow where they may. So...NO...my site has not been purposely optimized/stuffed/or whatever and that could be one of the reasons behind my extremely low return on my investment.

But I was curious as to how much my site should be returning ( after 6 years ) so I Googled and found some info including this thread:


It was an old thread so I didn't want to post in it, as a forum admin myself I know most sites don't like you reviving old threads. Even if they're relevant to your question.

From what I've been able to gather, through Googling, a site that is getting 400,000 page views a month should be returning about 600-700 dollars a month. According to my host stats my main site gets about 400,000 page views a month and returns a revenue of less than 0.1% of that. My combined sites which total about 1 million page views a month ( according to my host stats ) returns a revenue of less than 0.15% of that.

To give you some info:
My sites are all about 6 years old
combined traffic of approximately 1 million page views a month
topics involve original computer, security, hacking, photoshop tutorials; music, games, and commentary

Question 1: Why does Adsense page view stats only reflect a fraction of my actual pageviews?
Question 2: Why are my earnings a fraction of what others are earning ( or claim to be earning )
Question 3: What can I do to correct this?

12:21 pm on Jul 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

Welcome to WebmasterWorld TheTAZZone

According to my host stats my main site gets about 400,000 page views a month and returns a revenue of less than 0.1% of that. My combined sites which total about 1 million page views a month ( according to my host stats ) returns a revenue of less than 0.15% of that.

Your host's stats will not be the same as AdSense stats since AdSense filters out most of the crap botnets, spiders and other junk however you should be able to see a fairly reasonable correlation between your stats and AdSense stats.

What do AdSense stats report as your CTR?

I do assume you have your forum set-up as a channel?

FWIW most forums have notoriously low CTR rates, well, many who have posted here have reported so.

Are you sure you're not a victim of hotlinking to images? I had this problem a couple of years or so ago and my "visitor" numbers exploded even in AdSense yet there were, obviously, no extra clicks. At its worst this was in excess of 1 million extra clicks a month.

What do your host's stats report on your traffic referrals?

And lastly, for clicks to occur people have to be in the buying research cycle, visitors to forums searching for info or solutions to problems etc are not generally in buying mode.
2:25 pm on Jul 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

I wrote a whole long rant about this, but then I thought better of it and deleted it.

There is no "I have this many pageviews so how much should I be making with AdSense" metric. It doesn't work like that. There are too many variables. I know of sites with twice that traffic that don't make as much, and I know of sites with half that traffic that make much more.

Moreover, if you are working with an existing site, possibly a forum, that has never run ads before, you have to consider whether or not your existing users will give you any pushback if you start trying to monetize the site.

Anyone can paste in some AdSense code and see what happens, but there's a lot goes into making it pay well.

As for the stats, I would suggest you not rely on host stats, but install something like StatCounter or Google Analytics to get a better fix on your actually traffic. As HP mentioned, your host stats could include bots, multiple "hits" per pageview, whatever. You'll get a better idea from one of those two.
2:33 pm on Jul 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

your photoshop tutorials site... most people who come to a tutorials site will already own that piece of software. so what are they going to buy? they aren't going to want to buy photoshop -- which is what all the ads are probably going to be about. thats like selling ice to the eskimos
4:26 pm on Jul 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hi HuskyPup,

My host does filter out and compile a separate list of crap botnets, spiders and other junk, viewed traffic and not-viewed traffic...
the CTR changes rapidly, I could go one my site on a good day and in the morning it's one thing and by afternoon drop like a hot rock...
the forum has no ads whatsoever...never has
happened to me once too, my host told me about it after they suspended my site, and told me a solution, fixed the issue and the site was back up. If that was happening my site would be down...
don't see anything suspicious in referrals...
there's nothing to sell or buy on any of my sites...and the forum is ad-free


Hi nutmeg,

the forum is ad-free...
I don't just rely on hosting stats, my site also uses Quantcast. I used to use Statcounter years ago.


Hi londrum,

The tutorials are original tutorials written by members of the forum. I see what you're saying, that people reading the tutorials aren't going to buy Photoshop from an ad because they already own it. But i have never seen Photoshop ads on my site.


4:30 pm on Jul 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

I don't know if this is relevant or not...as I stated earlier I'm not an expert. My site is based in Canada. Could that be a factor?
4:34 pm on Jul 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hi nutmeg,

I realize there's no set metric...that some sites fair better than others. But in any metric there's an average. ;)

4:37 pm on Jul 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month


Good luck finding that average.
4:39 pm on Jul 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

But, you could block adobe ads so they don't appear.

You may get ads for people like topaz labs (they sell adobe pluggins), large format/business card printing services, HP for photo printers and so on.
5:23 pm on Jul 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

Sorry about that netmeg! Mathematically there's always an average in any metric, but you're probably right, unless you have the stats from a cross-base to compile that average it's not going to happen. Like trying to compile the average of 12 bowlers when you only have access to one bowlers stats. So...

I have to go upon what others claim they make. ;)

Hi tonyolm,

Yes, those are usually the type of ads that appear next to the Photoshop tutorials.

11:44 am on Aug 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

We all put Adsense on our sites to make money, otherwise why bother. I'm just wondering, in comparison to other people's ' claims ', with the same or similar traffic, why my sites are generating cents to their hundreds.

' If ' there were two sites, both delivering 500,000 page views a month, and one was generating a revenue flow of $800 a month, and the other generating a revenue flow of $40 a month, and ' if ' you were the latter, wouldn't that give you pause for concern?
12:32 pm on Aug 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

traffic is only one part of it. traffic doesn't equal money. you have to have the right subject. people need to be in a "buy" frame of mind. do your sites help to sell the stuff that the advertsiers are promoting?

clicking the ad isn't the end of the story either. the user has to actually go on and do something useful at the other end. if they aren't really interested in the advertiser's product then they won't interact with their site and won't buy anything -- you'll end up getting smart-priced. meaning you'll end up earning peanuts for each click.

the aim of the game is to send the advertisers useful traffic, not just any-old-traffic
1:55 pm on Aug 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hi londrum,

Makes sense. But to get back to my question:

Question 3: What can I do to correct this?

3:06 pm on Aug 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

If I were in your position (and I went and looked at your site, by the way) I would probably

1) Analyze my traffic (which means put Google Analytics on it) and see where it's coming from, and what it does when it gets there, the most popular sections of the site, how many pages do people look at, bounce rates, etc. Am I getting a bunch of traffic from weird places (like for example, if my Michigan themed site got a bunch of traffic from South Korea, for example.)

2) Analyze my content with a mind towards user intent - I want to attract people with money who are in a buying mood, so what content can I serve that will get them to my site (and that also outstrips my competition) This is not easy, but this is what you need to be successful.

3) There's an item pinned to the top of this forum on how to make money with AdSense; read it.

But also realize that we were in an age of interest based advertising, the ads that you see yourself are not necessarily the ones that your users will see, and the ads may not be based on the content of your site, but on various behaviors that happened before your user even GOT to your site.

If you want to really make AdSense pay, you have to understand it at a fairly low level.

(And it doesn't hurt to get familiar with AdWords either, because that's what drives AdSense)

Or, if you're not looking to get into all that, you can just goof around with some alternative placements and styles and see if that makes a difference.
4:51 pm on Aug 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

About averages, one of my sites has an average ecpm of around 11, another has an average ecpm of around 1.2.

What's the average from that? Around 6? And that contributes absolutely nothing to any discussion except for the fact that trying to chase averages, as netmeg says, is a total waste of time. Too many variables, too many different designs, too many different countries, too many different markets, too many different of everything.

It does seem that forums earn significantly less. It also seems to me that big ticket items e.g. swimming pools are likely (but not guaranteed) to earn more than low ticket items e.g penny bubble gum.

But comparing one swimming pool site to another is pointless. One may be in freezing cold Greenland and another may be in California. One may be a forum the other might be informational. One might be top end of the market and the other low end of the market. The differntials are enormous making anything but very general comparisons almost irrelevant.

Having said that, now I think about it, I know quite a lot about swimming pools! Must dash off and write a website about them.
5:39 pm on Aug 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

i've had a look at your site too. its a good looking site, but i think you've just picked a load of lousy subjects to make money with adsense.

from what i can see, people who come to your site are looking to play games for free. the games are already there, available to them. they're not looking to buy any. (they couldn't buy the games even if they wanted too -- because they are free).

and the tutorials secion is only going to attract people who already own the thing you are advertising. look at the subjects you are choosing writing about -- "online website scanners". people who read that aren't interested in buying website scanners. they want a free online one. the same with "featured downloads" and "recommended downloads". its all free stuff again.

"PHPBB backup and restore tutorial" -- it might be a good and handy article, but what are you going to sell? what company is going to want to put their high-paying adverts on it? phpbb is a free piece of software.

stuff like that might attract a load of traffic, but its a waste of time if you are looking to make money from it
5:58 pm on Aug 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Assuming the site is the obvious one, some fairly reliable 3rd party tools don't appear agree with the traffic you appear to have quoted,
Actually, the traffic levels of the obvious site are rather well quantified by a well known 3rd party tool

Looking at those tools, and the subject matter of the obvious site, your stated results would probably be consistent
11:32 am on Aug 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Thank you netmeg and nomis5, I appreciate the advice.

Hi scooterdude, it just looks like you're trying to say something without actually saying it. Or prove something without actually proving it. Beating around the bush, as they say. But thanks anyways.

londrum I think you probably hit the nail on the head. I never really thought about it from that perspective.
12:21 pm on Aug 2, 2012 (gmt 0)


18,000(not 400,000) quantified pageviews/month for a certain 'quantified' site per quantcast, in the games kinda niche, would probably equate to something like

1%(clickthru expected for games niche) x 18000pagevies/mth x .10c = $18/mth

Just hypothetically off course, and there are folk who can give you more accurate estimates
12:51 pm on Aug 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hi scooterdude,

Sorry but you're reading the figures wrong. Quantcast only tracks unique visitors, not page views. My site gets approximately between 20,000 and 42,000 uniques per month, the low end during the summer months, and between 250,000 and 400,000 page views per month, again depending upon the season. In the summer our Quantcast ranking is between 140,000US and 190,000US, during non-summer months it's in the range of 90,000US to 120,000US - the ranking is based solely upon US popularity.

12:57 pm on Aug 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hi scooterdude,

( need an edit button ) My site takes a major hit during the summer. Then recovers in the fall. My stats show that we get a lot of school traffic, from Colleges, Universities, etc...in fact some of our tutorials are on their recommended reading lists.

1:37 pm on Aug 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

That site gets ~40,000 page views, and ~13,000 unique visitors /month - based on fall 2011. Are you mixing up hits with page views?
2:25 pm on Aug 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

TheTAZZone, have you ever gone to an AdSense in your City event? The AdSense team will look at your site and give you some recommendations. Also, you'll meet webmasters who are very serious about their websites. They are asking the same types of questions about their sites that you are asking here. I found that to be as valuable as the presentation.

Another observation... if your host is suspending your account and telling you to reduce hotlinking, well that's a little too involved for me. If you are on shared hosting, then my advice is to look for something a little more robust. I don't know if this will help your AdSense earnings but it's more of a business thing, mainly to keep your host out of your business.
2:38 pm on Aug 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hi levo,

I don't know where you're getting those figures but they are way off. Probably from a source that estimates based upon limited un-direct data like Compare? And no, I am not mixing it up, according to host stats the hits are well over a million. My host stats are very good at breaking things down, far superior to my past experience with stat compilers like StatCounter.

Hi tim222,

Never even heard of it. I'll Google it up. Thanks! Yes, on shared hosting unfortunately. The site doesn't generate enough revenue to justify a dedicated server.

2:45 pm on Aug 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

For the last 3 months:
Month Uniques Visits Page Views Hits Bandwidth
May 20122373145113389254136097923.42 GB
Jun 20122140242223436876111916321.24 GB
Jul 2012259805408931443599081718.72 GB
2:47 pm on Aug 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

( really need to be able to edit posts )

For the last 3 months:
Month Uniques Visits Page Views Hits Bandwidth
May 2012...23731...45113...389254...1360979...23.42 GB
Jun 2012...21402...42223...436876...1119163...21.24 GB
Jul 2012...25980...54089...314435...990817...18.72 GB
3:35 pm on Aug 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Apparently Awstats is not that reliable. Your website has Quantcast tag, and they are not estimates. Log based stats usually overestimate, or you might have a scraper problem.

Oh, you have a .php file to create thumbnails. Your log analyzer probably counts them as page views...
3:45 pm on Aug 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member leosghost is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

( really need to be able to edit posts )

The "owner edit" button ( just below the user profile" button , which is in turn, just below your "nick", to the left of your post(s))..allows you to edit your own posts for a short time ..
4:03 pm on Aug 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hi levo,

Yes Awstats is a very good stat compiler...however unless you've backdoored my site and account you're just assuming without any actual figures. And I don't just use Quantcast, Quantcast is just an added/extra way I track statistics. I don't rely simply upon one source.

Thumbs are not counted as views, they are counted as hits. This is laid out in the stats information. Plus, when I was using phpThumb the server was being hit with literally millions of image requests from a problem related to phpThumb, again my site was shut down, while the host cleaned up their servers, they limited the requests re-instated my site and advised me to change templates as soon as possible, which I did a couple months ago. The stat page views did not reflect the image requests.

4:05 pm on Aug 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Thank-you Leosghost, I've never seen it placed there before so I didn't notice.

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